Celebrating Stuart’s Centennial!

I was so pleased to participate this week, in the official celebration of Stuart’s Centennial! (As an aside, I was pleased to be the ONLY candidate in this race, who recognized the value of this community enough to attend.)

The community of Stuart is such an integral part of the fabric of this area, with it’s diverse population, a strong network of small businesses, a thriving cultural and social scene, and let’s be honest – a stunning iconic Florida setting!

If you’re visiting the site, and not from this area, here’s a bit of history on Stuart, written by local historian Sandra Thurlow, from the official Centenntial Celebration Site:

 STUART ON THE ST. LUCIE

Stuart, originally named Potsdam by German settlers in 1892, became Stuart in 1895, soon after Henry Flagler’s railway connected the Florida East Coast to the rest of the country. Early settlers were primarily commercial fishermen and pineapple growers. Soon tourism was added to the mix.

Ideally located on the broad St. Lucie River that joins the Indian River as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lucie Inlet, Stuart has always attracted those who love fishing, boating and other activities connected to the water.
Soon after Stuart was officially incorporated in 1914, local boosters promoted the construction of the St. Lucie Canal that connected Stuart to the West Coast of Florida, and rejoiced when Stuart became the “Atlantic Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico.” When Martin County was formed from Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties in 1925, Stuart became the county seat.

In the 1940s, catching sailfish became so popular that Stuart was proclaimed the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Local sportsmen pioneered catch and release policies in order to sustain the species. By the 1950s Northern Nurserymen discovered Stuart was an ideal  location for growing cut-flowers and within a decade Stuart had a new superlative: “Chrysanthemum Capital of the World.”

Although the cut-flower industry faded just as the pineapple industry faded before it, Stuart continues to flourish because of its charm and ideal location on the broad and beautiful St. Lucie River.

Congratulations to the Mayor, Council, and the many staff and volunteers, who made the incredible event possible!

Here are some photos from this wonderful event, celebrating 100 years of a strong, proud and prosperous community!