Royal Palm State Park
Part of the Florida Federation of Woman's Club History and the Eventual Everglades National Park
Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Royal Palm Park was the first state park established in Florida in November 1916, largely due to the efforts of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs.
Royal Palm Park later became the nucleus of Everglades National Park in 1947.
Please read a full history of the Florida Federation of Woman's Club on their web site.
The area was first noted when it was surveyed in 1847 by federal surveyor Jack Jackson. The Florida Federation of Women’s Club, and particularly the Preservation Committee chairwoman May Mann Jennings, took a deep interest in the issue and began campaigning for the designation of Paradise Key as a state park. To their success, the state declared 960 acres for Royal Palm State Park in 1916 to the FFWC. This acreage was also matched by Mrs. Flagler. Ingraham highway, a road from Florida City to Paradise Key, had also been recently completed and was dedicated along with Royal Palm State Park, on November 23, 1916. By 1921, 2,080 more acres had been donated by the state, making Royal Palm a 4,000 acre state park.
The Royal Palm Lodge was built in 1919 by John F. Umphrey to accommodate the caretaker, Charles A. Mosier. The lodge continued to be run by caretakers until the National Park Service acquired Royal State Park in 1947. After this, the lodge was converted into park headquarters, housing area, and visitor center.