The History of Jupiter, Florida
The area of Florida that the town of Jupiter is in has a rich history. Originally called Jobe (pronounced Hoe-bay) by the Spanish, it was named for the Seminole village located nearby. In 1763, the English arrived in Jobe and misinterpreted the name of the area to be Jove. They believed that this referred to the mythological god Jupiter, also known as Jove and they subsequently changed the name.
The English built a fort on the Loxahatchee River in 1838 in response to a fight with the local Seminole tribe. The site of the fort grew to a large military reservation by 1855. This reservation included a Lighthouse located on the inlet. The location became more active during the Third Seminole War. During this time a second fort was built and a Post Office opened. This fort and post office operated for only one year (1855-1856). The decision was made to close the fort and post office because the location proved to be a challenge to supply. Additionally, the occupants of the fort became sick frequently and the water way proved to be unreliable.
Aside from the lighthouse operations, the area remained relatively unused until 1887, when Mary Moore Carlin reopened the post office. Her and her husband were stationed there while he worked as the keeper of the lighthouse. The area has grown since. One of the first families to settle in Jupiter was the DuBois family. They preserved much of Jupiter’s history by collecting and preserving artifacts that they found on their property. As the area grew it was networked into the surrounding area via train and boat. The town was located on the Celestial Railroad at the most northern point. Travelers looking to get further south in Florida would pass through the area by traveling down the Indian River by boat. These travelers would transfer to the railroad located in Jupiter and travel to Juno on Lake Worth. From there, travelers would proceed to boat to locations to the south. As time passed, an additional railroad was built in the surrounding area, which rendered the boats useless.
There were 145 residents in 1900. Five years later, Reverend Dr. Charles P. Jackson opened a school for white children in the nearby area known as Neptune. In 1908 the Neptune post office merged with the Jupiter post office. The residents used various boats to move children from one side of the river to the other to attend school. As the area grew, a bridge replaced the ferry used to shuttle students across the river. Additionally a larger two-story school was built to accommodate students in grades seven through ten.
The region is rich in African American history as well. African American pioneers settled in the area and worked for the steamboats and railroads. These residents settled along the Limestone Creek and played a vital role in the construction of the area. In 1905, William J. and Annie Davis Roundtree contributed to the construction of a school for black children in Limestone Creek. These African American pioneers in the Limestone Creek area also founded the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in 1902.
Jupiter was incorporated into a town in 1925. In 1926 a federal highway was built that connected Jupiter to Miami. In the process of building this highway, a new bridge was built over the Loxahatchee River.
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