The Seminole village model (below) depicts a typical Seminole village of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries consisting of several “chickees”, open huts with thatched palmetto roof and raised floors. Different chickees had different functions; some served as living quarters, others as sleeping space or cooking areas. They were dry and naturally air conditioned with an above ground platform and abundant ventilation.
Hunting, fishing, and gathering provided much of the food consumed by the Seminoles. Small gardens and domestic animals were kept at the villages. Cooking was done on an open fire with logs radiating from the center like spokes of a wheel. The temperature was controlled by pushing the logs into the fire or pulling them away.
“In 1893, Frank Stranahan had established his trading post called Stranahan Camp. The Seminoles came to the trading post from the Everglades to bring their skins and furs, and with them came their families and most of their worldly possessions to remain here about two weeks. The surrounding area would be literally covered with Indian campers, chickens, pigs and dogs. The Seminoles far outnumbered the Whites, they were not hostile but shy of strangers.” Ivy Cromartie Stranahan (Stranahan Manuscript Collection)
“New River was one of the Indian highways; one of the most navigable streams, to his Everglade hide-way.” Ivy Cromartie Stranahan (Stranahan Manuscript Collection)