Some History on the Chickee

Seminole Indians gathered under a chickee

Seminole Indians gathered under a chickee

“Chickee” is the word Seminoles use for “house.”  The first Seminoles to live in North Florida are known to have constructed log cabin-type homes, some two stories tall, with sleeping quarters upstairs.  The chickee style of architecture – palmetto thatch over a cypress log frame – was born during 3669333433_d791d04913the early 1800s when Seminole Indians, pursued by U.S. troops, needed fast, disposable shelter while on the run.  Though indigenous peoples in other parts of North and South America have developed similar dwellings, it is generally agreed that the Seminole Indian technique and product are far superior.  So popular, efficient and functional is the chickee that such Seminole architecture can be seen all over South Florida.  The chickee structure should last about ten years and needs to be re-thatched every five years.  Several Seminole Tribal members make a living building custom chickees for both commercial and private interests.

*Thank you to homeowner and property manager, Sarah Rapp, with Beach Vacation 4 Me, for contributing this article.


They’re not Chickee’s, but has some great beach vacation rental properties in Florida…click HERE to browse our inventory.


3 thoughts on “Some History on the Chickee

  1. Here is California we don’t have a lot of the kind of “beach architecture”. Here we go from wood-burning fires in cabins along the dramatic north coast to windowed “Hollywood” view homes as you go south.

    This reminds me of the kinds of structures you find in tropical climates – all round the world!

    If I had it my way, I’d have a home on the west AND east coast and simply travel between the two! Nice bit of information on the Seminoles as well!

  2. My family and I love Panama City Beach. We usually stay at Dunes of Panama because we love the quiet end of the beach. We were thinking about trying something different this year…. like renting a house instead of the condo. Looking for a bargain of course (isn’t everyone?!) There will be 7 people: Mom and Dad, 20 yr old son and his 18 yr old girlfriend, a 16 yr old daughter, 14 yr old son, and 10 yr old daughter. We really like being right on the ocean, and would prefer a house with a game room and pool, but we are still trying to decide if we want to really do this, or stick with what we are comfortable with (a condo at Dunes of Panama.) Any suggestions, email me at

  3. Hi Rita – Thank you for your comment! There are many perks to renting a beach house – privacy, convenience, and saving money! Here is a link to view all of our listings in Panama City:

    There is a “Make Rental Inquiry” button on each property listing page where you can make a rental inquiry directly with the homeowner, since they will be the person that is the most knowledgeable on their specific property.

    I hope this helps – Please let us know if you have any other questions!