Time Capsule Flight, USCG Stations at Ft Pierce and Lake Worth, “Then and Now,” SLR/IRL

Google Earth image with historic photo overlay, USCG Ft Pierce, Fl. Taken from Todd Thurlow's Time Capsule Flight THEN AND NOW.
Google Earth image with historic photo overlay, USCG Ft Pierce, Fl. Taken from Todd Thurlow’s Time Capsule Flight.


It’s fun when a blog blossoms into more!

My recent post of the historic US Coast Guard station in Ft Piece was one such post…Thank you for the many wonderful comments and insights.  Also, Dr Edie Widder is going to have the historic photos printed and hung at ORCA, located in the building itself. Talk about full circle!

As a follow-up, my brother Todd created a “time capsule flight” of the Ft Pierce USCG Station and the Lake Worth station using the historic photos shared by Tim Dring, President of the U. S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. Mr Dring had recently shared the photos (discovered in the National Archives) with my mother as she is writing a book on the subject.

My brother’s time capsule flight will take you from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon  proper to the  Ft Pierce Coast Guard Station, and then jet-off to Peanut Island’s Lake Worth USCG Station. It is wild to see the what our area looked like undeveloped. I have to say although they are invasive, I miss the tall Australian Pine Trees. I can still hear them blowing in the Trade Winds. Such a romantic time it was….Have fun. Wear your seatbelt and don’t lean too far out of the Cub!

My mother, Sandy Thurlow, flying in the cub with Ed. 2014. Go Pro photo.
My mother, Sandy Thurlow, taking photos and flying in the cub with my husband Ed, 2014. (Go-Pro photo.)







Also I am going to include a “funny story” about the “boys of the USCG” in Ft Pierce during WWII sent to me by family friend Stan Field, whose pen name is Anthony Stevens.

Hi there, Jacqui [cheery wave]

I just read your post about ORCA and the old CG station and thought I would share this tale with you. My mother, Emmy, shared this family legend many times. She was a teenager during WWII.

A true story about telephone Operations during WWII.

My mother and her friends, worked as telephone operators during most of the war. In those days, that involved a headphone and a bank of ¼” phone jacks with cables and plugs. There were no automatic dialing systems. Every call was placed manually via party lines with anywhere from four to a dozen phones on each line. Now Emmy and her fellow operators were usually pretty bored and would stay ‘on the line’ when there were military conversations.
One night, a very young and very ‘cool’ fellow that everyone loved for his sense of humor, was stationed at the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge. A call came into Emmy’s switchboard and she was asked to patch in to the House lookout station. Now all of the watchtowers along Hutchinson Island were on the same party line. When it rang, everybody picked up. The person on the other end asked for the station they wanted and that station would respond. Normally, as soon as you realized it wasn’t for you, you would hang up.
This night, the caller asked for the watch on duty at the House of Refuge. The young man’s reply was loud and clear… “Gilbert’s Bar! Wine, women and song, all night long!”
There was a dead silence on the line for several seconds and the caller asked in a cold voice… “Do you know who this is, son?”
“No sir.”
“This is the Captain of the Coast Guard Base in Fort Piece.”
Without missing a beat… “Do you know who THIS is, Sir?”
“THANK GOD!” And he hung up.
The sound of loud laughter flowed from a dozen headsets that were listening and the Captain hung up in fury.
The next day, the Captain passed the word that the person who answered had better confess or the entire post would lose liberty the following weekend. Even though everybody on watch that night knew who it was, NOBODY stepped forward and they all were restricted to barracks that weekend. Needless to say, the young man was a model sailor for the rest of the war… and he owed each of his buddies a great deal.

Stan Field, aka Anthony Stevens

Anthony Stevens
Tales for the 21st Century!

Ft Pierce USCG station. National Archives.
Ft Pierce USCG station ca. 1930/40s. National Archives. Tim Dring via Sandra Thurlow.
Lake Worth USCG Station 1951. National Archives.
Lake Worth USCG Station 1951, Peanut Island, National Archives. Tim Dring via Sandra Thurlow.

HISTORY:  US Coast Guard Stations across the nation, organization and location: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_the_United_States_Coast_Guard#Regional_responsibilities)

My blog post from 8-26-15 “Ready, Responsive and Resolute for the IRL:”(http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/08/26/ready-responsive-and-resolute-for-our-indian-river-lagoon-uscg-and-orca/)

Video creator: Todd Thurlow (http://www.thurlowpa.com)

13 thoughts on “Time Capsule Flight, USCG Stations at Ft Pierce and Lake Worth, “Then and Now,” SLR/IRL

  1. Thanks, Jacqui! I’m familiar with both stations, having counseled or represented a few Coasties from Ft. Pierce and later the current long term lease holder of the Peanut Island station and the Kennedy Bunker next door to it.

    I’m also familiar with the old manual switchboard and party line system. Our telephone number was 370 in Cooperstown, N.Y. during the war. You simply lifted the handset and told the operator who you wanted to talk to! She would often listen in to the call. And anyone else on the same party line could also.

    I also remember the volunteer civil defense marshals who would come by at night to make sure your blackout shades were down. One time I got chewed out by one of them for lifting the shade in my bathroom to look out when the air raid sirens sounded for a drill. I was about six years old. The sirens were scary and did double duty which roused out the volunteer fire department for fires.

    And, helping my mother harvest the veggies in our V-garden.

    Those were the days, my friends!

    W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

    643 SW Fuge Rd

    Stuart, Fl 34997

    (772) 287-4106 (home)

    (772) 485-1866 (cell/car)


  2. Jacqui, Just spent Sunday night at Ed Ball’s beautiful creation, the “Lodge at Wakulla Springs.” (Your mom can tell you about this Florida land baron). Any way, many years ago, I had visited Wakulla Springs as a young teenager in 1949. A gorgeous pristine area, now somewhat civilized with swimming floats, diving boards and a half dozen sight-seeing boats to cruise the springs and its surrounding area. On my original visit, one could swim out from the beach and look down 150 feet and see the outlet of the spring in crystal clear water. NOT ANY MORE. As I boarded the sightseeing boat I allowed to the captain that I was expecting a glass bottom boat. He advised, “Not any more. The water is too dark to see the bottom.” “Horrors!” I thought. He explained that over the years, with the expanding population for many miles around the area, farm runoff, commercial runoff, septic tanks, etc., have all drained into the aquafirer, which eventually merges with the underground springs, and has tainted the water so it is no longer crystal clear as it emerges into Wakulla Springs. YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN.

    1. This is such a sad situation. This story is completely representative of what has gone wrong in our state. A story that must be told everywhere. Thank you so much for sharing this. I hope to learn more. I will ask my mother….Thank you Nick.

  3. When I worked on Ft. Lenoardwood army base I lived in a small town nearby called waynsville (Missouri). There was a medium sized spring nearby and it was clear most of the time. When we would have heavy rains for a week or more the water would go down to fast for the sand to filter it. The result was dirty water. Most of the time the water was crystal clear and almost blueish in color. Perhaps if you went back to Waculla durring the dry season. I agree this story IS completely representative of what has gone wrong in our state. Blameing the farmers and blameing the septic tanks etc. Last year 5 millions gallons of sewage overflowed into Turkey Creek yet at yesterdays water quality meeting they were blameing dogs poop ,rubber from tires etc. –nothing said about the sewage

  4. I loved this spring. In the summer I would spend many days in its water with my facemask. Allways ending the day with big pot of gooood eating crawfish. The secret was to go down stream until the water temp was just right. Many times when I turned over rocks looking for crawdads I would surprise a totally stuned big warmouth pearch. The water was so clear it made them vulnerable so they would hide. One time I heard the unmistakeable sound of a really POed bear and a small deer jumped out in the stream just in front of me. I don’t know which one of us ran faster.

  5. If water is dirty year around it might be proof of something I new had to be happening but had no way to prove. People pumping water hard(exspecially in the dry season) are making water go down to fast for sand to filter it . The result is they are loseing their top soil and contaminating the aquifer!!! I think an above ground containment pond could be made to keep pressure on the aquifer and allow water to seep down slowly.

  6. I guess sometimes you have to place the blame on people but only to find the solution to real problems

  7. I have a WWII story about the Ft. Pierce lookout station. In old photos of the South Beach near the jetties is a lookout station that looks like a lifeguard tower. Besides doing beach patrol and walking the beach, time was also spent with binoculars by Coast Guard members up in that tower. On night early on in the war my uncle was so employed. He began to idly scan the shore and saw a couple that were very busy and who had no idea that anyone was watching them. My uncle had a very good view and then began scanning the seas again.

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