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Old 01-07-2007, 06:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,250 times
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Hi all,

My roommate grew up in Okeechobee FLA and would like to move back and i'am thinking of going with him
I need some info on it i'am from massachusets and i'am scared that it is a hillybilly hell is it
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,305 posts, read 5,013,177 times
Reputation: 1079
I own a small piece of property (5 acres) in Okeechobee, and am planning to build a house there. My daughter lives there and is a teacher in the local high school. I've lived in Port St. Lucie, FL for almost 35 years -- it's near the coast, about 45 miles from Okeechobee. I've been visiting 'Chobee that whole time, before we bought our land 4 years ago. I'm not an expert, but I have formed some opinions based on my observations, not crude redneck jokes.

First of all, it is very rural. It's the #1 cattle growing county in Florida, which is the #1 cattle growing state east of the Mississippi. There are large cattle ranches, dairy farms and some citrus. Agriculture is definitely the backbone of the area's economy. There are roughly 5,000 people in the City of Okeechobee and maybe 35,000 people in the county.

But, this is changing. It's also a retirement mecca for folks who like to bass fish. Most of them live in mobile homes, but most of those mobile homes are waterfront and cost more than many houses in more urban areas. Bass fishing is also important because of the fishing tournaments -- there are usually several important tournaments every month.

Because of the rural nature, many of the people are more conservative than in larger areas. There are few clubs or organizations which meet on Wednesday evening, because that is as regular a church-event as Sunday services. Many of the people are not sophisticated, and there is probably a greater preponderance of small-minded people. However, stay away from religion and politics as a subject of conversation, and the people are the salt of the earth. They will do anything to help another.

There are few upscale stores -- there is a Super Walmart, and Home Depot is finally building their first store in the area. Tractor Supply is an important store. The movie theater has only 3 screens, but they do get some first run movies. There is one halfway-upscale restaurant, but it is struggling. The Dairy Queen store recently got upgraded to a DQ Grill & Chill.

The Cattlemen's Association runs two major rodeos each year, there are more horses in the several parades than there are floats, and the local young people's hangout is a bar called "8 Seconds", named for the amount of time one must stay on a bull to qualify. The Sheriff's Dept almost lives there on Saturday night.

In other words, it's a typical rural, agricultural small town in the South. Pickup trucks are the preferred method of transportation, but they are F350 Crew Cab Diesel Dually 4x4's with leather interiors more comfortable than, and more costly than, a Lincoln Town Car, and I've never noticed a rifle rack in the rear window or a rebel flag.

Ethnically, the county is Caucasian and Mexican, with a smattering of African Americans and Seminole Indians from the nearby Brighton Reservation.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:26 PM
 
89 posts, read 261,297 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslOldTimer View Post
I own a small piece of property (5 acres) in Okeechobee, and am planning to build a house there. My daughter lives there and is a teacher in the local high school. I've lived in Port St. Lucie, FL for almost 35 years -- it's near the coast, about 45 miles from Okeechobee. I've been visiting 'Chobee that whole time, before we bought our land 4 years ago. I'm not an expert, but I have formed some opinions based on my observations, not crude redneck jokes.

First of all, it is very rural. It's the #1 cattle growing county in Florida, which is the #1 cattle growing state east of the Mississippi. There are large cattle ranches, dairy farms and some citrus. Agriculture is definitely the backbone of the area's economy. There are roughly 5,000 people in the City of Okeechobee and maybe 35,000 people in the county.

But, this is changing. It's also a retirement mecca for folks who like to bass fish. Most of them live in mobile homes, but most of those mobile homes are waterfront and cost more than many houses in more urban areas. Bass fishing is also important because of the fishing tournaments -- there are usually several important tournaments every month.

Because of the rural nature, many of the people are more conservative than in larger areas. There are few clubs or organizations which meet on Wednesday evening, because that is as regular a church-event as Sunday services. Many of the people are not sophisticated, and there is probably a greater preponderance of small-minded people. However, stay away from religion and politics as a subject of conversation, and the people are the salt of the earth. They will do anything to help another.

There are few upscale stores -- there is a Super Walmart, and Home Depot is finally building their first store in the area. Tractor Supply is an important store. The movie theater has only 3 screens, but they do get some first run movies. There is one halfway-upscale restaurant, but it is struggling. The Dairy Queen store recently got upgraded to a DQ Grill & Chill.

The Cattlemen's Association runs two major rodeos each year, there are more horses in the several parades than there are floats, and the local young people's hangout is a bar called "8 Seconds", named for the amount of time one must stay on a bull to qualify. The Sheriff's Dept almost lives there on Saturday night.

In other words, it's a typical rural, agricultural small town in the South. Pickup trucks are the preferred method of transportation, but they are F350 Crew Cab Diesel Dually 4x4's with leather interiors more comfortable than, and more costly than, a Lincoln Town Car, and I've never noticed a rifle rack in the rear window or a rebel flag.

Ethnically, the county is Caucasian and Mexican, with a smattering of African Americans and Seminole Indians from the nearby Brighton Reservation.
THANK YOU FOR THE BEATIFUL DESCRIPTION OF OCKEECHOBEE !
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:01 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,250 times
Reputation: 16
Talking okeechobee

i hope no one got the impression that i was knocking Okeechobee that is the life i am looking for i grew up in new England and i think it is time to move to a nice place to live

psloldtimer
my roommate (BEAR) is a self proclaimed hillbilly and a Seminole Indian
he speaks so lovingly about Okeechobee this is why i want to move there
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:53 PM
 
11 posts, read 48,917 times
Reputation: 15
Default Think Twice before you come!

I am a native Floridian and moved to Okee. 2 yrs ago and can't wait to leave!
We are use to rural life in (Loxahatchee)which turned city so we decided to move to Okee. which is country. I don't know what you do for work but there is nothing here unless you/family owns a ranch!!! Like someone said it is all cow pastures,trailers and yes lots of hillbillies. Okee. is mostly made up of trailers,pickup trucks and illegal aliens(migrant workers)! My Husband has to drive 1.5 hrs to work on the coast and not to mention the prices of housing and rentals.........wow too much! (we own both so this is based on experience)There is literally nothing to do here,that's why there are so many drugs,so I guess if your independantly wealthy or into lots of drugs come on down

It really is a sweet little town lol
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Ft. Pierce, FL
265 posts, read 791,212 times
Reputation: 75
I am a St. Lucie County property owner and resident (since 1971) and I love the rural life. I am also a frequent visitor to Okeechobee for many different reasons. Okee is only a 40 minute drive for me.

Okeechobee is a beautiful peice of Florida's history. It is still un-tarnished by the hands of time and development. But don't think for a minute that Okee is full of poor rednecks; just the opposite is true. Okee has tremedous wealth, those folks just have too much class to flaunt it.

If you enjoy getting to the big city occassionally, Plam Beach County is only about an hour away.

If you enjoy nature and an unhurried pace, you will enjoy a life in Okeechobee. The men say "ma'm" and the children say "please and thank you sir". That is my kind of town.
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,305 posts, read 5,013,177 times
Reputation: 1079
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad9110 View Post
I am a native Floridian and moved to Okee. 2 yrs ago and can't wait to leave!
We are use to rural life in (Loxahatchee)which turned city so we decided to move to Okee. which is country. I don't know what you do for work but there is nothing here unless you/family owns a ranch!!! Like someone said it is all cow pastures,trailers and yes lots of hillbillies. Okee. is mostly made up of trailers,pickup trucks and illegal aliens(migrant workers)! My Husband has to drive 1.5 hrs to work on the coast and not to mention the prices of housing and rentals.........wow too much! (we own both so this is based on experience)There is literally nothing to do here,that's why there are so many drugs,so I guess if your independantly wealthy or into lots of drugs come on down

It really is a sweet little town lol
Looks like you didn't do enough research before moving to Okeechobee. It's a completely different community than Loxahatchee. Loxahatchee is located in Palm Beach County and seems to be home to a disproportionately high number of wealthy eccentrics.

As for work, there are the usual number of bankers, merchants, county and city managers and employees, teachers, medical personnel, computer techies, etc. Like most of Florida, construction is also a big employer -- including roofers, electricians, contractors, etc. There is even a stained glass shop where I took some lessons, which doesn't exist in the much larger city of Port St. Lucie, for example. There are few manufacturers; as one would expect in a mostly agricultural county, most of the folks are involved with ranching and citrus. What did you expect?

I'm retired, my wife is a home-health physical therapist, my daughter is a teacher at the high school and my son-in-law is a fireman/paramedic.

There are no hillbillies; no hills! Most of the land outside the city is cow pasture; again, what did you expect in the leading cattle ranching county in Florida? There are a lot of migrant workers, which is what one would expect in a rural area. There are an even larger number of Mexican and Guatamalan permanent resisdents. Most of them are legal immigrants. Some of them may be here illegally; I can't tell by looking at them, but maybe you have some insight I don't have.

We seem to find things to do, and without drugs! In fact, I'm not aware of any drug problem that doesn't exist anywhere else, in fact I'd be amazed if it's as high as Palm Beach County -- the people in Okeechobee don't have that much disposable income, and generally don't waste it on drugs if they do. A lot of activity centers around church, and even more around family and friends. The town closes up early, it's rural, early to bed and early to rise. Most activities are outside in the daytime. Some of us clean up pretty good and manage to bumble our way to the Kravis Center from time to time. There aren't enough people to support something like that in Chobee, again, what did you expect?

Sometimes it looks like it's all trailers. I know that when I first started coming to Chobee, I wondered if anyone had any nice houses. Slowly, I discovered that there are plenty of really nice areas and nice homes, they just tend to be hidden. Wealthy people here tend to drive pickups, wear jeans and not flaunt what they have. That's part of what I like about the place. You better not make any assumptions based on a person's appearance. What did you expect?

The fact that your husband "has" to travel 1.5 hours to work was your choice. Were you not are of the distance when you chose to move to Chobee?
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:03 PM
 
11 posts, read 48,917 times
Reputation: 15
Yes we were aware of what chobee is all about! My GP's had a vacation home here when I was younger and we vacationed here just like you DO now!!! We left Loxahatchee b/c of all the rude northerners(yankees) who turned it into city life and ran the country folk off! You don't need to be rude that's why this is a forum,so people can give "THEIR OPINIONS". We came here with NO expectations (as you keep saying)and NO we are NOT flashy people either as stated(middle class family). All I was trying to do is give an insight being someone who actually lives in Okeechobee! It is still very much the "good ole boy system" here and it's all about who you are and who you know. And yes there are tons of drugs in this town, just read the chobee news And YES there is alot of money here as in the ranchers and YES you know who they are if you live here! The other point I was making is the price of houses and taxes/ins. They are outrageous for the regular person in such a small town unless you want a trailer or are someone with tons of money to blow. Again yes there are some with money but most people here are not high paid atleast not working in the town. To get a decent home you are looking around $250k and up, your taxes will be 1% of your purchase price and insurance is just as expensive! Again this is a forum and these are just my observations and opinons
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Ft. Pierce, FL
265 posts, read 791,212 times
Reputation: 75
Chad, regarding taxes and inflated home costs - that is the entire state of Fla right now.

Take a deep breath......
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:54 PM
 
11 posts, read 48,917 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R. View Post
Chad, regarding taxes and inflated home costs - that is the entire state of Fla right now.

Take a deep breath......

Correct......I just wanted them to be aware that fact to make an educated choice. Just telling them that Okee. is not exempt from that fact just b/c it's small town
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