Mosquito Lagoon is a water way the flows parallel the east coast of Florida approximately mid-way down the state boarder. The Lagoon spans across vertically from Ponce De Leon inlet down near the Canaveral national seashores and takes up about 4,740 acres. This much land on such near the coast is bound to have a lot of interesting history.


  •  sunset at Mosquito Lagoon
    sunset at Mosquito Lagoon
  • sunset at Mosquitto Lagoon
    sunset at Mosquitto Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon is a water way the flows parallel the east coast of Florida approximately mid-way down the state boarder. The Lagoon spans across vertically from Ponce De Leon inlet down near the Canaveral national seashores and takes up about 4,740 acres. The water way is saltwater and is famous for its abundance of Red Fish and a prized and rare fish called a “Snook”. Thousands of dollars’ worth of charter fishing trips and scenery tour take place every weekend for tourist and even locals that live in the area. There is also a unique history to this waterway, the history of this lagoon dates back as far as the 1400s from when the Timucuan natives lived in the area. There is also a lot of history in the 1700s from when French explorer and cartographer Jacque Le Moyne de Morgues discovered the lagoon along with how the water way was used later on for smuggling and bootlegging rum and other non-legal goods. Through all this history the lagoon is now a good attraction for tourist and locals for many different reasons.

Native Life in the 1400s

 In the 1400s the eastern hemisphere had still not conquered Florida so there was no land laws and borders yet, so the Timucuan had taken over the area the Mosquito Lagoon before it was ever known about or named. According to “Kayaking Kennedy Space Center” they have found artifacts from the native tribe. The article shows pictures of spear tips that have washed ashore from the age of the natives along with under water burials and native mittens. These are some of the earliest for of civilization that they have found in this area so far.

Europeans discover Mosquito Lagoon

In the 1500s the Europeans had started and continued their explorations and conquering which is also about when “French explorer and cartographer Jacque LeMoyne de Morgues found an Indian village in Mosquito Lagoon and failed to conquer” (Roundtree). This was one of many attempts from the Europeans to conquer land in Florida but there were many more failures along with Jaque LeMoyne de Morgues. The area was later settled in the 1700s.

Prohibition era

Mosquito Lagoon was also useful for bootleggers in the twentieth century according to Angie Sills of “Mosquito Lagoon Estuary”. A bootlegger is someone who illegally makes their own alcohol with an alcohol content over 100 proof in large quantities and then sells their product under the table for an untaxed profit that was undocumented. Bootleggers were mostly popular in the prohibition era when the 18th amendment restricted the act of distilling hard liquor for illegal profits. Sills explain that it was very common for bootleggers from Cuba and Spain to hide from cops in the “shot gunnned” islands that are in Mosquito Lagoon. These shot gunned islands are small pieces of land that are randomly plotted through the water similarly to how a shot gun may leave marks on a target for a shotgun. According to “The History of Florida” by Michael Gannon, Florida had such most coastal shoreline and very extensive bays and inlets it was nearly impossible to enforce the law everywhere. This is a large reason why Florida became a large producer of alcohol during the Prohibition era. Gannon goes on to explain how speed boats and airplanes would come in at night to be disguised in the dark while moonshiners would setup their stills in these maze-like lagoons such as Mosquito Lagoon.

Mosquito Lagoon Today

Today Mosquito Lagoon is great for many things such as fishing the shallow flats for red fish and competition sized Snook, a prized eating fish. It is an economic value for commercial shrimping and fishing. It is also a tourist attraction for tourist that may want to rent their own boat and explore the fairly vast water way with amazing scenery, beautiful flora and even unique fauna such as Florida Mangroves, dolphins, and manatees. For locals it is a popular destination for the casual weekend on the boat or fantastic night and morning fishing. Despite the unattractive name, “Mosquito Lagoon”, that was given to it due to the stagnant water where mosquitos lay their eggs it is a destination for everyone with a unique history dating back to the Timucua and a promising future with the preserved estuaries to keep the beauty from being stripped of the natural water way. Once they found some of the artifacts and remains from Timucua history, Florida government decided to make some parts of the lagoon a national park to help preserve the historic importance of the life that was there before the present population. One of the spots that they decided to make a national park is “The Canaveral National Seashores” which is a section of the coast that is cut off for anyone to explore without pay a fee at a booth the opens to a cleaner beach side and also the river side (Mosquito Lagoon).

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Annotated Bibliography:

Topic: History of Mosquito Lagoon

 

Sills, Angie. “Mosquito Lagoon Estuary: History: Great Diversity of Species.” Mosquito Lagoon Estuary | History | Great Diversity of Species, www.captkarty.com/mosquito-lagoon.php.

This article is mostly an advertisement for a fishing captain but gives a solid history of the area that he mainly fishes to intrigue possible customers. In his history briefing there are a lot of interesting facts about mosquito lagoon in regards of how It used to be used to used for bootlegging whiskey in areas from Cuba and even used by smugglers from Spain. He also explains the random shell islands that are spread through and described them as “shot gunned” which is a fairly common term used through many of the websites.

 

 

Rountree, Bob. “Oak Hill on Mosquito Lagoon: History, Seafood, off-the-Beaten Path.” Florida Rambler, 26 July 2019, www.floridarambler.com/northeast-florida-getaways/oak-hill-goodrich-seafood-seminole-rest/.

In this article, there is a slightly more research-intensive site describing the early history from as

early as the 1500’s when French explorer and cartographer Jacque LeMoyne de Morgues

found an Indian village in mosquito lagoon and failed to conquer. Later on, a European explorer

finally succeeded in the 1700’s. the article also elaborated on the commercial fishing and

shrimping economic wealth that comes out of the lagoon.

 

 

 

“History of the Indian River Lagoon.” Kayaking Kennedy Space Center, www.kayakingksc.com/History-of-the-Indian-River-Lagoon.html.

This article has a very broad and open-ended history lesson on the area that varies in topics such

as the space station that was built there that was the location that the Apollo mission flew

out of. The website also brought up again about the rum runners during the prohibition

times and the orange groves that grow all around. It also shows many pictures of artifacts

that have been recovered in the area from Indians mittens and under water burials.

 

“History of the Indian River Lagoon.” Kayaking Kennedy Space Center, www.kayakingksc.com/History-of-the-Indian-River-Lagoon.html.

This website talks mostly about the preservations of wildlife in the area in present time to keep

the species in the area abundant and far from extinction. It mostly elaborates on the present-day

values and how great it is for site seeing and learning about different species. It is a great outline

for the recreation that usually is present such as fishing jet skiing and site

seeing.

 

The History of Florida, edited by Michael Gannon, University Press of Florida, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/scc-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5399402.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://johns-centralflorida-fishing.blogspot.com/2012/09/mosquito-lagoon-and-indian-river.html

https://royalstockphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/New-Smyrna-Beach-Mosquito-Lagoon-Sunset-at-Fork.jpg