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Covering Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Viera and Eau Gallie.
Free History Festival takes place tomorrow
in downtown Fort Pierce
FORT PIERCE — The lineup for this weekend’s Treasure Coast History Festival has been announced, with separate sessions on the native Ais culture and the life of landscape artist A.E. “Bean’’ Backus headlining the event.
The free festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sat., Jan. 11) in downtown Fort Pierce and features historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry. Read more...
Social media personality Billy Johnson featured at Saturday’s History Festival
On any given day, Billy Johnson is likely to pull from his memory some long-forgotten piece of history that happened in Fort Pierce a half century ago and post it on the popular Fort Pierce Connection Facebook page.
The world of Johnson 50 years ago was idyllic: riding his bike downtown, plying the waters of the Indian River in his flats fishing boat, spending the weekend in his family’s cabin on one of the river’s spoil islands or dropping into the local bowling alley for a cherry Coke. Read more...
Ais, 15,000-year natives, topic of Saturday’s History Festival
When the Spaniards arrived on shores of the Treasure Coast 500 years ago, an ancient people known as the Ais greeted them to the land they and their ancestors had lived on for thousands of years.
The Ais and their ancestors had been living on this coast for perhaps as long as 15,000 years, says an archaeologist who has studied them and uncovered some of their settlements over the last two decades. “It’s an interesting phenomenon,’’ says Alan Brech of Palm Bay, who will be one of the featured speakers at the Treasure Coast History Festival in Fort Pierce on Saturday. “As a researcher, I’m fortunate because there’s a lot to do and it’s easy to make contributions because so little has been done.’’ Read more...
FREE HISTORY FESTIVAL RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN FP SATURDAY, JAN. 11
The Treasure Coast History Festival returns to downtown Fort Pierce on Saturday, Jan. 11, with an all-day event featuring historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry.
This is the fourth year of the festival, which highlights the history of the Treasure Coast. Free and open to the public, the festival is produced by Indian River Magazine Inc. in association with Main Street Fort Pierce, Sunrise Ford/Volkswagen, the St. Lucie County Historical Society, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery and the Sunrise Theatre. Read more...
Famed Fort Pierce artist to be remembered Saturday
FORT PIERCE — The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery will present a panel discussion entitled “We Remember Backus” as a session in the fourth annual Treasure Coast History Festival on Saturday, Jan. 11, presented by Indian River Magazine. The panel discussion will start at 1 p.m. in the Sunrise Theatre’s Black Box Theatre located at 117 South 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. Admission is free and no reservations are required, though seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Read more...
Waldo Sexton Homestead Days returns to Vero Jan. 4-5
Treasure Coast residents will have a rare opportunity Jan. 4 and 5 to visit the original 1917 homestead of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton.
The family of Mark Tripson, grandson of Waldo Sexton, are hosting Waldo Sexton Homestead History Weekend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5,on the property at 5000 12th St., Vero Beach, as part of the Treasure Coast History Festival produced by Indian River Magazine.
Waldo Sexton History Weekend will kick off Friday night, Jan. 3, with a dinner at the homestead from 5:30 to 9 p.m.featuring speakers former Indian River County Commissioner Fran Adams and Maj. Eric Flowers of the Sheriff’s Department. Tickets to the dinner are $100 and can be purchased at www.waldossecretgarden.com A portion of the proceeds benefit the Sam R. Tripson Memorial Foundation and the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Read more...
A Future of Possibilities
“Ambition — Artist.” That’s what the late Alfred Hair’s yearbook photo says, right above a portrait of a captivating young man gazing into the distance, as if he’s imagining that future and exactly how he’s going to get there. A hint to the how is also right above the photo: “Hobby — Hot Rodding.’’ Before he died at the age of 29, the young man who loved art and cars had not only achieved his ambition but was the star of the movement of African-American landscape painters (and roadside art dealers) that would become known as the Highwaymen. In anticipation of an exhibition of Hair’s paintings at A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery opening this month, writer Catherine Enns Grigas, who has also penned a book about the Highwaymen, takes a look back at the artist who was always looking ahead.
Gary Roberts, owner of a winery northwest of Fort Pierce, and Pete Anderson, owner of a craft brewery in Sebastian, had each been to other areas of the country where craft brewers or vineyards collaborated to create maps guiding customers to their businesses.
The two men each say they got along well right from the start, but it took several years for them to call together the craft brewers at Roberts’ Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery. It was the inaugural meeting for members of what became the Treasure Coast Wine & Ale Trail.
It has been nearly 50 years since a young black man was shot and later died on a hot August night in a modest little bar on Avenue D in Fort Pierce. He might have been forgotten, except that he left a curious legacy that was to live on long after his death.
Alfred Hair was an artist, and his paintings of turquoise seas, peach clouds and scarlet royal poinciana trees, along with the thousands more created by his friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances, became the signature works of the 26 African-American artists who were later called the Florida Highwaymen.
Joie de Vivre
When Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted doubled the size of their St. Lucie River estate in Stuart, they used design elements inspired by their travels around Europe.
Spanning 10 years, the project included addition of a guest house above the three-car garage and a master wing that doubled the square footage of the home.
Local vacation rental owners share their experiences using online platforms to open their homes to visitors
For Jill Cleveland and her husband, David, the week they spent in a cottage in Scotland was simply fabulous. The Fort Pierce residents have enjoyed several family vacations where they rented a house or an apartment, explaining it is more cost-effective than staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants.
Saving is only one of the reasons Cleveland says the couple prefers vacation rentals. The complete experience is one of the other reasons. Due to their wonderful times staying in vacation rentals, the Clevelands plan to rent part of their North Carolina mountain property to vacationers one day. “The mountains are popular for tiny cabins and yurts,” Cleveland says.
To Each His Own
Using advanced technology, the 2nd Street Bistro in downtown Fort Pierce is one of the busiest and most modern restaurants on the Treasure Coast — serving more than 20,000 people a month.
Servers save as many as 2,000 steps a day using hand-held computers to transmit orders and cut down on unneeded trips to and from the restaurant’s three kitchens. With more than 75 employees, the 300-seat restaurant is open every day except Christmas.
It Takes a Village
Even though mass demonstrations have shut down Haiti’s government and kept virtually all schools closed for months, it’s been business as usual for one small primary school in the Haitian countryside that has strong ties to the Treasure Coast.
The Children’s Academy and Learning Center, supported by Vero Beach-based Haiti Partners, has remained open in a village five miles from the capital, Port-Au-Prince, despite anti-government protests that have paralyzed the country. The demonstrators, angered by rising gas prices and severe food shortages, have blocked roads in major cities, set fires and even harassed children wearing school uniforms to frighten them into staying home.
The CARGO PILOT
On a recent trip to Santiago, Chile, pilot Manuel Cabianca looked out the window from the cockpit of his 747 and saw television news crews gathering on the tarmac below.
The Vero Beach resident and captain for Atlas Air regularly flies cargo in and out of Santiago. But that night, there was an unscheduled change in the routing.
The CREATIVE CIVIL SERVANT
Sit down with Jim Chrulski and you quickly discover that he enjoys putting his creative talents to work. As director of community and legislative affairs for the City of Stuart, he uses his artistic side to help make the city an economically sound, vibrant and beautiful community. His approach is a combination of a lifelong passion for music and the arts mixed with practical, fiscal sense.
Growing up in South Florida, Jessica Harvey is the youngest of three children. Besides her mother, Harvey was the only girl in the household and was usually the center of attention.
“I always got attention when I was younger but always found myself wanting more,” Harvey says. “I would do things to entertain people like crack jokes or be really loud so others would notice me.”
Stroll though history at the Treasure Coast History Festival in downtown Fort Pierce Saturday, Jan. 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hear tales of master landscape artist A.E “Bean” Backus and learn about the ancient Ais Indians who lived here. See historical re-enactors, go on a ghost tour, try the historical trolley rides, enjoy rustic crafts and visit the Old Florida Authors Alley. If you want, enjoy an old-fashioned genuine Summerlin family fish fry for $12. For more information, call 466.3346. Presented by Indian River Magazine.
Former Fort Pierce woman joins global voyage to fight plastic pollution
Growing up on Hutchinson Island with the Indian River as a playground, Rikki Grober Eriksen relished long sails with her father, the late and loved orthopeadic surgeon Ron Grober, and developed a love of all things marine.
Little wonder that she became a marine scientist, earning her phD and going on to hold her current position of marine ecologist at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. And next week she will embark on a leg of a journey, leaving the Azores Oct. 27 and arriving in Antigua Nov. 18, that is taking women on a voyage around the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effect women’s health.
It’s a remarkable journey for a woman who, as a Florida State University student at age 19,survived a kidnapping ordeal in Tallahassee in early 1984 at the hands of Chris Wilder, who was known as the Beauty Queen Killer and was successful at killing at least eight women.
Insect released at Adams Ranch will target Brazilian peppertree
Mike Adams spends $250,000 every year to manage Brazilian peppertrees spread over the family’s 40,000 acres of ranches in Osceola and St. Lucie counties, where his family has developed the Braford breed of cattle. Adams, whose family ranch was founded in 1937, recounts years when the invasive tree from South America overtook natural areas on the ranches, pushing out pasture and grasslands.
War on the river
There was a time when bridge tenders weren’t just maintaining the safe passage of water and vehicle traffic. Other voluntary duties came in handy when World War II broke out.
Janet Walker Anderson and others who lived in the drawbridge houses in Indian River County knew what they did to help was more than just giving access across the river. Allowing people across was an important way to help keep the lines of communication open between the mainland and the barrier island.
For people who are homeless in the tri-county area, there are a variety of places to receive immediate care for their physical and mental well-being. Non-profit organizations with hundreds of volunteers support efforts to provide medical treatment, mental health counseling and services that include meals, clothing and rides to doctors’ appointments.
Cancer. The word alone sends chills up and down the spine. Images of sitting in a room for hours at a time, worrying about the outcome, run through the mind. It’s part of the treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be as miserable as some think. What if one could pass that time by creating a work of art or by listening to some cool jazz? It might just make the treatment a little more tolerable.
Chrysanthemum Ball raises life-saving funds for a quarter century
The Chrysanthemum Ball, or the Mum Ball as locals call it, is one of the premier fundraising events that kicks off the social season in Martin County. Attendees come dressed to the nines at the black tie affair, anticipating a top-notch soirée. And they’re never disappointed. For 25 years, the ball has been held at numerous venues, including elegant waterfront estates. Many events feature a special theme — stunning themes like Cirque du Soleil, Night in Spain, Pulse of the Future — leaving guests feeling surprised, wowed and delighted. And for all of their fun, patrons have raised millions of dollars to provide top quality medical services at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, formerly known as Martin Memorial.
Indian River Magazine took home two top statewide awards during the annual Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards banquet held Friday at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.
The magazine won a Charlie Award for general excellence in the best custom publication division for Vero at 100, a 128-page special edition on the history of Vero Beach from prehistoric times to today. The magazine was produced as part of the celebration of Vero Beach’s 100th anniversary as a city and in conjunction with the Vero Beach Centennial Committee.
Treasure Coast Business a quarterly magazine serving St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, has begun publication, with the inaugural issue arriving this week.
The magazine was launched under a unique partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
Beacon of romance
In Martin County, there is a historic, scenic, coastal setting that has been a beacon to lovers for more than a hundred years. Situated on a bluff of strikingly picturesque rocks at the southerly end of Hutchinson Island, the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge looks out over a vast expanse of aquamarine water that melts into the horizon. A soothing rhythm of white-foamed waves splashing is heard on the rocky coast, while a cool sea breeze calms the senses.
When pirates scoured the Treasure Coast
One man. One crew. One ship can take on the entire British Empire without a hiccough or regret. However grandiose Bellamy’s assertion may sound today, it was not without sincerity.
Engaging as their legends are, the true story of the pirates of the Treasure Coast was even more captivating; it is a long-lost tale of tyranny and resistance, a maritime revolt on the seas. The foundation of the British Empire was shaken by these rogues.
Late in the afternoon, sandhill cranes land in the shallow water of a sand pond to roost for the night. Later, ducks, ibises, wood storks and herrings will join them. The middle bird is a young crane almost ready to leave his parents. They have been in the fields all day hunting for insects, seeds, small mammals and small snakes. They are busy preening their feathers; most birds do this twice a day. The water protects them from predators at night.
'Our Soldier Boy’ of World War I'
The name Stephen N. Gladwin was a familiar one to me growing up in Fort Pierce. I first saw the name etched in the World War I memorial monument on the grounds of the St. Lucie County Courthouse, undoubtedly after seeing a movie at the Sunrise Theatre across the street.
Saving history one page at a time
When I was a rookie reporter at the Fort Pierce News-Tribune back in the late 1970s, I wore a variety of hats (but never a green eye-shade like you see in the old movies). As the youngest and least-tenured reporter on the staff, I was thrown a variety of assignments the senior reporters were able to avoid. Most of these involved putting together items that had templates so they could be easily or quickly written. In other words, things that didn’t require much writing talent.
Best of the Treasure Coast
Readers choose their favorites. From Best Restaurant to Best Places to Work, Indian River Magazine and its readers reveal the best the Treasure Coast has to offer for 2019.
The brightest receive recognition
A distinct group of business leaders stand out from the rest on the Treasure Coast. They have made a big economic impact, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region.
Treasure Coast History
We Hardly Knew Ye
As Vero Beach prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, no one figure stands taller in the city’s history than Waldo Sexton. He is Vero Beach’s most iconic figure celebrated and written about more than any other.