In Septermber of 1926 a Category IV Hurricane called the "Great Hurricane of 1926" and also the "Great Miami Hurricane of 1926" struck Florida.  I can identify with absolute certainty only one person in this photo taken in the aftermath of the storm.  Standing directly behind the floating galvinized tin wash tub is my grandmother Mary Lee Haire Davis.  I presume that the small girl beside her is my mother.  The woman on the far left of the photo is probably my grandfather's sister, Liller Mae Davis.  Although the storm made landfall in the Miami vicinity on the Florida East Coast, damage was by no means limited to that vicinity.  This is the storm that broke the dike on Lake Okechobee well inland and drowned an enormous number of people.  This photo was taken in Fort Myers near the Gulf Coast, but as I understand it the storm pushed water from the Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee and into this area which was near Whiskey Creek.  The house grandma and her kids were in was coming apart in the storm, so when the eye passed over she put them, including my mother Pauline Davis, then 10 years old, into the wash tub and floated them across a field to another house.  That would not have been necessary or even possible had the water not been much deeper than when this photo was taken after the storm had passed.

Richard White
Tallahassee, Florida
Created 22 July 2003
Expanded 25 October 2006