Wewahitchka and the Dead Lakes of North Central Florida
By Hilda Mitrani
Wewahitchka, or “Wewa”, is the home of the Dead Lakes Park and Recreational area of Florida, which ironically hosts some of the best freshwater fishing in the nation and some of the best hunting in the state. Wewa is one of those quaint cities that help visitors appreciate and discover “Old Florida”.
Rich in natural resources, the Dead Lakes were formed years ago, when the waters of the Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers converged on a cypress swamp, flooding the low-lying area. Later, a flood of salt water temporarily replaced the fresh water, killed the cypress trees and left only stumps. These are the basis of the moniker, Dead Lakes.
Wewa is also the land of tupelo honey, which was immortalized in a Hollywood film starring Peter Fonda. Today the 80-square mile area is by surrounded farms, timber and exceptional fishing.
The uniqueness of the honey from this region is unquestioned – microscopic pollen analysis is possible to determine the source. Tupelo honey is prized for features including its distinct flavor and lack of granulation.
According to the folks at Smiley Apiaries, tupelo honey contains an abundance of vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and nicotinic acid, and also minerals, including iron, copper, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorous.
The annual Tupelo Festival is held on the third weekend in May, and people trek here to get their supply. If you missed the festival this year, you can still order some honey. Here are two suppliers:
L.L. Lanier & Son's Tupelo Honey