Ritta Island

I visited Ritta Island, located in Palm Beach County, on 8/14/2016.

According to the Ghosttown website,

Ritta Island’s first residents arrived around 1909. In 1917, the U. S. Government surveyed all the Okeechobee islands and declared them open for homesteading. Early settlers include John Windham, Mays Thomas, and Captain Ed Forbes, who ran the mail boat to the Ritta Island Post Office. The land was originally covered by custard apple trees which had to be cleared before anything could be planted. Corn, onions, and green beans were the main crops, and there was one mule on the island to help plow the fields. Continued heavy rains in 1922, completely flooded Ritta Island and most of the mainland around the Lake. The entire island was under more than a foot of water, ruining most of the crops and infesting the area with water moccasins. Following the flood, most of the residents moved away. The final end came in 1928 when the hurricane washed away all the buildings on Ritta Island. By Jim Pike


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