Museum of the Islands

Preserving the past for the future on Pine Island, Florida

Cuban Fishermen

Spaniards from Cuba began fishing along the coast of southwestern Florida in 17th century, trading with the Calusa and employing them in the fishing industry. When the Seminole displaced the Calusa in the early 18th century, they also began trading with and working for the Cubans. Later in the century fishing companies from Havana set up permanent stations, called ranchos, on islands along the coast. The ranchos were used from September to March each year to dry and salt fish caught along the coast to supply Havana. Indians living in the area, possibly Calusa at first, and later Seminole, worked seasonally at the ranchos, staying on in the area during the off-season. Some children born on Useppa Island with Spanish fathers and Indian mothers were taken to Cuba to be baptized.  Credit Wikipedia

Details Emerge on “Spanish Indians” of Useppa Island
A Petition From Some Latin-American Fishermen; 1853
The Spanish Fisheries of Charlotte Harbor

This Chapter Early Inhabitants of Pine Island
Next Chapter Mail Delivery