Lake City Florida Indians
Did you know that there were Lake City Florida Indians? Yes, the town was really founded as an Indian settlement called Alligator. And the name of the Indian warrior who is credited with the naming of the area was none other than Halpater Tustenuggee a.k.a. Alligator Warrior. Of course, the rumor about how the town got renamed involved one of the old mayors wifes refusing to come and live in a town called Alligator. Because of all the lakes in the area it was renamed Lake City. There are lots of fun and information contained within my book, Halpatter Tustenuggee: Alligator Warrior for you to read but the fictional story is the heart.
In this story, I drew all of the illustrations which are considerably more than in the Pedro book. Although simple they do represent the storyline being depicted. Sadly, there no portraits or photographs of the real Halpatter anywhere in existence. There was another native American using the same name but that one was from an entirely different tribe and another state altogether. Both did participate in the Seminole Wars. There are no museums for Halpatter as far as I know but Lake City did open a microbrewery called Halpatter inside the old Post Office Building Downtown. Just like with most businesses in North Florida they adapted during the shutdown and are slowly opening back up.
We also have an Alligator Park with a bronze statue depicting Halpatter Tustenuggee that my book cover designer, social media coordinator, and website webmistress captured during her stay there as the park host. It’s a great park and very popular with the local residents and quite a few visitors too. She writes about workamping in Florida and has a blog of her adventures called Southern Ladies Adventures.
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