Memoirs of an Everglades Pioneer by Gertrude Petersen Winne, edited by Patricia Winne Adams



Memoirs of an Everglade Pioneer is the story of a courageous woman and her family as they create a new life in the wilds of southern Florida during the 1910’s. Also told are first-hand accounts of the devastation of the hurricanes of 1928 and 1949.

Framed from the perspective of today by her granddaughter, Patricia Winne Adams, who edits this personal account, “Gertie” graphically portrays the details of living near Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades without benefit of conveniences other than her own skills and perseverance.

This is the story of a mother making a life for her children and family on Torry Island in Lake Okeechobee in circumstances of great beauty and personal challenge. It is the story of a southern Florida as it once was and never will be again. It is the story of great love, daily accomplishments, and a life self-made.

The observations and pioneering voice provided in Memoirs of an Everglade Pioneer distinguishes this book as a new and vivid resource for those interested in biography, adventure, and Florida history.

About the Author and Editor

Gertrude Marie Petersen was born on February 7, 1892, in Elliston, Benton Township, Ottawa County, Ohio. She was one of 11 children. Her mother and family emigrated from Germany. On June 10, 1910, she married Ross Wesley Winne, who was born January 22, 1882, in the former town of Nina, Carroll Township, Ottawa County, Ohio. Before leaving Ohio, Ross was a commercial fisherman and hunter (mainly ducks) on Lake Erie. He died on October 30, 1960, at the age of 78 years. Gertrude died June 27, 1972, in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 80.

Patricia Winne Adams was born in Chosen, Florida (now commonly known as Belle Glade) in the home of Ross and Gertrude Winne. Her parents, Herman and Martha were then living in the small house on Torry Island that was built after the 1928 hurricane. Patricia and her husband Jack now live on the western shore of Lake Okeechobee about 40 minutes from her place of birth.

Additional Information

Author Gertrude Petersen Winne edited by Patricia Winne Adams
Published June 2010
Pages 128 pages, soft cover
Publisher Editorial Rx Press
ISBN 978-0-9799274-7-8


  1. Denita Browning

    I really rnjoyed reading memories of an Everglades pioneer. I crave to learn more about our beautiful state and thoroughly enjoyed the way the story was told

    • Deb Whippen

      Thank you for your comments! This truly is an inspirational story….

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