ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Way-Stations Along US-41 - Big Cypress, FL

Updated on May 27, 2019

Monroe Station

I have spent many weekends traveling west down US-41, simply to enjoy the drive through the Everglades and admire its unique agriculture, animals, and culture. However, nothing is more exciting than to find an abandoned building planted alongside the road, with nothing holding it together other than rotted nails and dust! Once I laid my eyes on the whitewashed sidings, I knew there was something more to it than just a wooden shack. I pulled my car onto the makeshift gravel driveway, grabbed my camera and almost fell over my feet trying make my way towards the structure. As I approached, an older gentleman named Mario, pulled up beside me, laughing at my eagerness. We began taking pictures and admiring the building’s history; astonished at how it is still standing.

As we walked around the building, Mario began to reminisce on when the station was still active. With a warm smile, he says "After a long day of hunting, we would park our swamp buggies to have lunch and enjoy a few drinks." He pointed to the side of the building, where the cypress forest lays, "There would be swarms of buggies and people mingling while drinking beer." He began walking towards the entrance, "Dixie, who was the owner, served us, he had long white hair, and wore an Indian style "long shirt" with ruffles on the arms." "He was a settler of the Glades, and thought himself as the protector of the area," he said with a glimmer in his eye. Mario had a nervous tick, causing his eye to blink uncontrollably; for a moment I thought it was the sun but it was a cloudy day.

Both of us had a moment of silence, admiring the scenery; the lush vegetation of the cypress, egrets and herons flying by and the sky darkening above us, as thunder rolled over the sky, the black clouds began laughing at us. We decided to part our ways with an appreciative hand shake; silently thanking each other for the company and small talk. I thought to myself, how lucky was I to meet people like Mario during my day trips, for I would never be able to hear of the history of this unique and lost area within Florida- even if it was for a brief moment it was like living in the past. As I took pictures of this now rundown shack, my heart smiled knowing I will be able to have a piece of history, although small, with me.

History of the Big Cypress "way-station"

Before the stations were even considered, a highway needed to be built; that's were Barron Collier comes in, financially helping the state of Florida connect Miami to Naples/Ft. Meyers by building US Route 41 right smack in them middle of the Glades. With the help of Bay City Dredge Works of Bay City, Michigan, he used the Dredge No. 489 to dig a 10 mile road all the way through to Belle Mead, connecting with US route 951. Now US-41 goes straight through to Copper Harbor, Michigan; a whopping 1,990 miles from beginning to end.

The sites where built in the early 1920's as a way-stations to help locate lost persons traveling through the recently built US-41. Monroe station continued to play that role until around 1949; and was then turned into a gas station and it closed its doors in the 1980's due to environmental concerns over the gas tanks; especially considering that Big Cypress became part of the United States National Park System in 1974. Monroe Station was cataloged at the National Register of Historical Places in 2000, and also has preservationist attempting to re-open this iconic locale. It was one of 6 stations built by Barron Collier, of which the county was named after; stations names are: Belle Meade, Royal Palm Hammock, Fahkahatchee (also known as “Weaver‟s Station”), Turner‟s River, and Paolita.

The Bella Mead station, has been replaced with modern day conveniences such as CVS and Lowe's. Inside the Collier-Seminole State Park, you will find the Royal Palm Hammock station; which is located in Naples, FL. The Paolita and Weaver's stations suffered their demise after Hurricane Andrew; and the Turner River station, was destroyed by Hurricane Donna in 1960.

Monroe Station - 1920s


Dixie Webb - Newspaper clipping from 1973


Monroe Station - 2015


Location of Monroe Station

Monroe Station:
50910 Tamiami Trail, Ochopee, FL 34141, USA

get directions

To Trek or not to Trek??

Would you go trekking for abandoned locations?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Nilsa Fernandez


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)