Stuart, Florida
Downtown Stuart
Downtown Stuart
Nickname: 
Sailfish Capital of the World
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°11′32″N 80°14′35″W / 27.19222°N 80.24306°W / 27.19222; -80.24306Coordinates: 27°11′32″N 80°14′35″W / 27.19222°N 80.24306°W / 27.19222; -80.24306
CountryUnited States
StateFlorida
CountyMartin
City1914
Government
 • TypeCommission-Manager
 • MayorMerritt Matheson
 • Vice MayorTroy McDonald
Area
 • Total9.53 sq mi (24.67 km2)
 • Land7.05 sq mi (18.25 km2)
 • Water2.48 sq mi (6.42 km2)
Elevation
10 ft (3 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total17,425
 • Density2,472.68/sq mi (954.69/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
34994-34997
Area code772
FIPS code12-68875[2]
GNIS feature ID0291756[3]
WebsiteCity of Stuart Website

Stuart is a city in and the seat of Martin County, Florida, United States. Located on Florida's Treasure Coast, Stuart is the largest of four incorporated municipalities in Martin County. The estimated population is 16,237 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Stuart is the 126th largest city in Florida based on official 2019 estimates from the US Census Bureau.[4] It is part of the Port St. Lucie, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Stuart is frequently cited as one of the best small towns to visit in the U.S., in large part because of its proximity to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.[5][6]

History

In the 18th century, several Spanish galleons were shipwrecked in the Martin County area of Florida's Treasure Coast. The multiple wrecks were reportedly the result of a hurricane, and the ships were carrying unknown quantities of gold and silver. Some of this treasure has since been recovered, and its presence resulted in the region's name.

The historic Dudley-Bessey House on SW Atlanta Avenue is now a yacht brokerage office
The historic Dudley-Bessey House on SW Atlanta Avenue is now a yacht brokerage office

In 1832, pirate Pedro Gilbert, who often used a sandbar off the coast as a lure to unsuspecting prey, chased and caught the Mexican, a U.S. merchant ship. Although he attempted to burn the ship and kill the crew, they survived to report the incident, ultimately resulting in the capture and execution of Gilbert and his crew. The bar from which he lured his intended booty is named "Gilbert's Bar" on nautical charts.[7][8]: 1 

The Old Martin County Courthouse, built in 1937, now the Courthouse Cultural Center
The Old Martin County Courthouse, built in 1937, now the Courthouse Cultural Center

The Treasure Coast area that became Stuart was first settled by non-Native Americans in 1870. In 1875, a United States Lifesaving Station was established on Hutchinson Island, near Stuart. Today, the station is known as Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

From 1893 to 1895, the area was called Potsdam. This name was chosen by Otto Stypmann, a local landowner originally from Potsdam, Germany. Stypmann, with his brother Ernest, owned the land that would become downtown Stuart. Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway connected the area to Daytona Beach in 1892 and Miami in 1896.

Potsdam was renamed Stuart in 1895, in honor of Homer Hine (Jack) Stuart Jr., a local landowner who owned a 160 acres around the railway station.[8]: 7  Rue, Luckhardt, Krueger, Crary, Armellinis, were some of the prominent settler families.[9]

When Stuart was incorporated as a town in 1914, it was located in Palm Beach County. In 1925, Stuart was chartered as a city and named the county seat of the newly created Martin County.[10]

The City of Stuart formally adopted the slogan Sailfish Capital of the World in 1957, following pressure from the Stuart Chamber of Commerce,[11] owing to the many sailfish found in the ocean off Martin County. The slogan is still used by the City. Some have also assigned Guatemala the namesake.[12][13][14]

From 1871 to 2005, 19 hurricanes passed through Stuart, including Isbell (1964), Frances (2004), Jeanne (2004), and Wilma (2005).[15]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22 km2), of which 6.3 square miles (16 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is water.

Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification, Stuart has a tropical rainforest climate (Af), with hot, humid summers and warm, drier winters. Stuart has a noticeably seasonal precipitation pattern, with summer being the wettest season and winter being the driest.

Summers feature hot temperatures and frequent thunderstorms. Average highs during summer range from 88 °F (31 °C) to 91 °F (33 °C). On average, there are 81 days of 90+ °F highs annually, with an average annual mean maximum of 96.4 °F (35.8 °C). Late summer brings an increased threat of tropical storms and hurricanes, though landfalls are rare. Several major hurricanes have impacted Stuart since 1900, with Hurricane David in 1979 and hurricanes Frances and Jeanne causing moderate damage to the area in 2004.

Winter brings much cooler and drier air. Average highs during winter range from 74 °F (23 °C) to 78 °F (26 °C), though occasional strong cold fronts bring brief rainfall followed by cooler temperatures, with highs in the 50s °F for a few days each winter. Most winters are frost-free, with an annual mean minimum temperature of 37.6 °F (3.1 °C).

Climate data for Stuart, Florida, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1936–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(32)
98
(37)
93
(34)
98
(37)
98
(37)
102
(39)
105
(41)
99
(37)
102
(39)
97
(36)
100
(38)
99
(37)
105
(41)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 84.1
(28.9)
85.7
(29.8)
87.7
(30.9)
89.8
(32.1)
91.7
(33.2)
94.4
(34.7)
94.8
(34.9)
94.3
(34.6)
93.6
(34.2)
90.3
(32.4)
86.7
(30.4)
85.3
(29.6)
96.4
(35.8)
Average high °F (°C) 74.2
(23.4)
76.2
(24.6)
78.4
(25.8)
82.3
(27.9)
85.7
(29.8)
89.2
(31.8)
90.9
(32.7)
90.6
(32.6)
88.8
(31.6)
85.1
(29.5)
79.7
(26.5)
76.1
(24.5)
83.1
(28.4)
Daily mean °F (°C) 64.9
(18.3)
67.4
(19.7)
69.9
(21.1)
74.4
(23.6)
78.2
(25.7)
81.8
(27.7)
83.2
(28.4)
83.2
(28.4)
82.0
(27.8)
78.4
(25.8)
72.4
(22.4)
68.1
(20.1)
75.3
(24.1)
Average low °F (°C) 55.7
(13.2)
58.6
(14.8)
61.4
(16.3)
66.5
(19.2)
70.8
(21.6)
74.4
(23.6)
75.5
(24.2)
75.8
(24.3)
75.2
(24.0)
71.8
(22.1)
65.1
(18.4)
60.1
(15.6)
67.6
(19.8)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 39.6
(4.2)
42.0
(5.6)
47.1
(8.4)
54.3
(12.4)
63.4
(17.4)
69.8
(21.0)
71.0
(21.7)
71.4
(21.9)
70.9
(21.6)
60.5
(15.8)
50.4
(10.2)
44.0
(6.7)
37.6
(3.1)
Record low °F (°C) 23
(−5)
28
(−2)
27
(−3)
37
(3)
45
(7)
55
(13)
59
(15)
59
(15)
58
(14)
42
(6)
31
(−1)
26
(−3)
23
(−5)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.01
(76)
2.61
(66)
3.76
(96)
3.56
(90)
5.66
(144)
7.44
(189)
6.08
(154)
8.49
(216)
8.28
(210)
6.46
(164)
4.16
(106)
3.21
(82)
62.72
(1,593)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.7 7.7 7.9 8.7 10.2 14.1 14.4 16.2 15.9 13.5 10.2 10.2 137.7
Source: NOAA[16][17]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920778
19301,924147.3%
19402,43826.7%
19502,91219.4%
19604,79164.5%
19704,8200.6%
19809,46796.4%
199011,93626.1%
200014,63322.6%
201015,5936.6%
202017,42511.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]

2020 census

Stuart racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[19]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 11,905 68.32%
Black or African American (NH) 1,945 11.16%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 23 0.13%
Asian (NH) 277 1.59%
Pacific Islander (NH) 2 0.01%
Some Other Race (NH) 81 0.46%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 570 3.27%
Hispanic or Latino 2,622 15.05%
Total 17,425

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 17,425 people, 7,263 households, and 3,562 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 15,593 people, 7,220 households, and 3,422 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,320.5 per square mile (896.0/km2). There were 8,777 housing units at an average density of 1,391.9 per square mile (537.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.30% White, 12.33% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.97% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.29% of the population.

There were 7,220 households, out of which 15.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.6% were non-families. 46.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 26.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.88 and the average family size was 2.60.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 14.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 32.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,954, and the median income for a family was $47,736. Males had a median income of $29,151 versus $23,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,020. About 7.8% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over. Stuart is publicly seen as a new coming old city, starting a new boom in its local economy with construction of a new bridge, rise of new buildings and roadways being restored.

The cost of living in Stuart is 88, on a relative scale where the U.S. average is represented by 100.[20]

Cost of Living Stuart U.S.
Overall 88 100
Food 105 100
Utilities 97 100
Housing 55 100


Economy

Stuart hosts one of the two Florida Department of Health offices in Martin County, the other being in Indiantown.[21]

Various businesses cater to tourists, such as fishing charters, boating charters, sailing, cruises, SCUBA and snorkeling, and nature tours.[citation needed]

Top employers

According to the city's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[22] the top employers in the Stuart area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Martin Health System 2,825
2 Martin County School District 2,566
3 Martin County 1,566
4 Publix 1,276
5 State of Florida 637
6 iVox Solutions 532
7 TurboCombustor Technology 420
8 Winn-Dixie 329
9 Liberator Medical Supply 319
10 Florida Power & Light 303

Arts and culture

Points of interest

Notable historic properties in downtown in range from the early 1880s to 1940s, representing a mix of Beaux-Arts, colonial revival, spanish mediterranean, Art Deco, frame vernacular, masonry vernacular architecture styles.[23][24]

Stuart Heritage Museum
Stuart Riverwalk, 2018
Stuart Riverwalk, 2018

Education

Public education in Stuart is administered by the Martin County School District.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Witham Field is a public-use airport located one mile southeast of the central business district owned by Martin County.

US Route 1 passes northwest-southeast through Stuart. The coastal route A1A heads east from Stuart towards Hutchinson Island, and the road heads southeast out of Stuart. Florida State Road 76 heads south from the city, and Florida State Road 714 heads west from the city.

Stuart has a yacht club and several marinas serving private crafts of various sizes.

Local transit is provided by the county.[28]

Until 1968 the Florida East Coast Railway operated Jacksonville to Miami service, with a station stop in Stuart. Until 1963 long distance passenger trains included the Illinois Central Railroad's City of Miami and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad's South Wind both heading from Chicago; and they included the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's East Coast Champion, the Havana Special, and the winter-only Florida Special originating from New York.[29][30][31]

The Brightline passenger rail company is extending to the Space Coast and Orlando, north from the West Palm Beach terminus of its West Palm Beach - Miami service. While the City of Stuart initially appeared eager to become the sole station along the Brightline's Treasure Coast length,[32][33] the City has more recently reiterated concerns about the project's effects on traffic.[34]

Notable people

Stuart in popular culture

In 1973, the movie Little Laura and Big John, a highly fictionalized version of the true story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, was filmed in Stuart.[35]

References

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Stuart, Florida Population 2018". World Population Review. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
  5. ^ "The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015 -- 3. Stuart, Florida".
  6. ^ "20 Amazing Small Towns in America".
  7. ^ Johnson, Larry (13 May 2009). "column:Always Learning". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1D.
  8. ^ a b Historic Properties Survey of the City of Stuart Florida (PDF) (Report). Stuart, Florida: Historic Property Associates Inc. April 1991. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Early Pioneers" (PDF). Historical Society of Martin County. March 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Our Area's History". Stuary/Martin County Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  11. ^ "Historical Vignettes tells the story of how Stuart became 'The Sailfish Capital of the World'". www.tcpalm.com. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  12. ^ "Why Guatemala is the Sailfish Capital of the World". LiveOutdoors. 2016-07-18. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  13. ^ "Guatemala: The Sailfish Capital of the World". Hachette Book Group. 2016-02-20. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  14. ^ "Guatemala, The Sailfish Capital Of The World • AnglerAdventures.com". Angler Adventures. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  15. ^ "Stuart,Florida's history with tropical systems". Hurricane City. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  16. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  17. ^ "Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  20. ^ "Compare Cost of Living". Sperling's Best Places. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  21. ^ "Florida Department of Health in Martin". martin.floridahealth.gov.
  22. ^ "City of StuartCAFR" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  23. ^ Jett, Michele (April 3, 2020). "City of Stuart Florida's Historical Buildings Tour". ArcGIS. ArcGIS StoryMaps. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  24. ^ 1991 Survey of Notable Historic Properties (PDF) (Report). Stuart, Florida: City of Stuart. 1991. p. 2. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  25. ^ Audubon of Martin County: Possum Long Nature Center Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Swartz, Sally D. (26 January 1997). "1880s Plantation House Gets New Life". The Palm Beach Post. pp. 611, 615. Retrieved 15 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  27. ^ Moore, Pat (27 February 2002). "Stuart Mansion Declared Historic Treasure". The Palm Beach Post. pp. B5, 374. Retrieved 15 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  28. ^ "Public Transit Information". Martin County Florida. 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Florida East Coast Railway". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 90 (7). December 1957.
  30. ^ "Florida East Coast Railway". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 91 (3). January 1962.
  31. ^ Bramson, Seth H. Speedway to Sunshine: the story of the Florida East Coast Railway, Boston Mills Press, 2010, p. 227. ISBN 9781554077533.
  32. ^ Durham, Pattie (July 12, 2021). "'Stuart likely location of Brightline station'". 'Treasure Coast Business,'. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  33. ^ Andreassi, George (2019-11-21). "With Fort Pierce out, nearest Virgin Trains stop looks like Stuart - 32963 News". Vero News. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  34. ^ Sawyer, Denise (2022-01-18). "Roll-out of Brightline on Treasure Coast met with opposition from city of Stuart". WPEC. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  35. ^ Luckhardt, Alice; Luckhardt, Greg (27 October 2013). "Ashley Gang: Notorious outlaws struck fear in Stuart residents". TCPalm. Retrieved 23 May 2016.