The self-sufficient lifestyle of these settlers continued until the early twentieth century.
Sailing vessels visited Traders Hill, fewer than ten miles outside the Okefenokee, by the first decade of the nineteenth century, and steamboats regularly traveled the St. Outside of these developments, there was little change in the Okefenokee landscape or livelihood until the railroads reached the rim of the great swamp in the 1860s.
Since 1937 most of the Okefenokee has been a National Wildlife Refuge.
It was designated a National Wilderness Area in 1974.
The Georgia legislature in 1889 authorized Governor John B. The Suwanee Canal Company purchased the property on January 1, 1891.