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Steam transformed both the Okefenokee culture and the landscape after 1880.

By 1900 the old-growth longleaf pine forest that encircled the swamp was a forest of stumps.

The Okefenokee Swamp covers nearly 700 square miles, almost all of which is in Georgia.

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Indians occupied the Okefenokee during the late Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods of Georgia prehistory. Sand mounds were constructed in the swamp during this period.

The major occupations were during the Weeden Island and Savannah periods, around A. Spanish records between 16 refer to Okefenokee as Laguna de Oconi (Lake Oconi).

The Okefenokee Society was organized in 1918 in Waycross. The Georgia Society of Naturalists took up the crusade in 1929.

Members of the society petitioned the federal government to purchase the Hebard property as a biological preserve, but the society died with its founder, J. Their efforts, supported by other organizations and individuals, were successful.

Over the next fifteen years the company systematically built railroads across the swamp and logged the cypress trees of the northern and western Okefenokee.

Other companies, especially the Americus Manufacturing Company, conducted railroad logging operations in the swamp between 19. Individuals and small companies logged the remaining stands of cypress and pine during the late 1920s; Johnson and Sons Lumber Company may have logged as late as 1942.

The Georgia legislature in 1889 authorized Governor John B. The Suwanee Canal Company purchased the property on January 1, 1891.

The company attempted to drain the swamp from 1891 until 1893.

They built a sawmill and purchased steamboats and steam logging equipment in an effort to raise money by harvesting the cypress timber. In 1899 the property was sold to the family of Captain Henry Jackson of Atlanta, the canal company's former president.

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