At least two Timucuan villages and Spanish missions were located in or near the swamp between 16.
William Bartram's Creek legend, which tells the story of princesses of the sun on an island in the center of the swamp, is probably rooted in stories of the Timucuan settlements.
The self-sufficient lifestyle of these settlers continued until the early twentieth century.
Sailing vessels visited Traders Hill, fewer than ten miles outside the Okefenokee, by the first decade of the nineteenth century, and steamboats regularly traveled the St. Outside of these developments, there was little change in the Okefenokee landscape or livelihood until the railroads reached the rim of the great swamp in the 1860s.
Since 1937 most of the Okefenokee has been a National Wildlife Refuge.
A few families moved onto islands in the swamp during the 1850s.
The Okefenokee was a Creek hunting ground in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Briefly in 1836 and for most of 1838 the Second Seminole War in Florida extended into the Okefenokee. They burned down a Seminole village on an island that they subsequently renamed Floyds Island, for Charles Rinaldo Floyd.
A railroad from Valdosta to Jacksonville was completed in 1898, closing the ring of railroad tracks around the swamp.
Industrialization brought jobs at sawmills, turpentine stills, and on the railroads.