History and Culture
In 1823, the Treaty of Moultrie Creek designated this area as part of the Seminole Indian Reservation, however the area was never used as a reservation by the Seminole Indians. In 1910, John and Louise Driggers Hammond settled most of the land surrounding Lake Louisa. The homestead included the family home, a turpentine still, sawmill, shingle mill, a combination school and church, commissary, worker's cabin and cooperage. The family exported their goods by way of steamboats and barges across Lake Louisa. In 1943, the Bronson family acquired some of the property and established orange groves and a cattle ranch. Acres of old pasture and some of the orange groves from this era can still be seen in the park today. Purchased by the state in 1973, the Lake Louisa property became a state park in 1974 and opened to the public in 1977.
The narrow gauge railway was used to haul logs from Lake Louisa swamp to Hammond Sawmill. This photo was taken in 1910.
Now known as the present-day swimming area at Lake Louisa, at the time it was the terminus of a narrow gauge railroad. From here supplies and lumber were loaded onto barges powered by steam engines and carried across the lake.
This house was located on the Hammond settlement near Lake Louisa. This 1906 photo shows John and Louise Hammond, the settlement's namesakes, with two little girls and an unidentified couple.