It is serviced by the Okeechobee County Airport (IATA:OBE, ICAO:KOBE)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles. 4.1 square miles of it is land and 0.04 square miles of it (0.96%) is water.
This County is Florida’s 54th county established from segments of Osceola County and Brevard County. It gained its name from the Hitchiti Indian words for “Big Water”. (oki meaning water and chobi meaning big) Okeechobee, originally called Tantie, after Tantie Huckabee, a Carolina school teacher who moved to this area and promoted learning, is the county seat.
Lake Okeechobee was formed about 6,000 years ago. The ocean waters receded and water was left standing in a shallow depression in what today is known as the state of Florida. The expansive lake that resulted from this process was named Okeechobee. This means “big water” in the language of the Seminole Tribe. The lake served as a direct source of water to the Everglades by way of numerous small tributaries passing out of the lake’s southern end.
In the 1890s, Hamilton Disston, a Philadelphia businessman and real estate developer, constructed a canal connecting Lake Okeechobee. Lake Hicpochee, the headwaters of the Caloosahatchee River, providing the lake’s first outlet to tidewater via the Caloosahatchee River. In the early 1900s, the Everglades Drainage District constructed several other canals that impacted Lake Okeechobee.
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