Indians occupied the Okefenokee during the late Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods of Georgia prehistory. Sand mounds were constructed in the swamp during this period.The major occupations were during the Weeden Island and Savannah periods, around A. Spanish records between 16 refer to Okefenokee as Laguna de Oconi (Lake Oconi).At least two Timucuan villages and Spanish missions were located in or near the swamp between 16.
These pioneers herded cattle, raised hogs, hunted and fished, and cultivated small corn patches and gardens. They occasionally visited Traders Hill or Centre Village, trading hides, jerky, and pelts for salt, ammunition, trinkets, and entertainment.
A few families moved onto islands in the swamp during the 1850s.
The self-sufficient lifestyle of these settlers continued until the early twentieth century.
The Okefenokee Swamp covers nearly 700 square miles, almost all of which is in Georgia.
It has a long history as a wilderness, a public common, and a refuge.
Since 1937 most of the Okefenokee has been a National Wildlife Refuge.
It was designated a National Wilderness Area in 1974.
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.