We have heard, and have embellished, ourselves, the story of Cebe Tate, the unfortunate homesteader after whom Tate’s Hell is named.
There was a Cebe Tate. He may have been 45 years old when he encountered his fate.
The year of his encounter with the swamps of what is now known as Tate’s Hell was 1875.
He was raising livestock, some say pigs, and was in pursuit of a panther which had gotten to his livestock. He carried his shotgun and had his dog (s) when he went into the swamp near his home.
There is much variation about the swamp conditions, but depending on time of year (some say spring), he could have been plagued by biting insects, heat and humidity, water moccasins (see photo of cotton mouth, water moccasin above), and lack of good water to drink.
When he left the swamps 7 days later near Carrabelle, he was without gun or dog(s).
One source says he was 25 miles away from his home when he exited the swamp.
There seems to be some consistency in the phrase for which Tate’s Hell is named: “My name is Cebe Tate. And I’ve been through hell.”