Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Martin





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MOUNT ELIZABETH MOUND
Location:1707 NE Indian River Drive
County: Martin
City: Jensen Beach
Description: Mount Elizabeth Mound was constructed approximately 4,000 years ago during the Late Archaic Period by Florida bands who selected this site for a ceremonial shell midden-mound. It was occupied 4,000-800 years ago by ancient peoples who first subsisted by hunting large land animals, and then later on a diet of smaller animals and shellfish as they established villages and towns along waterways where fresh water was available. The abundant shells that make up a large part of the mound were harvested from the nearby Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. This site is the southernmost evidence of fiber-tempered pottery along Florida’s east coast. After European contact, these and most Florida natives died of disease or war with Creeks, and their British allies. After Florida was transferred from Spanish to British control in 1763, these remaining Native Floridians were given the option of staying in Florida or going to Cuba. They chose to go to Cuba and boarded a ship in Biscayne Bay in the fall of 1763, thus ending the history of a proud people who had lived here for 5,000 years.
Sponsors: SEAFAS in Memory of Sarah McKeige, Founder, and the Florida Department of State
THE GOLDEN GATE BUILDING
Location:3225 Southeast Dixie Highway
County: Martin
City: Stuart
Description: Side One: Built in 1925 by R. L. Robb Construction Co. for the Golden Gate Development Company, this building is one of Martin County’s most distinctive historical structures. The two-story, trapezoidal building was designed in the Mission/Mediterranean Revival style, and featured interlocking hollow clay tile. The words “GOLDEN GATE” appear in raised stucco on the facade. The elaborate roof line, with clay barrel tiles and decorative brackets, contains a parapet topped with spindles and an inset for a bell. The arched main-entrance doors are flanked by pilasters with composite order capitals. The pilasters support a second story wrought iron balconet. The building originally served as the office for the Golden Gate Development Co. In 1926, the post office for Port Sewall moved in, and when Port Sewall incorporated in 1927, the building became the town hall. Following the dissolution of the Golden Gate Development Company in 1940, the building was sold to the Church of God at Port Sewall. In 1952, it became the residence of renowned artist of Seminole culture James Hutchinson and his family. In 2011, Hutchinson was inducted into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame, and his artwork remains on the walls in the stairwell. Side Two: Ownership of the building again changed several times, and it was vacant after 1959. Under threat of demolition by neglect, the Golden Gate Neighborhood Advisory Committee requested that Martin County purchase the building in 2002. Restoration began shortly thereafter with contributions from Martin County and the Community Development Agency, and historic preservation grant funds from the Florida Department of State. The 2004-2005 stabilization included the installation of interior metal studs for wall support, new trusses, and a new roof. Replacement windows and doors, stucco repairs, and exterior painting were completed in 2007. The Friends of the Historic Golden Gate Community, Inc. was formed in 2008 to support its completion. Martin County leased the building to House of Hope Inc., who managed the interior finishing, and the addition of restrooms and an elevator. They transformed the building into the Golden Gate Enrichment Center. The Golden Gate Building was listed on the Martin County Historic Register in 2006 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. Constructed as a showcase for the Golden Gate development, it continues to serve as an important symbol of the neighborhood.
CAMP MURPHY SITE
Location:JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
County: Martin
City: Hobe Sound
Description: In 1942 the federal government opened Camp Murphy. It was the home of the Southern Signal Corps School during World War II and served as a U.S Army base for instruction in radar operation in the early course of the war. The post was named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Murphy, a pioneer in the development of radio beams and equipment for military aircraft. Camp Murphy consisted of 11,364 acres and accommodated 854 officers and 5,752 enlisted men. The camp had close to 1000 buildings that included a bank, movie theater, church, and bowling alley. Camp Murphy was officially decommissioned in 1944 and used for migrant housing during the fall and winter of 1945. Buildings not already dismantled after the camp’s deactivation were sold and carted away beginning in 1946. On June 9, 1947, the property was transferred from the U.S Government to the State of Florida for a State Park. In 1950 Jonathan Dickinson State Park opened to the public.
Sponsors: THE FRIENDS OF JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
JONATHAN DICKINSON SHIPWRECK
Location:Jonathan Dickinson State Park, at park entrance of
County: Martin
City: Hobe Sound
Description: Three miles to the east on Sept. 23, 1696, the British barkentine Reformation foundered off Jupiter Island. The 24 survivors included a party of Quakers bound from Jamaica to Pennsylvania. Leader of the Quakers was Jonathan Dickinson who described the trials of the group in his book, "God's Protecting Providence", the first account of Indians on the southeast coast. Attacked by Indians and driven northward, the party arrived at St. Augustine in November, 1696.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with Jonathan Dickinson Chapter D.A.R.
JUPITER INDIANTOWN ROAD
Location:Old SR 29 & SR 76 north
County: Martin
City: Stuart
Description: From 1900 until the late 1950s, the Jupiter Indiantown Road connected the communities of Jupiter and Indiantown, giving residents access to resources. Dade County governed the area in 1899, when the new road was cut. In Indiantown about that time, brothers Joe and Dessie Bowers developed citrus groves and ran a trading post exchanging goods for hides with the Seminoles. Transportation of goods on the 16-mile road took two days by oxcart. The road was improved in 1912 using mules to haul shell rock from Jupiter. Around 1916 the St. Lucie Canal intersected the road near Indiantown. A hand winched ferry provided cross passage until a one-lane turning bridge was built in 1927. Homesteads, cattle ranches, and later the Davis and Jenkins sawmill were established along the road. Also known as the Jupiter Grade Road, the Jupiter Okeechobee Road and the Central Dixie Highway, in 1936 it became State Road 29. By the late 1950s nearby paved highways replaced the historic dirt road. In 1993 the road was declared a Scenic By-Way by Martin and Palm Beach Counties.
Sponsors: THE MARTIN COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
STUART WELCOME ARCH
Location:SR 707 between Myrtle & Marion Aves.
County: Martin
City: Stuart
Description: This Mediterranean Revival style monument typical of the pre-Depression Florida Boom was designed by Nat C. Hodgdon of Pfeiffer and O’Reilly Architects, constructed by A. L. Doenges and completed on February 20, 1926. The arch was built to celebrate the creation of Martin County with Stuart as the county seat. This gateway greeted southbound travelers on the “Montreal to Miami” Dixie Highway (formerly A1A) with the bronze-lettered caption, “Stuart - Atlantic Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico,” a reference to the cross-state canal connecting Martin County to Florida’s west coast through Lake Okeechobee. Design and construction of the arch was funded through a Stuart Chamber of Commerce campaign organized by prominent leaders and supported by citizens of the City of Stuart and Jensen Beach. Continuous repair resulting from theft during the Depression, hurricane damage, natural deterioration, and vehicular accidents reflects this landmark’s significance in both the local and countywide communities. The gateway is currently known as the Rio-Jensen Arch, and its restoration is a goal in the Rio Community Redevelopment Plan adopted by Martin County in April, 2001.
Sponsors: THE MARTIN COUNTY COMMISSION AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
TRAPPER NELSON INTERPRETIVE SITE
Location:John Dickenson State Park
County: Martin
City: Hobe Sound
Description: When he arrived from New Jersey in the early 1930s, Vincent Natulkiewicz, also known as Vince “Trapper” Nelson found the area still teeming with wildlife. For decades he lived off the land, supplementing his diet of raccoon, gopher tortoise, and opossum with fruit from his citrus grove. In addition to trapping he made his living by developing a business that he called “Trapper’s Zoo and Jungle Garden.” His docks, cages, cabins and shelters were hand made from pine trees. While he lived there, Trapper introduced hundreds of tourists and local visitors to the river’s mystery and beauty, building the image of Eden in South Florida. Trapper Nelson lived in his camp until his mysterious death in 1968. The Trapper Nelson Interpretive Site is a rare survivor of a formerly common building type, exemplary of a vanished occupation and lifestyle, enhanced by its location in equally rare pristine woodland. Trapper Nelson actively engaged in efforts to preserve the Loxahatchee River and to protect his ownership of large tracts along its banks. Trapper’s estate was sold by his family to a developer. The Florida Park Service acquired the estate through a land swap and maintains and protects the site for future generations to enjoy.
Sponsors: THE JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE