Tag Archives: aerial photos

“Marvista” and “Lagunita” of Willoughby Creek, Today and Yesterday….SLR/IRL

Willoughby Creek
Willoughby Creek in Stuart, Martin County 1949. Photo courtesy of Sandra H. Thurlow.

Today I will share an historic aerial photo along Willoughby Creek together with a brief history lesson by my mother. Following, there are recent Google Map photos to compare…Stuart is still “paradise,” but sometimes I wish I were born 100 years ago. ūüôā

“Jacqui, I came across this in my computer and thought it might be interesting for you to see. The date is Feb. 26, 1949. You can see Marvista… I think the house in the middle is the one that became Lee Rasch‚Äôs home. Patty Irons Child‚Äôs mother, Marge Irons was Lee‚Äôs second wife. The house at right was originally ‚ÄúLagunita‚ÄĚ built by Hugh Willoughby, Sr. (There is a big write-up on it on page 158 of the History of Martin County.) It later became a small hotel-like place call ‚ÄúInlet Tides.‚ÄĚ Both of the structures on the right side have been demolished… I am sure you know that Marvista was built by Hugh Willoughby, Jr. in 1924-25.”

—-Sandra Henderson Thurlow, Historian

 

You may have to “look” a bit, but if you do you will find Marvista and Lagunita today.

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…2016
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…2016 Blue dot is my home in Sewall’s Point not Willoughby Creek area. The islands that housed Marvista and Lagunita are near the left upper part of the upside side down triangle in the area of Hell’s Gate.

 

Few Houses but a “Good Game of Golf,” Sunrise Inn, Historic Stuart, Florida, SLR/IRL

Today we look back in history….but you have to look….

These historic photographs are marked “Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc.”

According to Mr. John H. Canada, president, Ocean Naval Architects, the year was 1925. You may recognize one of the images as it was used in a former blog post discussing the piled up sand of the C-44 canal. From 1915 to 1925 the government was connecting the canal from Lake Okeechobee to the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.  A big mistake!

These photos below were originally sent to my mother, historian, Sandra Thurlow, by Mr John Whiticar. In their discussion, it is noted that one can see farming where Indian River Plantation is today (The Marriott); one cannot see an Intercostal¬†Waterway–no spoil islands off Sewall’s Point; there was no development on Rocky Point; and most interesting for me, looking at the photo this time: today’s¬†Martin County Golf Course, part of yesteryear’s “Sunrise Inn,” sits right there “in the middle of no where” in 1925. Those were the days!

“By 1923, plans for a new 18-hole golf course with water hazards, tennis courts and clubhouse to be built as part of the newly organized St. Lucie Golf Club and Tennis Court Club.” —-Historic Vignette: Sunrise Inn by Alice Luckhardt:(http://www.tcpalm.com/yournews/martin-county/historical-vignettes-the-sunrise-inn-at-beautiful-port-sewall-ep-381473119-342810492.html)

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Blue vs. Brown–More Contrasting Photos, 2013/2015 St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Atlantic shoreline just south of St Lucie Inlet contrasted 6-20-18 and 9-8-15. Dark waters reflect discharges from Lake Okeechobee and area canals  C-23; C-24, and C-44. (Photos Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Ed Lippisch)
Atlantic shoreline just south of St Lucie Inlet along Jupiter Island contrasting 6-20-15 clear waters to of 9-8-13’s dark waters. Dark waters reflect discharges from Lake Okeechobee and area canals C-23; C-24, and C-44. Blue waters reflect “no rain” and no dumping for one month from the ACOE and SFWMD. (Photos Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Ed Lippisch)

Monday’s blog contrasting the beautiful, blue-waters of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon this summer in 2015, ¬†to the silty, dark-brown waters of the “Lost Summer” of 2013 was well received, ¬†so today will post some more photos of this “contrast.”

My husband, Ed, encouraged me to do more framed contrast photos; however, time does not permit so there is just one “framed” photo above and the rest will be separate photos. I will try to do more framed ones in the future.

Also, although Ed and I have taken thousands of photographs, they do not always “match up” in location so the visual perspectives are not “exact.” My goal while in the plane is simply to hold on to the camera, hoping it does not fall into the river. It is always very windy in the open Cub. Getting a good photo is just secondary! I mostly just use my iPhone.

Well, a picture speaks a thousand words….” so I’m not going to “say” anything else…All photos are contrasting June 20th 2015 with either August 11th or September 8th of 2013.

Thank God we having a beautiful summer!

Bo and Baron, our dogs, sitting by the Cub Legend, the plane used for most of the photographs. (JTL) In 2013 it was christened the "River Warrior" plane. :)
Bo and Baron, our dogs, sitting by the Cub Legend, the plane used for most of the photographs. (JTL) In 2013 it was christened the “River Warrior” plane. ūüôā
St Lucie Inlet looking west towards Stuart, Sailfish Point barely visible on far right of photo. June 2015.
St Lucie Inlet looking west towards Stuart, Sailfish Point barely visible on far right of photo. Jupiter Narrows and “Hole in the Wall “on right. June 2015.
St Lucie Inlet September 2013 looking north east towards Sailfish Point.
St Lucie Inlet September 2013 looking north east towards Sailfish Point. Plume heading towards St Lucie Inlet.

 

Looking northerly towards Sewall's Point. Sailfish Flats between Sewall's Point and Sailfish Point not seen on far right. (june 2015.)
Looking northerly towards Sailfish Point and St Lucie Inlet. Sailfish Flats between Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point are visible here. Sewall’s Point is to the right or west of this photograph. (June 2015.)
Looking north toward Sewall's Point on east/left. The Sailfish Flats are to the right/east as is Sailfish Point. (September 2013.)
Looking north toward Sewall’s Point on east/left. The Sailfish Flats are to the right/east as is Sailfish Point. (September 2013.)

 

Shoreline of Jupiter Island 2015.
Shoreline of Jupiter Island June 2015.
Jupiter Atlantic shoreline Sept 2013.
Jupiter Island ‘s Atlantic shoreline Sept 2013.

 

Sailfish Flats between Sailfish and Sewall's Point 2015.
Sailfish Flats between Sailfish and Sewall’s Point 2015.Seagrasses remain decimated and covered in algae.They come back very slowly.
Wideview of Sailfish Flats area between Sewall's (L) and Sailfish (R). Points. (Aug 2013)
Wideview of Sailfish Flats area between Sewall’s (L) and Sailfish (R). Points. (Aug 2013)

 

StLucie River, west side of Sewall's Point 2015. Point of Hell's Gate visible on to east/right. June 2015.
St Lucie River, west side of Sewall’s Point 2015. Point of Hell’s Gate visible on to east/right. June 2015.
St Lucie River, west side of Sewall's Point. August 2013.
St Lucie River, west side of Sewall’s Point looking towards Evan’s Crary Bride. Hell’s Gate is on east/right but not visible in this photograph. ¬†August 2013.

 

The remainder below do not match at all, but provide contrast:

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St Lucie Inlet June 2015.
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St Lucie Inlet June 2015.
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Hutchinson Island looking south to St Lucie Inlet, June 2015.
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Blurry but St Lucie Inlet in sight with near shore reefs south of of inlet very visible. (June 2015) These reefs have been terribly damaged by the years of releases from Lake O and the area canals (silt and poor water quality) even though they are “protected” by the State and Federal Government.

 

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Crossroads SLR/IRL to St Lucie Inlet (R) with Sewall’s Point on left. ¬†Looking at flats area full of seagrass that bas been damaged again and again by releases. Once surely considered the most “bio diverse estuary” in the North America–1970s Grant Gilmore. Photo August 2013, it is surely not today.
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Same as above but closer to Sailfish Point nearer St Lucie Inlet Sept 2013.
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Crossroads Sept 2013.
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Looking toward Palm City Bridge 2013. St Lucie River.
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IRL side east of Sewall’s Point September 2013.
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Inlet area looking at Sailfish Point and St Lucie Inlet 2013.
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South Sewall’s Point’s waters at Crossroads of SLR/IRL near inlet, ¬†2013.
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St Lucie Inlet 2013…..

Monday’s blog post from 6-22-15:(https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/06/22/paradise-and-hell-june-2015june-2013-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/)

Documenting the Destructive Discharges, Speak Out! 3-9-15, SLR/IRL

Confluence of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon between Sewall's Point and Sailfish Point, Hutchinson Island, 3-8-15 showing releases from Lake Okeechobee and area canals. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
Confluence of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon between Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point, Hutchinson Island, “The Crossroads,” 3-8-15 showing releases from Lake Okeechobee and area canals. (Photo Ed Lippisch)

Usually, my husband, Ed, does not like it when I ask him to “do things”…like take out the trash or blow leaves off the driveway. But he always likes it if I ask him to go up in the plane. He did so yesterday, and was able to visually document the polluted discharges pouring into our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

Yes, once again.

The Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE), and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) agreed to have the Army Corp start releases this year on January 16, 2015 at 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) through S-308 into the C-44 canal which is attached to the South Fork of the St Lucie River, and then in turn is connected to the Indian River Lagoon “my town,” Sewall’s Point.

Exhausting isn’t it?

The ACOE is now discharging at a rate of “950 cfs.” This rate goes up and down. It is going up because Lake Okeechobee is not going down…

SLR basins. SFMWD, 2015.
This SFWMD basin map also shows S-308 at Lake O, the C-44 canal, S-80 at St Lucie Locks and Dam, SLR/IRL.

Today I will share Ed’s photos and show how to “see” how much the ACOE is releasing at S-308. (Structure 308) which is located at Port Mayaca, in Indiantown, Martin County.

Ofcouse, there are discharges from area canals C-44, C-23, C-24 and C-25 as well, but today for simplicity’s ¬†sake, I will focus on the lake discharges today, which in my opinion, are the worst of all anyway—because they are not at all “ours.”

So—–

You can search “Jacksonville, ACOE” or just go to this link: (http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports.htm). You can then very quickly check two things: Lake Okeechobee’s level and how much the ACOE is dumping at S-308 from the lake.

To do so, after accessing the site, go to “Current¬†Lake¬†Okeechobee Water Level” at¬†the¬†top left: ¬†Always one day behind or so, the latest date reported is 3-7-15– Lake O is at 14.71 feet. Then go back to the main page to the last link: “Port Mayaca Lock, S-308 Spillway.” View by date; the last date shows 873 cubic feet per second (cfs) ¬†being discharged.¬†

Front page of ACOE Lake O website, 2015.
Front page of ACOE Lake O website, 2015.
3-9-15 Lake O level   14.71 feet NVGD. (A certain amt of feet above sea level>)
3-9-15 Lake O level 14.71 feet. NVGD.
S-308 report shows 8 cfs on 3-8-15 going into C-44 or SLR.
S-308 report shows 873 cfs on 3-7-15 going into C-44 or SLR.

 

Here are some more photos Ed took yesterday, 3-8-15, of the SLR/IRL.

East side of Sewall's Point, 3-8-15 showing St Lucie River.  (Ed Lippisch)
West side of Sewall’s Point, 3-8-15 showing St Lucie River. (Ed Lippisch)
West side of SEwall's Point, 3-8-25. (Ed Lippisch)
East side of Sewall’s Point, 3-8-25 showing Indian River Lagoon. (Ed Lippisch)
Southern tip of of Sewall's Point at Crossroads. (3-8-15.) (Ed Lippisch)
Southern tip of of Sewall’s Point showing SLR in foreground and IRL in background. 3-8-15. (Ed Lippisch)
Known as the "Crossroads" this area off of Sewall's Point is the confluence of the SLR/IRL. The St Lucie Inlet is just off of the the tip of S.Hutchinson Island and is known as Sailfish Point. 3-58-15. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
Known as the “Crossroads” this area off of S. Sewall’s Point is the confluence of the SLR/IRL. The St Lucie Inlet is just off of the tip of S.Hutchinson Island and is known as Sailfish Point and is blocked in the far upper right of this photo. 3-8-15. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
Confluence of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon between Sewall's Point and Sailfish Point, Hutchinson Island, 3-8-15 showing releases from Lake Okeechobee and area canals. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon near Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point, Hutchinson Island. “Crossroads.” (Photo Ed Lippisch)
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SL Inlet in distance, 3-8-15.  (EL)
3-8-15. IRL. (EL)
3-8-15. IRL. East of Sewall’s Point. (EL)

When Ed got home, he said I was lucky I did not go up with him as it was windy which means bumpy…He also said the plume looked different from what we have seen before. It looked “chalky” as is seen in these two photographs below and extended about two miles off shore and further south of the St Lucie Inlet.

I am no scientist, but I would imagine this is silt/suspended solids in the water as everything is “stirred up” from the wind. Suspended solids falling on and smothering our reefs….

Plume off St Lucie Inlet, 3-8-15. (EL)
Plume off St Lucie Inlet, 3-8-15. (EL)
Plume another view 3-8-15, 3-8-15.
Plume another view 3-8-15. (EL)
Map showing reefs in Marin and Palm Beach counties. The reef in MC is directly impacted by the discharges from Lake O. (map courtesy of state.)
Map showing reefs in Marin and Palm Beach counties. The reef in MC is directly impacted by the discharges from Lake O. (map courtesy of state.)

 

In closing, I must thank my husband for the photos, and I must point something out.

This area around Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Point, this “confluence” of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, in the not too distant past, has been documented as the most bio-diverse estuary in North America ¬†(Dr. R. Grant Gilmore, senior scientist with Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Science, Inc., (ECOS)(http://www.floridaoceanscouncil.org/members/bios/gilmore.htm).)¬†

The map below allows us to see where these precious seagrass beds are/were located. The map above shows where our “protected” near shore reefs are located just outside the St Lucie Inlet where the discharges go out to sea. These reefs are the northern most “tropical reefs” on the east coast of Florida…

SFWMD seagrass map, 2015.
SFWMD seagrass map, 2015.

I think it is a truly a sin that the ACOE and SFWMD year after year discharge onto these productive sea grass beds and near shore reef habitats that are the breeding grounds for thousands of fish and sea creatures. Its loss is felt all the way up the food chain, including “us.”

Where is the Department of Environmental Protection? Where is the Florida Wildlife Commission? Where is NOAA?

Not to mention, last year a designation of ¬†“Critical Wildlife Area,” —the first in 20 years for Florida—for 30 plus species of nesting and resting ¬†protected birds, was established on “Bird Island,” located ¬†just 400 feet off south Sewall’s Point….”Now” is right before nesting season’s height. Where will the birds find food when the seagrass beds are covered in silt and the water is so dark they can’t really see? Chances are these releases will continue.

Don’t our state agencies have a duty to protect? Don’t they have a voice or has it been muffled? Not a word? Not a peep. Where is our governor? Isn’t this money? Isn’t the productivity our of waterways linked to our businesses? Our real estate values? Where is our local delegation? Have we all become numb to this destruction? Beaten down and manipulated so long we that have no reaction?

It breaks my heart.

Our state and federal government entities responsible for “protection” especially should hang their heads in shame.

If nothing else “speak out” about how bad it is. Recognize the loss. Address the “constraints,” killing this ecosystem and local economy. Take leadership!

Be true to our heritage. We are the United States of America. Be brave. Speak out!

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Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection: (http://www.dep.state.fl.us) 

Florida Wildlife Commission: (http://myfwc.com)

NOAA/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: (http://coralreef.noaa.gov)   (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/)

Town of Ocean Breeze, What’s Next for This Slice of History Along the Indian River Lagoon?

ca. 1944 post card advertising Ocean Breeze Camp from Sandra  Henderson Thurlow's book, Historic Jensen and Eden on Florida's Indian River.
ca. 1944 post card advertising Ocean Breeze Camp. (Photo, Sandra Henderson Thurlow’s book, Historic Jensen and Eden on Florida’s Indian River.)

I love driving north along Indian River Drive towards Jensen Beach from the Town of Sewall’s Point. The palm trees, the river, the old brightly painted houses, and the Town of Ocean Breeze. Since childhood, “Ocean Breeze Park,” has been an icon for retired people growing old and ¬†having a great time. A little crowded in there for my ¬†taste, but still, what a cool place!

According to Sandra Henderson Thurlow’s book, Historic Jensen and Eden on Florida’s Indian River, “In the 1930s, Harry and Queena Hoke along with their two teenage sons, came to Martin County in a red trailer that was their home.”

According to the family: “The trailer was so small you had to go outside to change your mind.”

After visiting Pitchford’s trailer camp further north, the family eventually purchased 23 acres of the former C.F. Wolf pineapple plantation. The formation of the town is an American dream story. After success as a park, they eventually incorporated in 1960 increasing their coffers and their land holdings ¬†by buying adjoining properties.

With a great advertising campaign and true caring for the lives and fun of their residents the park-city became a true home.

Early advertising for Ocean Breeze Park.
Early advertising for Ocean Breeze Park.(Courtesy of  Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
Original site of Ocean Breeze Park.
Original site of Ocean Breeze Park, 1948. (Courtesy of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

According to the town’s Wikipedia article: “at the time of its incorporation, in 1960, the 65-acre park was said to be the largest privately owned trailer park in the United States.”

One of the great town stories is Mrs Geeben.

Mrs Dorothy Geeben, embodied the spirit of Ocean Breeze. She was mayor from 2001 to 2010. When she was re-elected in 2004 at age 96, the national media dubbed her “the nation’s oldest living mayor. ¬†She passed on January 11, 2010 at the age of 101 just short of her 102nd birthday.

The Ocean Breeze Park Clubhouse, social center for parties, dances, meetings and performances. (Thurlow collection.)
The Ocean Breeze Park Clubhouse, social center for parties, dances, meetings and performances. (Thurlow collection.)
Ocean Breeze Park, 1945.
Ocean Breeze Park, 1965.
Recent aerial photo. (Internet)
Recent aerial photo. (Internet)
Photo 9-27-14 by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Ed Lippisch.
Photo 9-27-14 by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and Ed Lippisch.
Town of Ocean Breeze's town limits.
Town of Ocean Breeze’s town limits.

Today new things are on the horizon for the Town of  Ocean Breeze. Yes, it is run down, but it is improving. Flying over or driving through one can see that many trailers have been removed and western lands belonging to the town are being cleared for residential apartments. The town owns a tremendous amount of land as well as land in the Indian River Lagoon.  (see chart above.) The Town of Ocean Breeze  is a sovereign. They regulate themselves.

Hmmmm? What will the future bring?

Recently, there was a rumor going around that the town could ignore the county’s four-story height limit within its boarders and build condominiums to “see the sea.” ¬†I think that is doubtful, but stranger things have happened in Martin County and if Ocean Breeze is to evolve into the future it will certainly have to change.

According to Scripps Newspapers, after great financial difficulty the town was bought in 2013 by Carefree RV Resorts for Arizona for  16.5 million. The company owns 60 communities nation wide.

Although I know I’ve got many more good and productive years, I find myself thinking about where Ed and I might eventually downsize. I want a great location, a place where I can see the Indian River, somewhere within walking distance to town, and a community where I can have fun and grow old. Ocean Breeze just might be the ticket!

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Town of Ocean Breeze Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_Breeze,_Florida) 

Aerial Photos: SugarHill-Sector Lands, Restoration, Indian River Lagoon

A view from Airglades Airport looking southerly. Photo Ed Lippisch, 9-14)
A view from Airglades Airport, the business center of proposed US Sugar’s “SugarHill” development, ¬†looking southerly into a horizon of agricultural lands. (All photo by Ed Lippisch, 9-27-14)

(* I have just realized the photo above is the old Clewiston Airport not Airglades. Here is one of Airglades from http://www.airnav.com/airport/2IS.   JTL 9:30 AM.)

Airglades Airport, photo Wikipedia.
Airglades Airport, photo AirNAv.

The flight last weekend: Stuart to Clewiston…

I could not be a passenger, it was too windy and I knew I would be sick hanging my head over the edge of the Cub. It has happened before.

In the yellow Piper Cub, the fight to Clewiston from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, in Stuart, is about 45 minutes one way, a long time if the air becomes a rough ocean.

Approaching Clewiston from the east.
Approaching Clewiston from the east.

So my husband, Ed flew alone and sent me a few photos along the way. He will do anything to get  up in that airplane. For him it is fun even if it is windy.

So let’s take a closer look where Ed flew, to that area we all keep taking about in Hendry County and proposed first by US Sugar Corporation: SugarHill.

As one can see from the map below, Airglades Airport is west of Clewiston close to where Highway 27 shoots north. ¬†The SugarHill sector plan land use change encompasses a tremendous amount of land, 44,000 acres, these ¬†lands are located where the state has an option to buy for Everglades restoration. ¬†If some of those lands get zoned for residential and commercial development it could complicate trying to send water south through trading these lands or using them for restoration in the future. That’s why we want to take a look.

Location of Airglades Airport, Google Maps, 2014.
Location of Airglades Airport, Google Maps, 2014.
Sugar Hill proposal, 2014.
Sugar Hill proposal, 2014.
A view from Airglades.
A view from Airglades Airport, (same photo as above) shows runway on right, development on left, and miles and miles of surrounding agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands.
Agricultural lands land canal.
More agricultural lands and canal.
Very north west over what was once Lake Hipochee.
Very north-west over what was once Lake Hipochee, headwaters of the Caloosahatechee.
Flying back to Stuart looking back to Clewisotn.
Flying back to Stuart looking back to Clewiston.

So basically the SugarHill sector lands are west of Clewiston, there is an airport, some development and miles and miles of agriculture. What is shall become only time will tell. I hope now that you’ve had a look, it will be easier for you to make a decision to protect these lands for the Everglades, St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

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Article 360: (http://www.law360.com/articles/579122/us-sugar-s-plan-could-bog-down-everglades-restoration) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Did It Look Like Before the ACOE Built the C-44 Canal along the St Lucie River?

The South Fork of the St Lucie River prior to the construction of the C-44 canal. (Photo ca. 1920,  courtesy archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
The South Fork of the St Lucie River prior to the construction of the C-44 canal and nearby orange grove. Today, this area is Four Rivers subdivision in Palm City.  (Photo ca. 1920, courtesy archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

For many years, I was searching for old photos and maps showing what the river looked like before it was intersected by the C-44 canal, at the south fork of the St Lucie River, in Martin County around 1923. The canal was widened and deepened many times thereafter, but according to documents, the construction began around that time.

I felt like a sign should be erected noting the spot were we changed the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon forever….I still have not done this, even after the spot was discovered.

Time went on, and one day my mother, historian, Sandy Thurlow, looking through her old aerial photos said, “Jacqui, I think I found it! That spot you are looking for.”

C-44 construction linking canal to south fork of St Lucie River, early 1920s. (Photos from archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
C-44 construction linking canal to south fork of St Lucie River, early 1920s. (Photos from archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

These are the aerial photos she sent me. I wanted to share. I will not write much today, as a¬†picture speaks a thousand words….

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

FDEP-Evidence of Impairment, C-44 Canal: (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/ecosum/ecosums/C-44_Impairment.pdf)