Hendry County is a special place. It is located in one of the most unique ecosystems in the world, and yet it draws -- it does not shrink from -- its sense of place.
Beautiful sunsets against lakes and rivers impress on a daily basis, the opportunities to enjoy nature's offerings are nearly limitless, and the sense of community here drives a flourishing, growing community.
LaBelle, the county seat, has a rich pioneer history and a strong sense of community. While visitors sometimes think the name simply means “the beautiful” in French, the city was actually named for the daughters of pioneer cattleman Francis Asbury Hendry, Laura and Carrie Belle.
LaBelle honors its pioneer history with the annual Swamp Cabbage Festival held each year during the last full weekend in February. “Swamp cabbage” sometimes known as “hearts of palm” was a staple in the pioneer diet. Visitors to the festival enjoy the shade of majestic live oak trees in Barron Park, on the bank of the Caloosahatchee River. Live oak trees are abundant throughout this “city of oaks,” providing welcome shade as well as natural beauty.
LaBelle is also known for citrus groves and citrus processing plants.
The Caloosa Belle, LaBelle’s hometown newspaper in 1922, began as the “Caloosahatchee Current,” to help bring about the establishment of Hendry County. In 1923 Hendry County was carved from the eastern side of Lee County. The Caloosa Belle print edition is published weekly for free distribution in the LaBelle area. The online digital edition is updated daily.