Archaeological and Historic Resources
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse sits at a prominent location bordered by the Loxhatachee and Indian Rivers. There is archaeological evidence of continuous Native American habitation from 3000 B.C. until 1763 A.D., when the first archeological evidence of an English settlement is recorded. President Franklin Pierce ordered the Ft. Jupiter Lighthouse Reservation in 1854 and Lt. George Meade, later Union General at the Battle of Gettysburg, was selected to design the structure. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse was completed in 1860; the resulting 108-foot brick tower was topped with a first-order Fresnel lens manufactured in Paris by Henry-LePaute. The light was first lit in 1860, although it was disabled during much of the Civil War by the assistant lighthouse keeper, a Southern sympathizer.
Through the years the site has served as one of the first U.S. Weather Bureau and Signal Stations, a U.S. Navy Wireless Station, Radio Compass Station, and a successful German U-boat tracking station during WWII. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation and is one of only thirteen of the original First Order lens still in use in the United States.
Key Past Actions:
- The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and surrounding archeological site were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
- The pre-historic midden behind the Station J building was capped in 1998.
- The Jupiter Lighthouse underwent a complete restoration in 1999 – 2000 at a cost of $858,000.
- The Station J building received a $1.1 million restoration by the Town of Jupiter and is leased to the Loxahatchee River Historical Society in 2006. It now houses the museum, gift shop and offices.
- The Loxahatchee River Historical Society’s public tours and programs reached 57,394 visitors from July 2007-June 2008.
- Relocation and restoration of the Tindall house, Palm Beach County’s oldest known residence, and associated bricked walkway and native plantings will be completed in 2008.