Pioneer Life in Palm Beach County Educatorâ€™s Guide
The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation, INC.
Prepared by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County ÂŠ 3nd Edition 2016 Historical Society of Palm Beach County
This project [publication] has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, administered through the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Department of the Interior or the Florida Department of State, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior or the Florida Department of State. This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or sexual orientation in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U. S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240. This project has also been funded in part by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
Table of Contents
FLORIDA SUNSHINE STANDARDS ............................. 5 VOCABULARY ................................................................. 5 TIMELINE .......................................................................... 6 BACKGROUND INFORMATION ................................... 7 ACTIVITIES..................................................................... 13 SUGGESTED READING ................................................ 33 ITEMS IN PIONEER TRUNK ......................................... 34 PHOTOGRAPHS AND CAPTIONS ............................... 40 MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR......................................... 51 MOVE TO LAKE WORTH ............................................. 56
Teacherâ€™s Guide Pioneer Life in Palm Beach County 2 Note: The CD found in the Teacherâ€™s Guide has on it the following: Teacher Guide (PDF) Student Handout (PDF) Pioneer Money (PowerPoint Presentation) Move to Lake Worth Map (PowerPoint Presentation) Pioneer Era Photographs (PowerPoint Presentation)
Teachers: All sections of this guide may be reproduced for your students.
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Florida Standards: SS.4.A.4.2 SS.4.A.6.2 SS.4.G.1.1 SS.4.G.1.2 LAFS.4.L.1.2, LAFS.4.L.3.4, LAFS.4.L.3.5, LAFS.4.L.3.6, LAFS.4.RF.3.3, LAFS.4.RI.4.10
Vocabulary Collodion process
A process used in the 19th century to take photographs. Several chemicals were used to coat a glass plate which was placed in a camera while wet to take a photograph. A photo was then developed from the glass plate negative using several other chemicals.
Not having to do something or pay taxes.
A place where boats had to be hauled over land from a stream to a lake or over a sand dune to the ocean.
A place of protection or shelter from danger or hardship. One can find help, relief, or comfort in times of trouble.
A long, narrow, flat-bottom fishing boat having a centerboard and one or two masts, each rigged with a triangular sail.
A stagecoach that transported people and goods from one place to another.
Swamp cabbage is an old pioneer favorite vegetable obtained from the heart of the cabbage palm (S. palmetto), which is the official state tree of Florida. The plant is known by such other names as palmetto palm, sabal palm, and swamp cabbage tree.
Timeline Palm Beach County 1842
U.S. soldiers camp on the shores of a freshwater lake and name it Lake Worth
Jupiter Lighthouse built
Wreck of the Spanish ship Providencia on Palm Beach island
Lake Worth Post Office established
Barefoot Mailman route established
First school opens
Celestial Railroad (Jupiter & Lake Worth Railroad) begins operation
Henry M. Flagler arrives in area, buys land, builds hotels, and extends his railroad
The 2nd Seminole War comes to an end
The Civil War starts
Federal troops leave Florida after occupying the state after the end of the Civil War
Phosphate discovered in Peace River Valley
New state constitution is adopted; replaces the 1868 state constitution
Henry Plants opens the Tampa Bay Hotel
Spanish American War begins
Background Information In 1860 the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse was built at the entrance of the Jupiter Inlet where the Loxahatchee River, Indian River, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It is the oldest structure in Palm Beach County. A lighthouse helps ships stay clear of dangerous reefs or hidden rocks along the coast. It can guide ships into safe harbors or back out to sea. Many lighthouses are located along Florida’s coasts. In 1853 the United States Congress approved money to build the lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet to help prevent shipwrecks in the area. The lighthouse is 156 feet high. The tower is 108 feet and sits on a 48-foot high dune that is part of an ancient Indian mound. A visitor must climb 105 steps to get to the top. The tower is 8 bricks thick or 31.5 inches at the base and tapers to 3 bricks or 18 inches at the top. The beam of light is 146 Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, 1879. HSPBC. feet and can been seen for a distance of 18-24 miles. The keepers of the lighthouse were the only people living in the area except for Seminole Indians. Today, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse still helps ships safely navigate the Atlantic Ocean. At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, an assistant lighthouse keeper, German-born Augustus O. Lang, and a few Confederate sympathizers dismantled and hid part of the lighting mechanism, thereby darkening the lighthouse to aid Confederate blockade runners. Lang then enlisted in the Confederate Army but later deserted and fled to the shores of Lake Worth becoming the first known Anglo-American resident on the lake. He built a home from wood poles and palmetto fronds, cleared land, and planted a garden that included fruit trees. So remote was the lake’s locale that it was more than a year after the war’s end that Lang learned of its outcome from some travelers. By word of mouth more people soon made their way to the lake. Between 1873-1893, settlers came to the Lake Worth area to establish new homes. For some of the pioneers, their doctors had recommended they move far south, to warmer climates, because of illnesses. Many did live long lives because of the warm weather. Others came here to build a better life for their families. This is not to say that it was an easy venture, though, for they had to overcome a variety of hardships. When they arrived, all they found was a jungle, with no paths or roads; their only means of transport was by boat. The settlers cut a path from Lake Worth to the Atlantic Ocean to have easy access to the beach. The path also helped them get to the beach after storms so that they could scavenge material that washed up on the beach or the shipwrecks that were pushed ashore by these storms. However, the settlers lived on the lake side of the island rather than on the ocean side because of storms. They survived on what they found on the beaches from shipwrecks and from what they could grow or hunt. The settlers often took what they could find from shipwrecks to use in constructing their homes. Sometimes, barrels of foodstuffs would be found in the wrecks or on the beaches that would be added to the pioneers’ food supplies. Other materials were taken north to Titusville and sold or traded for cash or other necessities. The typical house of most settlers was made from items gathered along the beach, such as sails and wood, and palmetto thatching. These materials were used because they
were the handiest building materials. Sometimes, lumber was shipped from Jacksonville and used to build houses. Some pioneer houses were built out of salvaged ship timbers and canvas sails. Early settlers found the area full of wild animals, such as bears, deer, raccoons, and opossums. They depended on these animals for food. Birds, fish, alligators, turtles, and turtle eggs added variety to their diet. Most of the settlers were farmers and grew crops, like onions, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbages, green peppers, and turnips, to eat or sell. Some settlers made regular trips by boat to the market in Titusville to sell their vegetables. By selling their crops, the pioneers were able to earn money to buy items they could not produce themselves. An important shipwreck occurred on January 9, 1878. A small Spanish ship, the Providencia, wrecked on the shores of Palm Beach. The Providencia was carrying a cargo of logwood, animal hides, and 20,000 coconuts. Two settlers claimed the cargo and sold the coconuts to their fellow pioneers for 2½ cents each. They planted the coconuts in groves to develop coconuts into a cash crop. It was from the numerous coconut groves that were planted and the beaches that the island, the county and, eventually, several towns earned their names. A Spanish shipwreck on Palm Beach Island. HSPBC. Many shipwrecks occurred along the east coast of Florida between Vero Beach and Miami. The government built five houses of refuge along the coast as safe places for shipwreck survivors. The Orange Grove House of Refuge was built in 1876. It was on a beach north of present-day Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. The only refuge still standing today is in Martin County, and it is open to the public. By 1886 the community around Lake Worth had grown large enough that the citizens demanded a school. The settlers donated land and raised money for lumber. They also volunteered their time to build the first schoolhouse. It opened in March 1886. The first term was only three months long. Seven students attended school that first day. Students walked through the jungle or went by boat to get to school. The school building has been preserved and is now located in Phipps Ocean Park on South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. Today, it is known as the Little Red Schoolhouse. The Jupiter and Lake Worth Railroad was the area’s first railway. People nicknamed it the Celestial Railroad because of the names of the stops, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Juno, which refer to Roman Gods and Goddesses. When it opened for business in 1889, it stretched from Jupiter to Juno and was 7.5 miles long. There were two train stops in between, called Mars and Venus. The railway was built to transport produce and passengers. Passengers were charged 10 cents a mile, or 75 cents one-way. The train had no way of turning around, so it went forward from Jupiter to Juno and in reverse from Juno to Jupiter. Legend has it that the engineer would stop the train when wild game animals were spotted. Passengers would get off the train, shoot the animal, and then give a portion of the animal to the engineer. In 1895 the railway went out of business. It could not compete with Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad. In 1893 when Henry Flagler arrived on Lake Worth to build a large resort hotel and extend his railroad, the Pioneer Era of Palm Beach County came to an end.
Agriculture: Growin’ on the Lake In the 1870s the first permanent settlers arrived on the island now named Palm Beach. They began clearing land to farm and thought the area was a ‘Garden of Eden.’ The sandy soil was so fertile that almost anything would grow. Pioneer famers planted pineapples, pumpkins, coconuts, peas, beans, radishes, tomatoes, and lettuce. When the crops were ripe, they were harvested and boxed for transportation to northern cities. The boxes were loaded onto boats headed for the north end of Lake Worth and then hauled by wagon seven and one-half miles to Jupiter.
Transportation: Gettin’ Around Pioneers used boats as their primary transportation in the lake area and every pioneer family owned one. Places know as ‘haulovers’ were developed – many by Seminoles – to move a boat from a stream to the lake or over a sand dune to the ocean. A natural break in the barrier island introduced saltwater into the lake in 1866 and the freshwater lake began to change into a saltwater lagoon and allowed direct ocean access. In 1889 the Jupiter and Lake Worth Railroad opened. It became known as the Celestial Railroad because it ran from Jupiter to Juno and the stops were named for Roman gods and goddesses. The railroad made it easier and faster for farmers to get their crops to Jupiter for loading onto steamships for travel up the Indian River to market.
Communication In the 1850s, important developments took place in the area of visual communication. The collodion process allowed the creation of glass plate negatives from which identical paper prints could be made in quantity. Earlier photographic attempts produced one-of-a-kind images only. In 1876 Melville E. Spencer arrived in the Jupiter area from Titusville. His brother, Donald, was an established photographer in Pennsylvania. With his camera, Spencer captured images of the early pioneers which could then be reproduced in quantity. These and other early photographs contributed to the ‘lure’ of south Florida. (See photographs included in trunk) The first post office, Tustenegee, opened on the island of what is now Palm Beach in 18771878 and it closed in 1879. The Lake Worth Post office, opened in 1880, replaced the
Tustenegee Post office. In 1885 a unique route was developed to link the Lake Worth community with the Miami area. Mail carriers walked barefoot along the beach in order to avoid slogging through the inland swamps. The six-day round trip covered 136 miles—80 on foot, 56 in small boats.
Diet: What’s For Dinner? How about opossum? Or turtle with a side of swamp cabbage? With the nearest store more than one hundred miles away, if you didn’t grow it or kill it you went hungry. Seminoles often showed up at the door with deer or alligator meat in trade for coffee, sugar, and flour. Christmas dinner in 1873 was the first holiday on the lake for most of the settlers. They met at Charlie Moore’s for opossum baked with sweet potatoes and covered with thin strips of fat bacon. Biscuits with cane syrup and prickly pear pie completed the menu.
Housing: Bugs ‘R Us Preparation for building a house on Lake Worth included walks on the ocean beach. The Gulf Stream and hidden reefs combined to create hazardous conditions for ships which often sunk offshore and their debris floated ashore. Others wrecked along the shoreline. So, early houses on Lake Worth were constructed from materials salvaged from the beach and local materials. Taking a tip from the Seminoles they used palm fronds for roofing. The fronds kept the houses dry and cool but also offered a happy home to bugs, rats, and snakes. Over the years, as the settlers became more successful, they made improvements on their houses. Later settlers brought store-bought materials to build their homes. By 1893, it was no longer necessary to search the beach for building materials because Lainhart & Potter Lumber & Building Materials supplied their building needs.
Fighting Mosquitoes Pioneers used several methods of fighting mosquitoes. One method was the use of a smudge pot that was kept burning to create smoke which kept the pesky insects way. They may have also used some form of mosquito netting or a mosquito bar which they would have hung over their beds. Mosquito netting offers protection from mosquitoes and other insects. This netting is a fine, see-through, mesh construction which stops many insects
from biting and disturbing the person using the net. The mesh is fine enough to exclude these insects, but it does not completely impede the flow of air.
Where did the early pioneers come from? Most of the settlers who moved to the Lake Worth region came from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, other parts of Florida, New York, and several other states and foreign countries such as Great Britain and Germany.
The Orange Grove House of Refuge There were so many shipwrecks along the east coast of Florida between Vero Beach and Miami that The United States government built five houses of refuge along the east coast as safe places for shipwreck survivors. The Orange Grove House of Refuge No. 3 was built in 1876. It was on a beach north of present-day Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. Its name comes from an old grove of wild oranges that grew near the house. The first keeper, Hannibal D. Pierce, earned $400 a year to take care of the house and shipwrecked sailors. The only refuge still standing today is in Martin County.
Wreck of the Spanish Brig Providencia An important shipwreck occurred on January 9, 1878. A small Spanish ship, the Providencia, was driven ashore by a storm along what is now the island of Palm Beach. The Providencia was carrying a cargo of 20,000 coconuts. Two settlers claimed the cargo and sold the coconuts to their fellow pioneers for 2 1⁄2 cents each. They planted the coconuts in groves planning to develop coconuts into a cash crop. It was from these coconut palm groves and the beautiful beaches that the town and island of Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and, eventually, several other towns earned their names. The survivors of the shipwreck were picked up by a passing ship and taken to Key West.
The First Schoolhouse By 1886 the community around Lake Worth had grown large enough that the citizens demanded a school. The settlers donated land, raised money for lumber, and volunteered their time to build the first schoolhouse. It opened in March 1886 in Palm Beach with seven students attending on the first day of school. The first term was only three months long. Sixteen-year old Hattie Gale was the first teacher. The school building has been preserved and is now in Phipps Ocean Park on South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. It is now known as the Little Red Schoolhouse.
The Celestial Railroad The Jupiter and Lake Worth Railroad (also known as the Celestial Railroad) was the area’s first railway. When it opened for business in 1889, it stretched from the communities of Jupiter to Juno and was 71⁄2 miles long. There were two train stops in between, called Mars and Venus. The railway was built to transport produce and passengers. Passengers were charged ten cents a mile, or seventy-five cents one way. The train had no way of turning around, so it went forward from Jupiter to Juno and in reverse from Juno to Jupiter. Legend has it that the engineer would stop the train when wild game animals were being passed. Passengers would get off the train, shoot the animal, and then give a portion of the animal to the engineer. In 1895 the railway went out of business. It could not compete with Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad.
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse A lighthouse helps ships stay clear of dangerous reefs or hidden rocks along the coast. It can guide ships into safe harbors or back out to sea. Many lighthouses are located along Floridaâ€™s coasts. One of them, the oldest structure in Palm Beach County, is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. It stands at the entrance of the Jupiter Inlet where the Loxahatchee River, Indian River, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. In 1853 the United States Congress approved money to build a lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet to help prevent shipwrecks in the area. The lighthouse was completed in 1860 is 156 feet high. The tower is 108 feet and sits on a 48-foot high dune that is part of an ancient Indian mound. A visitor must climb 105 steps to get to the top. The tower is 8 bricks thick or 31.5 inches at the base and tapers to 3 bricks or 18 inches at the top. The beam of light is 146 feet and can been seen for a distance of 18-24 miles. Today, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse still helps ships safely navigate the Atlantic Ocean.
A Lesson from McGuffy’s Third Reader This lesson can be read from the book out loud in class or the teacher can make copies and have the students work in groups to read and answer the questions.
McGuffy’s Third Reader has many more reading lessons in it. You can use it for more reading and vocabulary skills while using the Pioneer Trunk. The lessons found in this book date to the 1870s. It was a common book found in classrooms many of which were one-room schoolhouses such as the first schoolhouse built on Palm Beach in 1886. It was the first one in southeast Florida. It is now located in Phipps Ocean Park in Palm Beach and now know as the Little Red Schoolhouse.
“Humming Bird” If read out loud in class, turn to page 57 and read Humming Bird. If making copies, copy pages 57-59; pass out to students. 1. Before reading, review the vocabulary words provided for the lesson (pg. 57) or review from the below list. West Indies sugarplum necessary
adorn cotton rapid
approach instinct brilliant
motion object fibers
attached defending severely
NOTE: notice the spelling of “humming bird.” Point this out to students because spelling does change over time. Ask them how is humming bird spelled today. Have students look it up in the dictionary to find out how the word is spelled today. 2. After reviewing the vocabulary list with students, begin the reading lesson. This can be done by the teacher or a student if read to the class as a whole or have the students read it in groups. 3. Once the reading has been completed, have students answer the following questions. Questions: H um m ing Bird Lesson A. Where are the “most beautiful humming birds” found?
B. According to what you have read, why are these types of birds called “humming birds?”
C. What was the size of the nest and what was it made of?
D. How did the mother bird try to defend its nest?
Extend the Lesson Have students find out more about hummingbirds by using a computer to find out how many species of hummingbirds there are, where they live, how many types live in Florida. Have them share their answer in class.
Let’s Talk about Money! Pioneers in southeast Florida do not have a lot of money; most of them were farmers from the northeastern and mid-western United States. What did they do to earn money so they could buy food and materials they could not make themselves? Settlers farmed and sent their produce to Jacksonville by boat to sell. Pioneer farmers planted pineapples, pumpkins, coconuts, peas, beans, radishes, tomatoes, and lettuce. When the crops were ripe, they were harvested and boxed for transportation to northern cities. However, getting the crops to market took a long time. First, the farmers had to put their shipment on a boat, sail to the north end of Lake Worth, unload the boxes onto wagons, and haul it overland about seven and a half miles to Jupiter. Then, they loaded the boxes on boats again which sailed north up the Indian River to Titusville or Jacksonville. It would be many weeks before a farmer learned if his crop arrived safely and was sold. If the shipment was rotten, the farmer received nothing for his crops (imagine all that work for nothing!). If he was lucky, he received much needed money. For example, in 1879 the Dimick and Geer families actually got a shipment of tomatoes to market in good condition and made $480 an acre which was a small fortune then. Even though many shipments never made it to market before rotting, the farmers refused to give up. Settlers would also search the beach for shipwrecks or items from ships that washed-up on the beach. They either used what they found or took the stuff to Titusville or Jacksonville to sell. Some pioneers started businesses such as hotels, transportation and stores to make their living.
– When the settlers did get their hands on cash, what did it look like? Was the currency like it is today? The M organ Silver Dollar The federal government did print paper money. However, most people preferred to have silver or gold coins.
– Does your parents use silver and gold coins to pay for groceries or for clothes? The most common dollar during the pioneer era was the Morgan silver dollar. It was a large round dollar that circulated from 1878 to 1921. [Teacher: show the class a real Morgan silver dollar from the trunk. You can also project the Morgan dollar on the screen, see PowerPoint Slide “Morgan Dollar.”]
– Would you prefer to have this silver dollar or the paper one-dollar note? – Does the U.S. Mint still strike dollar coins? If so, what is it called to day? Research this and share your answers with the class.
The Morgan dollar is also the coin Cowboys used to gamble with. Bank and train robbers stole sacks of these coins from banks and trains. And it was the coin that helped build the old west.
Let’s look at the M organ dollar The front of the coin is called the obverse or “heads.”
Can you find the year of issue? There are 13 stars. Do you know what they represent? The head is called a portrait. Who is it?
The back of the coin is called the reverse or “tails.”
What kind of bird is found on the reverse? Can you find the denomination of the coin? What is it? All coins have a mint mark. This mark lets people know where the coin was minted or made. Can you find the mint mark? What is the motto and where is it located?
The Morgan silver dollar was minted at the following places Carson City, Nevada: mint mark CC Denver, Colorado: mint mark D New Orleans, Louisiana: mint mark O San Francisco, California: mint mark S Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: if there is not mint mark that means the coin was minted in Philadelphia.
Phrygian Cap adorned with Cotton and Wheat
E Pluribus Unum which means â€œfor one, for allâ€?
Portrait of Liberty head 13 Stars
Year of Issue
Can you find the year of issue? The year of issue is located under the portrait; for this coin it is 1878. There are 13 stars. Do you know what they represent? The thirteen stars are for the first thirteen colonies. The head is called a portrait. Who is it? The portrait is of Lady Liberty
Bald Eagle with wing spread
Motto “In God We Trust”
Country of issue
Denomination Oak Leaves and Arrows in the eagle’s talons
What kind of bird is found on the reverse? It is the bald eagle. Can you find the denomination of the coin? What is it? The denomination is located under the eagle. It is a one-dollar coin All coins have a mint mark. This mark lets people know where the coin was minted or made. Can you find the mint mark? The mint mark is located between the wreath and the denomination. What is the motto and where is it located? The motto is “In God We Trust.” It is located above the eagle’s head.
A few other coins that were in circulation during the pioneer era
Gold $1 coin
Gold $3 coin
Gold $5 coin
Cost of food items in 1880 Your father traveled to Titusville to buy supplies that your family needs to survive. He has only $15.00 to spend. Using the list of supplies and prices, figure out what which items you would purchase for $15.00. Do not forget that your family also grows your own vegetables and your father hunts for meat and you help fish. After you finish, share your list with the class. 1 Barrel of flour 1 bushel Potatoes 1/4 lb of tea 1 qt milk 1 lb cheap coffee Sugar 3Â˝ lb Â˝ ration meat 4 lb. butter 2 lb. lard Dried apples for treats Vegetables 1 lb Cheese 1 lb Rice 1 qt. Beans Soap Starch Pepper Salt Vinegar 2 bushels of coal Kerosene Sundries
$10.28 $0.82 $0.38 $0.56 $0.35 $1.05 $3.50 per week $1.60 $0.38 $0.25 $0.50 $0.14 $0.09 $0.07 $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $1.36 $0.30 $0.28
Materials for clothing cost about $64.00 a year for a family of four. Your mother would need bolts of cloth to make your clothes. She may have also made your clothes from sail canvas from a shipwreck on the beach.
Read and Answer Postal Service and the Barefoot Mailman When the early pioneers left their homes in the North, they continued to When the early pioneers left their homes in the North, they continued to communicate with their families and friends whom they left behind. Yet it was not easy to send a letter back home. They couldn’t just e-mail or drop a letter at a post office. Communication was difficult if you lived in south Florida at that time. At first, settlers depended on the honesty of passing ship crews to take and deliver their mail. They also asked beach walkers to carry and deliver mail along the Florida coast. However, this method was not dependable. Sending a letter from Lake Worth region to Miami took several weeks. First, it had to travel to Jacksonville. Then the letter was shipped to Havana, Cuba, or Key West. Then it was sent to Miami. Can you see why it took several weeks? To solve this problem, the U.S. Postal Service set up a special route, called the Star Route, which required men to walk from Palm Beach to Miami and then back. These men became known as barefoot mailmen because they walked barefoot along the beach, carrying their shoes over their shoulders. These adventurous mailmen (there were no female mail carriers) traveled a route that was 136 miles round trip. It was 56 miles by boat and 80 miles on foot. It took three days each way. The mail carriers walked an average of 7,000 miles a year. Every Monday, a mailman left Lake Worth. He arrived in Miami on Wednesday. The following day, he began his trip back north and arrived on Saturday. During his journey, the mail carrier spent the nights at Houses of Refuge in today’s Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. In some places, the mailmen had to cross water. At Hillsboro Inlet, New River and Biscayne Bay, the mail carriers used a boat to get across. The first barefoot mailman was Edwin R. Bradley. There are many stories about the barefoot mailmen. Here are a couple of stories worth mentioning. They would often charge a small amount of money to take passengers with them. According to stories, one passenger was upset over the long, hot walk because there was limited fresh water and poor food. For revenge, he first sent some coconuts through the mail. Then he sent a package of rocks. When he attempted to mail a small tree, the mailman finally complained to the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C. That resulted in a weight limit being placed on all deliveries. In a second story, mailman Ed Hamilton lost his life while trying to complete his route. Someone had moved Hamilton’s boat to the other side of Hillsboro Inlet. He left his mailbag and clothes in a tree so he could swim for the boat. The mailbag and his clothes were found in the tree, but Hamilton was never found. No one knows whether Hamilton had simply drowned or if sharks or alligators in the inlet attacked him. From 1885 to 1893, these brave men walked the beaches to deliver the mail. In 1893 when a road was opened between Lantana and Miami, the barefoot mailmen were no longer needed because the mail went by stagecoach. By today’s standards, the barefoot mailman system was primitive and dangerous. But it worked for the pioneers. The postal service has improved since the 1880s. Automated services help mail carriers package and send mail all over the world. They now travel in automobiles and even in airplanes. The barefoot mailmen would be amazed at how efficiently mail is delivered in the 21st century.
Research Write Answer Writing Imagine that you are a pioneer in southeast Florida (present day Palm Beach County) where there was no modern transportation except by foot or boat. How would they send and receive mail? Write a paragraph.
Research Using a map or atlas and the Barefoot Mailman route map (provided herein), begin at Lake Worth and trace, going in any direction, the distance that the average mailman traveled each year. Make a list of some of the places, countries, and continents encountered along the route that you trace. Research the Pony Express. Compare the Pony Express and the Barefoot Mailmen. Which mail delivery service last longer?
Answer Mail took a long time to arrive at pioneer settlements along Lake Worth during the 1870s1890s. The settlers had to depend on passing ships to carry and deliver their mail. In 1885 a unique system of mail delivery was established in southeast Florida. The hardy group of mail carriers, called Barefoot Mailmen, carried the mail from Lake Worth to Miami by walking along the beach and crossing inlets by boat. They would leave on Mondays and arrive at Miami on Wednesday. mailmen began their three-day journey back.
On Thursday the
The round trip was 136 miles-80 by foot and 56 by boat. 1.
Figure out how many miles the mail carriers walked one-way.
How many miles the mail carriers traveled by boat one-way.
What is the one-way total?
If the Barefoot Mailmen traveled 136 miles (round-trip) per week, about how many miles did they travel in a year?
Figure out how many miles the mail carriers walked one-way.
How many miles the mail carriers traveled by boat one-way.
What is the one-way total?
If the Barefoot Mailmen traveled 136 miles (round-trip) per week, about how many miles did they travel in a year? 7,072 miles (136 miles per week x 52 weeks)
Read and Answer Using the book, The Adventure of Charlie Pierce: The American Jungle, read aloud or have students take turns reading aloud â€œChapter Two Shipwreck!,â€? pages 17-24. After reading the chapter, ask the students the following questions: 1. What does loxahatchee mean?
2. Why are lighthouses important?
3. What was the oil used for at the lighthouse?
4. How did the Seminoles first appear to Charlie Pierce when he was standing at the edge of the water?
5. What was the name of the ship that wrecked on the reef?
Answers 1. What does loxahatchee mean? River of Turtles (page 17) 2. Why are lighthouses important? Lighthouses helped ship captains see where the shore was so they could avoid wrecking. (page 18) 3. What was the oil used for at the lighthouse? The oil was burned to create the light that was then magnified by the lens and flashed out to sea. (page 20) 4. How did the Seminoles first appear to Charlie Pierce when he was standing at the edge of the water? Charlie saw the Seminoles coming toward the lighthouse in seven canoes. The sight of the Seminoles scared Charlie. (page 23) 5. What was the name of the ship that wrecked on the reef? Victor (page 24)
Transportation The Move to Lake Worth Getting to the Lake Worth area (not the City of Lake Worth) was difficult. There were no roads or trains to south Florida. The only way to get around was by water or on foot. Carving transportation arteries out of thick jungle and mucky wetlands took time—and a great deal of innovation. The pioneers used natural waterways—the ocean, lakes, rivers, and swamps—to travel from place to place, to ship out locally grown agricultural goods, and to bring in supplies; the nearest store was in Titusville, 150 miles away. Commercial trade boats could come only as far south as Jupiter, until construction of the East Coast Canal (Intracoastal Waterway) cut through a ridge to reach Lake Worth about 1900. The first transportation service for the lake community was provided in 1879 by Captain Uriah Dunning “U. D.” Hendrickson, who settled just north of the present Palm Beach Country Club. Hendrickson’s first boat, a 40-foot, sharpie sailboat Illinois, was thought to be the largest then seen on Lake Worth, according to Charlie Pierce of Hypoluxo. From his long dock, Hendrickson’s boats made regular supply trips along Florida’s east coast from where the railroad ended in Jacksonville, sometimes as far south as Key West. Hendrickson also ran a general store from his property. To avoid going “outside,” into the perilous ocean, some of the settlers built a tram railway across the haulover from Lake Worth Creek to Lake Worth in 1878, using drift lumber found on the beach. In 1884 Elisha Newton “Cap” Dimick and the Brelsford brothers, Edmund and John, added a mule-driven “hack line,” or stage coach, to carry passengers and cargo to the head of Lake Worth from the Jupiter dock, on the south side of Jupiter Inlet, then called Stone’s Point, where Dubois Park is now. The last leg of the journey, by boat, ended at various points on Lake Worth. In 1887 U. D. Hendrickson introduced the first steamer to the lake, aptly named the Lake Worth. The steamer carried 25-passengers but was later enlarged to carry 75. His neighbor to the south, Captain Harlan Page “H. P.” Dye, and engineer Frederick Christian “Fred” Voss of Hypoluxo, operated the Lake Worth between Jupiter and Titusville. Hendrickson also took over the hack line from Dimick and the Brelsfords; after two years, it was replaced by the narrow gauge Jupiter and Lake Worth Railroad, or “Celestial Railroad.” The Lake Worth steamer then ran from Palm Beach to Juno, at the head of the lake, to meet the trains and take passengers and cargo to various destinations around the lake.
The Move to Lake Worth Teacher: Use PowerPoint Presentation on CD titled “Move to Lake W orth.” Your mother and father have heard about the wonderful climate and beauty of Lake Worth, Florida. They are tired of the cold winters in Chicago plus the doctor has told your parents that a warmer climate is better for you ill sister. So now your family is moving to Lake Worth. Your father says that the family will travel by train to Titusville, Florida. But from there to Lake Worth it will be a difficult journey. Here is a list of household goods. Your family cannot take everything. What items would you take with you to your new home in a tropical jungle? Place a check mark in the appropriate column for Take or Don’t Take. Take Don’t Take Dishes Glasses Silverware Pots and pans Serving tray Mixing bowls Iron Ironing board Bed sheets Pillowcases Blankets Towels Washing bowls Tub Clothes Kerosene lanterns Candles Sewing machine Baskets Dining table Chairs
Couch Living room chair Beds Shotgun/ammunition Rifle/ammunition Tools Rope Canned goods Dressers Trunks Books Bookcase Bolts of fabric Axes Nails Hoes Saws Piano Buggy 2 horses 1 dog Barrels
Work in groups, you must decide what your family. Remember, it is a long journey to your new home in south Florida. To get there, you will travel by railroad and boat.
You and your fam ily have just arrived in Titusville from Chicago. You m ust travel from Titusville to Lake W orth. H ow is your fam ily going to get to Lake W orth, which is about 150 m iles south of Titusville? There are no roads or railroads going from Titusville to Lake W orth.
The Mosquito Putting up with pesky insects like mosquitoes is part of living in south Florida. When the first pioneers arrived on Lake Worth, they had to fight the ever-constant mosquitoes. Pioneers used several methods of fighting mosquitoes. One method was the use of a smudge pot that was kept burning to create smoke which kept the pesky insects way. They may have also used some form of mosquito netting or a mosquito bar, which they would have hung over their beds. Mosquito netting offers protection from mosquitoes and other insects. This netting is a fine, see-through, mesh construction that stops many insects from biting and disturbing the person using the net. The mesh is fine enough to exclude these insects, but it does not completely impede the flow of air. The below drawing is by pioneer artist George Potter. This is how he saw the mosquito. How do you se the mosquito? Draw your interpretation of the pesky little bug.
(this activity is in the student handout)
1. The early pioneer homes are very different than the ones we live in today. Look at the following photographs of pioneer era homes. In the space provided, compare and contrast these four pioneer homes. Which house would you like to live in? Why? What do you think the homes were made from and how do you think they were built? A B 1870s 1870s C D 1890s 1880s
2. For the 1873 Christmas dinner the settlersâ€™ menu included opossum baked with sweet potatoes covered with thin strips of fat bacon, biscuits with cane syrup, and prickly pear pie. Compare what they ate to what you had for your last Christmas dinner. Which pioneer Christmas foods would you like to eat? 3. Photographers in the 19th century used glass plate negatives to produce their photographs. See Vocabulary for the Collodion process. Compare how photographs were made in the 19th century to how we make photographs today.
4. This particular kind of boat was used by the pioneers to travel on Lake Worth. What was is it?
Circle A or B next to the photograph that shows this type of boat. A B 5. Most of the early settlers on Lake Worth were from other states like New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and foreign countries like Great Britain. Survey your class to find out how many different states or countries your classmates and families come from.
Lake Worth during the Pioneer Era
Between 1873-1893 at least 73 pioneer families made their homes on Lake Worth. The descendents of these families still reside in Palm Beach County today. This map shows the lakeâ€™s 1883 shoreline and several homesteads and geographical features from the era. It is based on the map by Donald Curl in Pioneering in Southeast Florida by Charles Pierce.
A l arge ve rsio n o f t h is m ap is incl u ded in the Pio neer trunk.
Suggested Reading: Curl, Donald W. Palm Beach County: An Illustrated History. Northridge, CA: Windsor Publications, 1986. Oyer, Harvey E. III. The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The American Jungle. Oakland Park: Middle River Press, 2008. __________________. The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret. Oakland Park: Middle River Press, 2010. Pierce, Charles W. Pioneering Life in Southeast Florida. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1970. Robinson, Tim. A Tropical Frontier: Pioneers and Settlers of Southeast Florida, 1800-1890. Port Salerno: Port Sun Publishing, 2005. Snyder, James. Black Gold and Silver Sands. Palm Beach: Historical Society of Palm Beach County, 2004.
Type of Items in the Pioneer Trunk