Obediah’s Okefenok




Obediah’s Okefenok

A homestead representing the frontier agricultural lifestyle maintained by an early settler at a time when industry and commercial growth was a concern. The park also displays zoological and biological knowledge obtained by this great swamper. He knew every plant and animal by name, sometimes only by given “swamp names.” Serving as an educational reminder that every living thing has a place on earth, even the strangest of swamp creatures, the employees of Obediah’s Okefenok share a respect for these animals and their habitats as shown and demonstrated throughout the exhibits therein.

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Additional Info & Links

Historic Downtown Walking Tour Brochure

 

Historical Information

The Homestead

Obediah’s Okefenok began in 1989 after the restoration of the 127 year old cabin built by swamp legend, Henry Obediah Barber. Named Obediah’s Okefenok by the property owner, to simply imply that Obediah would have called his home “Okefenok” (‘ok fi’ nok) instead of “Okefenokee”, because swampers often left out extra syllables as they spoke the territorial slang.

peacock US tourismThe log home is the oldest swamp settler’s home to remain in and around the swamp, constructed by the hands of a renowned farmer, hunter and explorer. Obediah lived on the northwestern rim of the Okefenokee, and was a larger-than-life character at 6½ feet tall. He served as guide for surveying parties exploring and mapping the swamp in 1857, 1875 and 1890. By the 1890′s his reputation and knowledge had made him a living legend. A centerpiece of this historical park now known as Obediah’s Okefenok, the cabin is located 7½ miles south from downtown Waycross, Georgia, on Swamp Road.

 

Explore many different avenues while touring the park. Over 20 structures are included in the outline of the homestead. Two museums and more than 55 animal species are on exhibit here.

Critter Center & Reptile House

Gift Shoppe

Southern Showcase Stage

1870s Historic Log

Cabin & Kitchen

Furnace Shed & Syrup Boiler

Hog Gallows

Original Two Seater Outhouse

Potato House

Smoke House

Grist Mill

Blacksmith Shop

R/R Exhibit

Livestock Barn

Picnic Area

Wagon Barn & Farm Equipment

Cotton & Cypress Shingle display

Turpentine Exhibit

3D Melton Museum & Antiques

Corn Cribb

Over 1400 ft of Boardwalks

Wild Animals & Wildlife Exhibits

Champion Pecan Tree

Moonshine Still

Sugar Cane Mill

Family Pavillion

SE Native American Exhibit
(circa 1780-1820)

1 mile Nature Trail
& Wildlife Refuge

The Regional Visitor Information Center located in Downtown Waycross, Georgia can help you find your adventure! Stop by and see us, pick up a map, brochures, flyers, books, information and so much more. Whether you are staying overnight or just traveling through, Waycross will be a place to remember.

The Okefenokee Heritage Center is a regional art and history museum located amongst twenty acres of beautiful pine woodlands. Over the past thirty years it has served the surrounding Okefenokee area by promoting an appreciation of the arts and an increased understanding of this region’s history. with its exhibits, programs and activities.

Southern Forest World is a museum dedicated to the history of forestry. There are many interesting artifacts. Southern Forest World has “Stuckie” the petrified dog (He’s also been on display at Ripley’s Believe It of Not).
If you are interested in Forestry this is the place for you! If you’d like to see a petrified dog then this is a MUST!

The Okefenokee Swamp Park can be found at the northern tip of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. This locally owned and operated park is filled with adventure for all ages. Boat tours, train tours, and “Eye on Nature” shows are all part of the daily schedule.

Laura S. Walker State Park is located just a few miles from the Okefenokee Swamp Park. Fishing and watersports are popular during the summer in the park’s 120-acre lake, while camping is popular year-round. Laura Walker also provides a beautiful layout of picnic areas and group shelters that are great for family outings.

The Lakes Golf Course at Laura S. Walker State Park features an eighteen-hole course, a full-service golf shop and campsites or hotel accommodations for extended stays. The course inherits the natural beauty that glorifies the park area, and is further enhanced by three beautiful lakes.

Obediah’s Okefenok is the 1800s pioneer homestead of Obediah Barber. Since 1989, this homestead has been restored and turned into a park, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can venture down the 1100-ft. boardwalk, walk the nature trails, or just stroll through the many buildings and museums.

As you explore our downtown, note the many examples of period architecture that give this area its character. Even though some buildings are getting a face lift, others remain towering testaments to Waycross’ close proximity to Florida and its Spanish Influence. This Spanish Mission style architecture is reflected in stucco finishes, stylized gables, and clay tile roofs.

The Historic Passenger Rail Depot is an ideal place in Waycross to see trains lumbering through town, but rail fans will also want to get a glimpse of Rice Yard, named for former Atlantic Coast Line Chairman Thomas Rice in 1978, which is the largest of nine classification yards on the CSX Transportation Railroad network.

The crown jewel of the Ware County Recreation Department, the 123-acre facility features three complexes within walking distance of each other, and surrounded by ample parking. Building on the Trembling Earth Sports Complex
began in the early 2000s and has been completed in stages as funds became available. Your team is sure to appreciate the 12 tournament quality fields for play: the youth baseball complex with its six fields; the adult softball
complex, with four fields; one full-sized football field; and one multi-purpose soccer field.

A dream in the hearts of many post-World War II Ware County citizens, Memorial Stadium became a reality in 1948, dedicated to the many Ware County women and men who gave their lives in defense of their county in two world wars. Until 2002, Memorial Stadium was the hub of Waycross’ community life, drawing its citizens to regular minor-league baseball games, where major-leaguers such as Hank Aaron and Stan Musial would disembark from their train trips to make cameo appearances on the field.