At the request of one of my readers (thanks, Eric!), I’ve been digging to find out exactly who the “Jones” of Jones Creek in Jupiter, Florida, was and how he ended up with a creek named after him. The Town of Jupiter told me their information was that Jones was a squatter of unknown origin and they couldn't find anything more in their records. He could have been black, white or Indian as all three definitely lived in the area.
Jones Creek is the main tributary to the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. In 1987, what is now known as the Jones Creek Hammock became the property of the town of Jupiter and was restored and opened to the public in 2007. The headwaters of the creek are considered historic and the cypress slough located there is home to 400 year old cypress trees. According to the Jupiter Parks and Recreation website, www.jupiter.fl.us/ParksRecreation, in one twenty acre property, there are oaks, southern magnolia, wild olives, a mangrove swamp, pine flatwoods terrain and wetlands. If you can look beyond the well-tended paths, it’s a true peek back into the way Jupiter looked in the late 1800s.
So that’s why the creek is an interesting bit of history. Here’s where I thought we might make this something more than just another story... I may have found out exactly who Jones was through a life-long native of Jupiter, but I don’t have the information in my hot little hands yet. While I’m waiting and hoping for an answer, I think we could have a lot of fun with this. Let’s hear some theories from you. I don’t care if your theory is serious, silly or even absolutely nuts! Make something up. Who was Jones and why did the creek get his name? Post your theory under comments anytime between now and September 7, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. I’ll put all the entries in a hat and pick a winner!
Not only could this be entertaining, but I’m even going to sweeten the pot and give the winner more than just applause. Since most of you who follow my blog have a thing for Florida history, I found a great book called “Forgotten Tales of Florida” by Bob Patterson. The review on Amazon.com says that it contains some “classic Florida tales…” and “capture(s) the wildness that still lurks in Florida’s more natural places.”You win and I’ll ship it to your door. What do you say? Up for a challenge?