Possible Al Capone Site in the Everglades

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Published in Local News


No one knows for sure what Lost City, found deep in the Everglades, was used for throughout history. Rumor has it, however, that Al Capone may have used it to produce moonshine in the 1930s.

Others claim it was used as a hideout by thirty to forty Confederate soldiers running from the Union, only to later be killed by Seminole Indians.

This enigmatic three-acre site is located about eight miles south of Alligator Alley. One thing on which experts do agree is the origins of the area. Apparently, it was a prosperous Seminole Village that was later abandoned. Exactly why it was abandoned is still unknown, causing experts to scratch their heads.

State wildlife officials and archaeologists have inspected the area countless times over the years, finding old rotten shacks, a canoe, Indian artifacts, and an iron kettle. Although many of these items are over hundreds and thousands years old, the latter leads experts to speculate that Lost City was a bootlegging operation dating back to the Prohibition Era, as iron kettles can be used to extract alcohol from sugar cane.

Present day, most of Lost City – also referred to as “Ghost Village” – is covered by vegetation, making it very difficult to find, especially considering there are no distinct paths to get to it, and maps do not display it.

Because Lost City was very well hidden, even back in the 30s, it was the perfect place to produce illegal booze without fear of being caught. Patsy West, director of the Seminole-Miccosukee Archives, speculates that the booze was carried off in wagons, as the island was elevated, and that the operation was worked by swamp rats, as opposed to more civilized people.

According to Ron Bergeron, commissioner for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Confederate soldiers, rumored to be rebels, used the area as a hideout during the Civil War after pilfering Union gold. They then possibly set up the moonshine still, only later to be killed by Indians, as they infiltrated sacred ground.

Even though the Lost City is near impossible to find, it is still noted as an archeological site in the Florida State Archives. In 1949, it was mentioned in the Fort Lauderdale Daily News after Davie hunters saw it in a Piper Club and later used an airboat to find it once more. However, because the area is so remote and the Everglades is so immense, most people cannot find it, let alone know about it.

To this day, no one knows for sure who, besides the Indians, capitalized on Lost City’s desolate location, but experts love to guess, which only enhances the growing Everglades legend.

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