If you have some time, you need to take a trip out to Makinson Island. We offer a 4-hour tour that does just that. There are huge oak trees, picnic area, nice restrooms, walking trails, gazebo and even campsites. This 132 acre island is located in Lake Tohopekaliga, pronounced “toe-hoe-pea-kah-lie-gah”, and you might have to find your own way out there, but it’s worth the trip.
Some of the local history of the island includes Emathla, a 19th-century Seminole chief who made it his home, and his son Coacoochee, one of the great chiefs in Florida history and born on the island in 1807. Its located at the mouth of Shingle Creek, which flows south from Orlando. There is a small dock and beach to pull your boat up to and go sight seeing.
In the early 1900’s it was know as Oak Island, and then as Oliver’s Island when it was purchased by a Judge Oliver. The Island was then purchased by Dr. Calvin Christ, who was a surgeon in Orlando. After several years, Dr. Christ built an alcohol rehabilitation center on the island. During that time, it was known as Christ Island.
In 1943 Dick Makinson purchased the island from Dr Christ. This is when we finally see the connection to the name Makinson’s Island. They moved a large house out to the island and spent the summers there. The house has since burnt down.
This is where it gets interesting. The Island changed hands several times before the County purchased it. Brownie Wise purchased the island from the Makinsons, but people continued to call it Makinson’s Island. Even when Dick Dickerman purchased it from Brownie Wise. Dickerman named it Cypress Island, and yet that name didn’t stick either.
Island was purchased by the state back in 1999 for $4.3 million but wasn’t turned over to Osceola County until 2001, where is was opened up to the public. At one time a lot of exotic animals were brought to the island, most were removed but there are still a few longhorn sheep, goats, hogs and wild deer left. There is also plenty of birds of all typed that have make this island home.
The family that the island was named after also owns a hardware store in downtown Kissimmee called Makinson Hardware, the oldest building in Florida, be sure to stop in and say hello to Elaine and John Makinson.
- Posted by Orlando Airboat Tours
- On February 11, 2021
- 0 Comment