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Ortona Lock - Ortona, Florida, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BoomersOTR
N 26° 47.352 W 081° 18.262
17R E 469745 N 2963123
Quick Description: Waterway lock between Moore Haven and LaBelle Florida along the Caloosahatchee Canal.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 12/10/2018 6:31:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMZNV1
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:
"Opposite Goodno, in the Caloosahatchee River, is the massive ORTONA LOCK, which has replaced a small lock built in 1912. This toll-free lock, Government-maintained, is 300 feat long and 50 feet wide; with a lift of 11.5 feet, it can accommodate ships of 8-foot draft.

A new industry in this section is the cutting of 'swamp cabbage,' which is shipped to factories on the east coast to be cooked and canned. The swamp cabbage is the bud of the cabbage palm, a delicacy long relished in Florida but only recently known elsewhere. Uncooked, it appears on hotel menus as hearts of palms, often at $1 a portion. Equipped with a knife and ladder, cutters climb the palms and snip out the sheathed top buds, for which they receive 3 cents a piece. This ruthless beheading kills the trees, but continues without restriction. Palm fronds are also shipped to northern markets for use on religious occasions, particularly on Palm Sunday.

For long stretches west of Goodno the highway crosses the grassy prairies on which graze herds of sleek cattle. Slaughterhouses in Tampa employ large trucks and trailers to transport their beef cattle from this range to stockyard pens."

Excerpt from The WPA Guide to Florida 1939

Today the locks have become a recreation area under the authority of the US Army Corp of Engineers who maintain the lock and dam. There is a campground on the south side of the lock and dam with 3 fishing piers and picnic area. On the north side is a public boat ramp.

Each year on the last Saturday and Sunday of February in the town of LaBelle, just west of the Ortona Lock, the town hosts the annual 'Swamp Cabbage Festival' where visitors can partake of swamp cabbage. The event is held at Barron Park.
Book: Florida

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 479 & 480

Year Originally Published: 1939

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BoomersOTR visited Ortona Lock - Ortona, Florida, USA 12/7/2018 BoomersOTR visited it