The “Vertex of Lake Okeechobee” and It’s Effect on the Indian River Lagoon

Five county property lines within Lake Okeechobee
There are five county property lines within Lake Okeechobee;  the vertex is where all lines meet-Glades, Henry, Palm Beach, Martin and Okeechobee.

My parents live in Indianlucie, in Sewall’s Point. Since I was a kid there has has been a sign in the back yard that says “Dade County.”

In the late 1800s what we know today as “Martin County” was Dade, later becoming Palm Beach and  finally, piecing together northern Palm Beach and southern St Lucie,  in 1925,  Martin County.

Palm Beach County had always had more power, and they still do. In the early 1920s the people living in northern Palm Beach County got tired of being shortchanged on services  and convinced Governor Martin to support a county named for him, and Martin County was born.

In spite of the name, Lake Okeechobee of course alway bordered the county east of it, and Palm Beach had “always” used the land of the lake to maximize the state distribution of highway funds.

That was until state representative of Martin County, William Ralph Scott of Stuart, initiated a bill to divide the lake among its adjacent counties, “creating a more equitable distribution of state funds for road creation and maintenance so that the lake was shared with all five counties along its boarders,” and thus the property lines of the lake were changed in 1963. (see MicroSoft map above.)

William Scott

It’s no surprise that all bordering counties confirmed the “justice” of this change and supported its ratification, with the exception of Palm Beach County!

As we continue fight over water in the future, it will be interesting to see if Representative Scott’s vertex can help the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River with an ironic new vortex, whose lines are coming together, named the “Water Wars…”

4 thoughts on “The “Vertex of Lake Okeechobee” and It’s Effect on the Indian River Lagoon

  1. Jacqui,

    I knew and worked with Bill Scott. Portia, his daughter, is now a lawyer in Martin County.

    W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

    643 SW Fuge Rd

    Stuart, Fl 34997

    (772) 287-4106 (home)

    (772) 485-1866 (cell/car)

  2. Did you really? ! That is so cool. I know Portia from my youth and of course she is married to Mayor Troy McDonald. I would love to hear Mr Scott’s stories of those days….(: Neat you know him.

Leave a Reply