Hamp Mizell & Suwannee Lake, Ware County

As a boy fascinated by occasional visits to the Okefenokee Swamp, I was in awe of the name Hamp Mizell (1884-1948). Dr. Delma Presley told stories of his legendary two-mile swamp holler in Okefinokee Album [this recording is of another famous swamp family, the Chessers].  Coincidentally, I knew his daughter Montine Mizell Mathhews, whose husband Harold worked with my father on the railroad, but did not know at the time that she was a Mizell. I regret missing the opportunity to talk about her father with her.

It was wonderful to visit Suwannee Lake, on the edge of the great swamp, since it has always been associated with Mr. Mizell. It’s not a big fishing hole, but nonetheless revered by fishermen in the know. Judging from satellite images, I believe it’s an oxbow of Suwannee Creek which runs from the west into the swamp. A. S. McQueen noted in his History of Okefenokee Swamp, 1932: [Mizell] is the owner of the beautiful Suwannee Lake, on the north side of the Okefenokee Swamp, one of the most famous fishing places in Georgia. A record was kept of the fish caught in this lake, and one season, 41,618 fish were caught by the hook and line method. During one day 35 fishermen caught 1,471 fish by actual count.



6 thoughts on “Hamp Mizell & Suwannee Lake, Ware County

  1. Pingback: Mathews Glen, 1895, Fitzgerald | Vanishing Georgia: Photographs by Brian Brown

  2. Monteen McCord

    That clip of the ‘Swamp Hollering’ was incredible! My mother got a job working on the railroad in the swamp when she was only 16. (Edna Maxine Johnson of Quitman, GA 1928-2005) She said to stay awake overnight, she would go out and walk the tracks. Heard bobcats and all sorts of weird noises…could have been swamp hollerin’!

  3. Marty Barnes

    I just had to say that I have so enjoyed the photos that have been shown
    in the last weeks. How nice to have these buildings remembered via your
    excellent photos and commentaries.

  4. Jackie Bennett

    Back in the 70’s I would come home on leave and we would go jack jumping at Hamp Mizell. We stopped one time at the old house pictured and an older gentleman told us we found our way in and could find our way out. Back then all the dirt roads were named. Some of the names were. Seldom Seen, another one was Never Heard Of. Once we followed roads just to see where we would come out and we actually came out on 441 close to the fire tower. We had a lot of fun fishing the creeks and lakes. There is a big concrete bridge out there and don’t know when it was built. Never saw a date on it to indicate when it was built.


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