Okeechobee County (pop. 39,996) is west of Martin County and north of Lake Okeechobee. The lake got its name from the Hitchiti Indian words “oka” (water) and “chobi” (big).
It is one of the six inland counties known as Florida Heartland – a mostly rural and agricultural area, with much less tourism than other parts of Florida.
The county seat of Okeechobee County is the city of Okeechobee (pop. 5,621).
The 54,000-acre Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, northwest of Okeechobee, is the state’s largest remaining area of dry prairie.
The Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 was one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history. The lake overflowed and flooded hundreds of square miles, with water reaching depths of up to 20 feet.
Okeechobee Battlefield State Historic Park commemorates the Battle of Okeechobee, during the Second Seminole War on Christmas Day, 1837.
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