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14 OCT

Palm Beach Places Unknown | Sawfish Bay Park

By Jeff Lichtenstein

If you are looking for a place with a bit of history to fish, launch your kayak, and have a picnic, Sawfish Bay Park in Jupiter may have exactly what you are looking for. Located on the meeting point of the Jupiter Inlet and the Loxahatchee River, Sawfish Bay Park is located on 2.5 acres and has a fishing pier, fish cleaning station, a canoe/kayak/paddleboard launch, and several pavilions and picnic areas, all with views of the Jupiter Lighthouse.

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The site also played a role in area history. It was first inhabited 5,000 years ago and provided access to the intricate transportation system within the early people of the Everglades region. By 1894, the site became the center of commerce due to its proximity to the railroad depot. The first Jupiter school was built here in 1901 next to the home of the first mayor. The huge oak tree on the site is over 200 years old.

sawfish-bay-park_02Sawfish Bay Park is also the current home of Jupiter’s Historic Florida East Coast Railway Depot. The building is over 100 years old and was saved from demolition in 2012. The building first stood where Johnston Park is now and was one of the stops on Henry Flagler’s Railroad from Jacksonville to Key West. Only 8 of the original 65 depots from the FEC remain.

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The Jupiter Depot closed in 1965 and was bought by local newspaper publisher Betty Bush in 1966, who moved it to Seabrook Road in Tequesta and remodeled it into her personal home. Decades later, the home fell into disrepair and was frequently vandalized. When the lot was bought in the last few years, the depot was scheduled for demolition, but local residents pushed for it to be saved.

As a home on Seabrook Road
As a home on Seabrook Road

                                                             

After being moved to Sawfish Bay Park
After being moved to Sawfish Bay Park

The town of Jupiter paid the $111,370 bill to move the depot from Tequesta to Sawfish Bay Park in 2012. It took 4 hours to make the 2-mile journey. Renovations were paid for by the Loxahatchee Guild and are now complete.

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LOCATION
1133 N Alternate A1A
Jupiter FL 33458
Phone: 561-741-2400

HOURS
6:00 AM – Midnight 24/7

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