When taking one of our daytime tours, we stop at Kreamer Island to explorer the Lake Okeechobee tree house. The tree house is built among the huge banyan trees in the middle of Lake Okeechobee. This is an absolute favorite among kids of all ages!
Some interesting facts about Kreamer Island:
Kreamer Island had a church, a school, and several homes; one served as post office and general store. Limited access to the island contributed to the end of the community, as did the 1928 hurricane; the raising of the dike afterward dealt the final blow. A bridge to the island burned in the late 1970s. When a drought in 2001 exposed tiny Kreamer Island once again, it also exposed thousands of tires believed to have been dumped there decades earlier. The South Florida Water Management District and local officials have discussed turning the island into a park.
The U. S. Government surveyed all the Okeechobee islands in 1917 and declared them open for homesteading. But Kreamer Island had been settled as a fishing and agricultural settlement in the 1800s. Hamilton Disston, a Philadelphia millionaire, had become Florida’s largest landowner in 1881 when he bought four million acres from the state for 25 cents an acre. When Disston began the state’s first large drainage effort in the Everglades, Colonel James N. Kreamer was chief engineer and the apparent inspiration for the island’s name. It seemed the first registration of the post office was misspelled and not corrected until 1932.