Historic Markers Across Florida

The Tequesta

Marker ID:  
Location: 630 SW 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL
County: Broward
Coordinates: N 26° 6.786    W 080° 9.192
  26.1131    -80.1532
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: WMZ5EQ


The Tequesta

The Tequesta Indians and their ancestors lived and traveled along the New River for at least 5000 years. The Tequesta were Native Americans that lived in Southeast Florida in an area that extended from Boca Raton to Key West encompassing the Everglades, the Keys and parts of Florida Bay. Several thousand Tequesta may have lived in the area when the Spanish arrived in the 16th Century, but in 1763, when Spain ceded Florida to England, less than 300 Indians survived - the entire culture victim of European diseases and English-sponsored slave raids. The last of the Tequesta moved to Cuba, leaving much of South Florida unpopulated.

Using dugout canoes the Tequesta traversed the length of the New River which provided easy access to the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. The banks of the river provided high, dry grounds for habitation, numerous camps and villages occurred along the New River including a large village site at this location.

Archaeologists in 2010 discovered artifacts here made of animal bone and shell. They included axes made from the lips of conch shells, and pottery shards from broken bowls. These artifacts are evidence of a Tequesta Indian village dating from AD 800 to 1200. Also uncovered were well-preserved animal bones and shell refuse indicating that the Tequesta were fishing and hunting along the river and as far east as the barrier island of present day Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Brevard County Board of County Commissioners 2014.