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A Desert... Inn Yeehaw?
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At the crossroads of 3 highways. A small container with room to drop TB's.
A Little History of this Site!
The establishment became part of history during the late 1880's (as far back as we have documentation). The first record owner of the land was the Consolidated Land Co., then the Florida Industrial Co. in 1917. In this period of time this part of Osceola County was probably in Brevard County.
Florida became a state in 1845; however, a large area of the state was submerged. In 1881 a project was begun by Disston in an effort to reclaim land from the southern Orlando area to south of Okeechobee. One of the already existing railroads (1882 in Kissimmee) possibly the Florida East Coast Railway, aided in moving timber in this area. And so depots for water had to be set up and part of the motel was the site of one of the water depots for the old railway trams carrying logs. There was a sawmill at the site... per legend; water stations were necessary in the old days for the trains as gas is today for cars.
Along the way, the Railway became known as Flagler's Florida East Coast Line. A division called Kissimmee Valley consisted of a railroad line called the Okeechobee Line (finished in 1915) running from Maytown (north of Titusville) to Okeechobee. The stations along the line included Yeehaw (3 miles east) as well as Holowpaw, Illahaw, Nitraw, Apoxsoe, Osowaw, Hilo, Efaw and Opal. Today, only Yeehaw which yielded to Yeehaw Junction and Holopaw exist; the turnpike, however, passes nearby to the old depot sites.
Between 1917 and 1930 history was made with the cowboys moving cattle from Kissimmee River, Orlando and places north down to the Indian reservations and places south in which Yeehaw was the only watering hole!!! The Desert Inn patrons at that time included Indians as well as cowboys, business people, moonshiners, traders (trading goods and lumber), and lumber men. Cowboys remember ox teams and Model T's.
n the 1930's Dad Wilson bought the property and fixed it up a little so it was more than a shack. It now had gas pumps, according to stories. Also, from the stories, Dad Wilson was a railroad hobo who was 'kicked off' in Yeehaw... then borrowed lumber from the railroad! Somewhere in this time period, a man named Boree has a going sawmill a stone's throw from the restaurant. Supposedly, Dad Wilson and Boree had several squabbles! Also, this was about the time that roads were paved. Now the patrons included the rural residents and fisherman in addition to the old patrons.
Somewhere in time after Wilson, six other owners existed according to records. In order they are Rerssenzchn, Broce, Bain, Hams, Bain and Kablerer, but no one seems to remember Bain and Hams. Rerssenzchn and Broce were partners per a nephew, and they sold out when they had a big discrepancy. Kabler operated the restaurant in '40-'46 per a relative.
By the time Cheverette purchased the property in 1946, it still had no water or electricity (it took till '78 to have FULL service). Fred had a 450" well put in for the Desert Inn and a generator for the electricity which other locals shared some of this power. Fred also converted open space into rooms upstairs to be used for rentals! Dad Wilson was the first, it is told to have jackasses on his 100 acres (Fred later sold 30 acres to Mr. Geiger. Fred also raised jackasses upon which he capitalized, selling T-Shirts and caps, etc. which the current ownership carries on the tradition and sells the critters (i.e. jackasses).
According to property records of the County for 1936, cabins were here; others say Cheverette built them, but he may have just made them into one unit (motel)?? during the intial Fence Post Law days. In 1986 the place was again sold, this time to the current owners.
The Yeehaw railroad depot in later years was combined into the Yeehaw Juction Intersection for the community. The township was at one point called Crossroads, as well as Desert Inn, Jackass Crossing, and the Crossing. No one is really sure who was responsible for "Yeehaw Junction." So history goes, when Standard Oil wanted to put their station on the map, they neded to call it something and Jackass Crossing was not going to be it, and the Crossing and Desert Inn were out too!. So with the Turnpike in the 50's needing an exit name and Greyhound Bus line needing a "stop" name also, the name "Yeehaw Junction" was popularized, but truckers still hear "Jackasses' Crossing" on their CB's.
This building is now on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORICAL PLACES as of January, 1994!
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Last Updated: on 6/15/2018 12:17:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:17 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum