The Apalachee villages were home to the Apalachee Indians from at least 1000 A.D. until about 1704. They were located in northwest Florida, between the Aucilla River, the Ochlocknee River, the Georgia state line and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Apalachee Indians were a farming community and other Indian tribes considered them wealthy and fierce warriors. They were a chiefdom with dispersed villages, however the villages themselves were densely populated with between 50,000 and 60,000 residents. The villages had large ceremonial mounds, some with structures on top. Experts believe the largest mound in each village was the home of the chief. Lake Jackson was the Apalachee capital in late prehistoric times.
The Spanish explorers first made contact with the Apalachee Indians in 1528. Hernando De Soto arrived in Apalachee territory in 1539, and he spent the winter there. The Spanish explorers were under constant attack from the Apalachee tribes. In 1633, after battling the Spaniards and the diseases brought with them, the Apalachee began to convert to Catholicism and integrate into Spanish population. The first Spanish mission, San Luis, was established in 1633.
The British began to move into the territory in the 1700s and, along with their Creek allies, attacked the Spanish settlements. San Luis Mission was burned and abandoned in 1704. Most of the Apalachees moved into French-controlled Mobile and later settled in Louisiana. Louisiana is home to about 300 descendants of the Apalachee Tribe.