NAME: Fruitcrest
COUNTY: Palm Beach
CLIMATE: hot in summer, moderate to cold in winter
COMMENTS: Take State Road 80 to South Bay, then take US27 South to Okeelanta. The only indication you've reached Okeelanta is the large sugar processing plant. The Fruitcrest site is in the sugarcane fields 3/4ths of a mile beyond the factory, however there is not a public road leading to it any longer. The Fruitcrest area can be seen by taking nearby 827 west (it intersects with US 27 near the factory) It's a narrow road, but paved. 827 may not be well marked, but it runs along a canal. Head west for 3/4ths of a mile, then look north to see the site that was once Fruitcrest. If you see the sugarcane fields, you've found it.
Fruitcrest was a small agricultural community in the southern Glades area. It was founded around 1912 by Thomas Will, who led efforts to reclaim the upper Everglades and experimented with machinery to break up the land to be farmable. He sold plots of land in an area he called Fruitcrest, and hoped to bring in investors from the Palm Beach area. Early settlers and visitors to the Fruitcrest site include H. N. Graham, W. A Blount and W. E. Hearn. Information and details about Fruitcrest are scarce. The Hurricane of 1928 flooded and destroyed the community, along with much of Belle Glade and the Glades area south of Lake Okeechobee. Today nothing remains of Fruitcrest except the sugarcane fields it was intended to cultivate and farm. Submitted by: Jim Pike

Fruitcrest, now part of a sugarcane field.  Workers in the Glades continually burn the fields to clear the land and cultivate the soil for replanting.
Courtesy Jim Pike

1916 photo of Thomas Will at Fruitcrest site.  Courtesy of The Everglades Digital Library
Courtesy Jim Pike

Map circa 1915.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress archives
Courtesy Jim Pike

Printed Envelope advertising Fruitcrest, 1915.  Courtesy of the Everglades Digital Library

Sign at Thomas Will's residence, 1916.  Courtesy of the Everglades Digital Library

Fruitcrest site on a non-field burning day
Courtesy Jim Pike