“X Marks the Spot,” The Connection Point of the C-44 Canal/South Fork of the St Lucie River

Aerial of C-44 and its connection to the South Fork of the St Lucie River, in today's Martin County. ca. 1920s.  (Courtesy of Thurlow Archives.)
Aerial of C-44 canal looking towards its connection to the South Fork of the St Lucie River, in today’s Martin County. ca. 1920s. (Courtesy of Thurlow Archives.)

Over time, some of the most obvious things become forgotten…such was it for me with the original connection point of the C-44, or “St Lucie Canal,” and the South Fork of the St Lucie River.

I have actually written about this before, but I came across the survey maps that really proves the point so I will share today….

Florida’s early flood districts and soon after, the Army Corp of Engineers, ACOE, were tasks by the state of Florida and the people to build the St Lucie Canal which came to be known as the C-44 canal.  Today, this canal, that connects lake Okeechobee to the St Lucie River is one of, if not the greatest overall contributor, to the death of the St Lucie River that at its “end” blends together with  the southern Indian River Lagoon. (See DEP link at end of this blog.)

Another aerial, ca 1920s, looking at the connection of C-44 and South Fork. (Thurlow Archives.)
Another aerial, ca 1920s, looking at the connection of C-44 and South Fork. (Thurlow Archives.)
Aerial  Thurlow Archives.
Aerial looking west along St Lucie Canal/C-44 and south fork of St Lucie River at “connection.” Thurlow Archives

After coming across some of my old, filed information lately, I stumbled upon this question of location that I was particularly interested in about five years ago. With the help of Sandra Thurlow, my mother, a historian, and famed surveyor  founder–GCY, Chappy Young, “X-marks the spot” was finally really identified.

Mr Young’s survey map below shows the location. The easiest way for me to “see” it, is to note the almost figure 8 shape in the South Fork at the bottom of this survey sheet which is the same one in the photo above. So the location is northeast of this area close to where Four Rivers subdivision is located today.

I think it would be a good idea if the county put a sign up. Don’t you?

What is really weird to me is how “perfectly” the canal blends into the beautiful swerving South Fork. As so many things in life, It is not easy to see where one stops and the other starts….

Mr Young's survey map shows the location where the canal intersected the south fork of the St Lucie River. (Chappy Young,GCY.)
Mr Young’s survey map shows the location where the canal intersected the south fork of the St Lucie River. (Chappy Young,GCY.)
This Google map shows location with the purple pin.
This Google map shows location with the purple pin.
Very close up.
Very close up.
Another map from Mr Young identifying location.
Another map from Mr Young identifying location.
Wider view to see location on Google maps.
Wider view to see location on Google maps.
Another...
Another…

History of the C-44 canal DEP: (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/ecosum/ecosums/C-44%20Canal%20.pdf) 

4 thoughts on ““X Marks the Spot,” The Connection Point of the C-44 Canal/South Fork of the St Lucie River

  1. Wow. There has been a lot of development a long the river too. I love old pictures like this. They are so important for history. I wonder what the population was when they cut the canal in? I wonder if there had been more people they would have had more objection to putting in the canal in the first place? There is power in numbers. Keep standing up for clean water.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In 1923 not many people lived here…I would think fewer that 1000 but not sure. I will ask. The local chamber actually lobbied for the canal thinking it would bring business. Little did they know it would destroy it. Thanks so much for you comment! 🙂

    Like

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