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Story by Jeff Klinkenberg, illustrations by Don Morris
Music: "Orange Blossom Special" written by Ervin Rouse, recorded by Roy Hall and His Blue Ridge Entertainers
Gator Hook Lodge

No guns or knives inside: For two decades, the Gator Hook Bar was a wild tavern that stood on Loop Road in the Florida Everglades.

A piece of Florida's history, the Gator Hook Bar sat only a few miles from the Miami-Dade County border on the Florida mainland. Located in a sliver of Monroe County, the nearest sheriff's office was 92 miles away. But the Gator Hook Lodge served the Gladesmen from the swamp, who preferred to take care of their own problems. Their material and spiritual sustenance came from the gators and the birds and a harsh and unforgiving lifestyle. Gladesmen would have eaten the Hatfields and McCoys, with grits, for breakfast.


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