Seminoles and residents of the town of Cutler ca. 1880s

Native Cultures

The Deering Estate features a rich archaeological record that traces the interaction between man and the environment for millennia. The Cutler Fossil Site excavated in the 1980’s revealed a Paleo Indian shelter and bones of mega fauna from the Pleistocene Era when sea levels were considerably lower.  As the climate changed dramatically, the Tequesta, best known for the evidence of their structures at the Miami Circle and their physical alteration of the Everglades, established a large settlement here. They left behind a burial mound and a wealth of cultural material including shell tools and pottery.  Seminole tribes called this area the Hunting Grounds, as the fresh water sources and high ground provided for prolific wildlife. They saw the steady arrival of the European settlers that staked legal claims to the land.

A Land Grant for experimental agricultural initiatives, the end of the Second Seminole War, and Florida’s statehood in the 1840’s brought the first recorded township, Perrine and pioneer homesteaders who established the town of Cutler. Addison’s Landing (established 1864), Fuzzard’s Dock (1884) and the Old Ingram Highway are a few of the late 19th century archaeological sites contained within the boundaries of today’s Deering Estate.

Deering Estate History