Mystery Revealed! Exact Date of Peck Lake’s Inlet Breakthrough-“Ash Wednesday Storm, 1962”–Indian River Lagoon

Stuart News article dated March 12, 1962 about the Ash Wednesday Storm and the breakthrough inlet at Peck's Lake along the IRL.
Stuart News article dated March 12, 1962 about the Ash Wednesday Storm and the breakthrough inlet at Peck’s Lake along the IRL.

In case you have been reading my blog the past week or so, you may have noticed that the date/s of Peck Lake’s Inlet breakthrough/s, into the Indian River Lagoon, along Jupiter Island, have been in question.

I originally wrote in my blog dated 12/12/14, “1948 and 1960” as the dates of the Peck’s Lake breakthroughs, based on my mother’s book Sewall’s Point, A History of a Peninsular Community of Florida’s Treasure Coast.

After I wrote, my mother contacted me saying that she had learned throughout the years that the date of 1948 and 1960 may be incorrect as she had taken the 1948/1960 dates off the back of historic photos from “The Ruhnke Collection” in her and my father’s history photo archives. Also there was the fact, that some old timers had said that date/s seemed a bit “off…” and that the 1940’s break may have been somewhere else…

Nonetheless, no one remembered the right dates. Time and tides fade all good memories, even at Stuart Heritage! (http://www.stuartheritagemuseum.com)

I am proud to say, due to some “history detective work” on the part of my mother, who yesterday actually went to the Blake Library and looked through the old papers on the microfilm machine, and a lead from a group email of friend, and attorney, Ted Guy, the exact and correct date of the 1960s break has been revealed!

The exact date that Peck’s Lake Inlet broke through in the 1960s was Thursday, March 12, 1962 during the famous “ASH WEDNESDAY STORM of 1962….” (Still working on 1940s date.)

Being raised Episcopalian, when I heard this clue, I had to ask my mother….”Mom, when is Ash Wednesday? ”

She looked at me and immediately spurted out : “Maybe 40 days before Easter….”

“The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 occurred on March 6–8, 1962 along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Also known as the Great March Storm of 1962, it was considered by the U.S. Geological Survey to be one of the most destructive storms ever to affect the mid-Atlantic states. One of the ten worst storms in the United States in the 20th century, it lingered through five high tides over a three-day period, killing 40 people, injuring over 1,000, and causing hundreds of millions in property damage in six states.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_Storm_of_1962)

 

Close up of date on newspaper
Close up of date on newspaper

This was my mother’s final message:

 “Jacqui, because of your interest, we have finally pinned down the date of the article that had the wrong year on it. Your dad found a piece by the county on hurricane damage and it said Peck’s Lake washed through in 1965 as well…”

MYSTERY SOLVED, AND YET ANOTHER DATE REVEALED! 

Thank you to all those who helped uncover this “mystery.” It is important to know as surely Peck’s Lake and other areas of Hutchinson Island and Jupiter Island, our ever changing barrier islands, will break through again. 

Here are the photos of the Peck’s Lake 1962 breakthrough originally displayed , in case you did not see them the first time:

Peck's Lake breakthrough 1962
Peck’s Lake breakthrough 1962 (Photo Ruhnke Collection)
Another angle
Another angle, Peck’s Lake Inlet 1962 (Ruhnke Collection)
Inlet open to IRL
Peck’s Lake Inlet open to IRL, ca. 1962
Another Peck's Lake photo (Ruhnke Collection)
Another Peck’s Lake photo after ACOE filled in, (Photo Ruhnke from Thurlow Archives.)
Filled in
Filled in after breakthrough….

_____________________________________________

Original post with updates on Peck’s Lake, JTL: (https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/12/12/old-photos-jupiter-islands-shorelinepeck-lakes-inlet-along-the-indian-river-lagoon/)

4 thoughts on “Mystery Revealed! Exact Date of Peck Lake’s Inlet Breakthrough-“Ash Wednesday Storm, 1962”–Indian River Lagoon

  1. Good investigation. So blessed to have you and your mom and dad with all this info and history. Love it!!
    Merry Chrustmas – May 2015 be prosperous for you and all of Martin county and our 2 beautiful rivers!!
    Best,
    Becky

    Like

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