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. This led to part of the motel site being developed into
one of the water depots for the old railway trams carrying logs.
There was a sawmill at the site... per legend.
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
In 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.
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. We have since tried
to purchase the 30, but owners are obstinate). 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).
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
Juntion" was popularized, but one still hears "Jackasses
Crossing" on the CB's.
Many thanks to all
who helped me write this short synopsis for it was by far not
started here, nor will it end here. We are now on the NATIONAL
REGISTER OF HISTORICAL PLACES as of January, 1994! Once a year
we have an annual old times event. Come on down.