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Inside This Insect-Ridden Quicksand Swamp Is a Very Precious Commodity

Overhead view of Everglades swamp with green vegetation between water inlets. Natural habitat of many tropical species in Florida wetlands

Inside This Insect-Ridden Quicksand Swamp Is a Very Precious Commodity

Found across 1.5 million acres of wetland, Florida’s Everglades stretch from Orlando to the state’s southernmost point. While many people consider the Everglades uninhabitable for humans, it remains full of animals like alligators, snakes, and birds. The Everglades is also home to one thing humans have needed most at times: cypresstrees.

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing
The Everglades swamp extends for miles and miles.
©History-Computer.com

In this first image, you get a sense of the vast area that fills the Everglades with nothing but swamp, water, and grass as far as the eye can see. It’s almost as if the Everglades goes on indefinitely from this picture.

Treacherous Area

Quicksand
The area these men are walking through is full of quicksand.
©History-Computer.com

The area is very treacherous for people who dare venture into this area of the Everglades on the hunt for Cypress trees. Not only do you have to keep out for predators like alligators, but the area is also full of quicksand, which can swallow a person.

Valuable Resource

Valuable Resource
The Cypress trees in this area can be worth a fortune.
©History-Computer.com

At the time of this video, the need for Cypress lumber was at an all-time high. It’s an educated guess, but from the timing, it’s possible this was a time of suburban expansion, and lumber for homes was in strong demand.

Rail Building

Rail BUilding
Building a rail line is the only way to get the wood out of the area.
©History-Computer.com

Once the men in these pictures found the lumber, getting the lumber out of the Everglades was another story. As much of this wood can be found in waist-high water-filled swamps, it’s not as if strong men can carry it out. Instead, a rail system needed to be built to transport the lumber.

Fast Railroads

Building railway
The rail line to get the wood out was built very fast.
©History-Computer.com

In another view, these men quickly built a rail system to transport the lumber to a mill. The faster the lumber can leave the Everglades swamp and become a home, the faster more Americans can become homeowners.

Very Old Trees

Old Trees
The trees were acquired as quickly as men could chop them down.
©History-Computer.com

In this particular image, you have a still view from the video of a 2,000-year-old Cypress tree being cut down. The men out here use axes and saws to cut down these trees, which are older than America itself, hoping they will one day become a home for a family.

Tree Crashing Down

Tree crashing
This tree was cut down on the water’s edge, creating a giant splash.
©History-Computer.com

This image provides another view of a tree crashing down alongside other lumber from Cypress trees. Eventually, all this wood will be logged and loaded onto trains for transport to a mill, which will be repurposed into beams for homes.

Size of Trees

Hip deep water
The size of this Cypress tree is easily seen in this photo.
©History-Computer.com

If this photo is any guide, some of these very old Cypress trees can grow to a size far larger than most trees you’d find in a traditional neighborhood. As these trees grow without any interference from the outside world, they can grow to very large heights.

Carrying Logs

Train Logs
You can see a shot of tree logs loaded onto a train.
©History-Computer.com

The rail system is fully underway, with plenty of trees cut down and logs ready to transport. In this case, you can see in the still image and the video hundreds of logs being taken out of the area on their way to become homes.

Railroad Readiness

Logging Operation
The railroad the trains will use is all ready to go.
©History-Computer.com

This image gives a full sense of how quickly the rail system was built. Speed was such a factor that the workers didn’t do much to clear the area around the tracks as they focused on having the rail service ready to transport.

Lots of Wood

Lumber for Homes
You can see exactly how much wood is available from this train.
©History-Computer.com

This image shows how much wood was transported on a single train from the Everglades to another source. As the train rounds the corner at the top of the photo, we can surmise hundreds, if not thousands, of logs are being moved out of the area.

Watch the Full Video

Full Video
To see the wood transport in action, you can watch the full video.
©History-Computer.com

Watch the full video to understand better how much wood is being taken from the Everglades. There may even be a slim chance that someone reading this article will live in a home built with Cypress trees cut down in the Everglades.

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