Tag Archives: natural inlets

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….

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

Old Photos, Jupiter Island’s Shoreline/Peck Lake’s 1960s Inlet Along the Indian River Lagoon

Local kids, Jupiter Island, ca. 1968
(ca.1971) Local Stuart kids swimming on Jupiter Island beaches, near Peck’s Lake. Pictured: (Jenny Thurlow, Mark Postsdam, Lynda Nelson, Jacqui Thurlow, Eric Potsdam, and Chris Williams. (Thurlow Family album)

My post yesterday about erosion at Bathtub Beach brought a lot of discussion and questions about when the inlet at Peck’s Lake broke through to the Indian River Lagoon as well as beach erosion in general.

Later in the day, my mother sent me some old Whiticar family photos of the Aurthur Ruhnke family. Her friend, John Whiticar, had shared these photos awhile back. I had seen them before as well, and in light of the erosion situation, I thought I would share them today. I often share the gorgeous IRL photography of Mr John Whiticar of the famous Whiticar Boatworks family (http://whiticar.com). John’s photos of the Ruhnke family’s photographs are outstanding and quite beautiful, especially in the black and white of the 1960s.

So whether looking at my own family photo on the beach in 1971 above, or the Whiticar/Ruhnke photos of the same era, one thing is for sure: the shorelines and tree lines may change, and the shifting tides of time may change as well; but one thing is constant: people, especially kids, love the beaches and shorelines of our Atlantic Ocean and St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon area….Enjoy!

Peck's Lake breakthrough inlet, early 1960s. (Photo Whiticar Family)
Peck’s Lake breakthrough inlet at Jupiter Island, early 1960s. (Photo Whiticar/Ruhnke.)
Wash through, Peck's Lake, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar)
Wash through, Peck’s Lake, Jupiter Island, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar/Ruhnke)
Another angle of Peck's Lake inlet, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar)
Another angle of Peck’s Lake inlet at Jupiter Island, ca. early 1960s. (Whiticar/Ruhnke.)
News clip regarding Peck's Lake Inlet contract dated June 6th, with no year. (Whiticar, ca. early 1960s)
News clip regarding Peck’s Lake Inlet contract date to be closed,  “June 6th,” with no year. (Whiticar, ca. early 1960s)
Aerial of Peck's Lake area with new inlet. (Whiticar, ca 1960s)
Aerial of Peck’s Lake area with new inlet. (Whiticar/Ruhnke, ca. 1960s)
Boaters in the area of Peck's Lake, (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Driftwood, old trees, and “forest” of perhaps Australian Pines/erosion in the area of Peck’s Lake’s beaches, Jupiter Island. (Whiticar/Ruhnke, ca 1960s)
Boaters.... (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Boaters,  Peck’s Lake area…. (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old tree... (Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Huge old tree..perhaps a black mangrove/erosion. (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old tree. (Whiticar, Ca. 1960s)
Ancient looking tree and beautiful lady… (Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Shoreline...(Whiticar, ca. 1960s)
Shoreline…(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Old trees...(Whiticar ca. 1960)
Old trees…(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960)
Old tree....(Whiticar ca. 1960s)
Old tree….(Whiticar/Ruhnke ca. 1960s)
Thank you to John Whiticar for allowing me to use his family photos. If you regularly read my blog, you may have seen many of the beautiful sunrise and sunset photos I have shared of John's. He is a true artist and captures the beauty of our area.
Thank you to John Whiticar for allowing me to use his family’s Art . Ruhnke  photos. The Ruhnke’s had a photo shop in Stuart’s early days.

 

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Yesterday’s blog on erosion at Bathtub Beach, 12-11-14: (http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/12/11/looking-at-our-barrier-islands-through-new-eyes-srlindian-river-lagoon/)

Interesting site on Florida Beach Erosion and stats/”State of the Beach:” (http://www.beachapedia.org/State_of_the_Beach/State_Reports/FL/Beach_Erosion)