10 July 1999

(Changing for this Issue to)...
"Little Known Facts"

The Barefoot Mailman (1885-1893)
In 1885 the sixty mile stretch of South Florida coastline between Lake Worth and Biscayne Bay had remained unchanged since Ponce de Leon sailed past in 1513. But, settlers in the area had become numerous enough to warrant the U.S. Postal Service to extend mail delivery south from the town of Palm City (Palm Beach) down to Lemon City (Miami). At that time there were no roads, railroads, nothing that connected the two points, except...the virgin coastine. Therefore.....the "Star" or Barefoot" route was created. The hardy men that traveled this distance, on sand and surf, became known as the "Barefoot Mailmen". They covered eighty miles in the blazing Florida sunshine, with a large haversack, stuffed, over their shoulders. The route began on Monday morning in Palm City where the mail was picked up. Then he sailed down Lake Worth to a sandy ridge near the present-day Boynton Inlet. Here, the "Barefoot Mailman" started. Shirt off, shoes off, sometimes trousers off, and all stuffed into his haversack along with a canvas mail sack. (The lightweight canvas mail sack was a major concession by the Postal service. All other mail carriers in America were required to use the standard one made of cowhide.) The Barefoot Mailman walked five miles across Boynton Beach, and rested the first night at the Orange Grove House of Refuge at Delray Beach. On Tuesday he walked twenty-five miles of beach and sand until he reached Hillsborough Inlet and crossed in a small boat he kept hidden in the bushes for his own use. Alternating this way, between foot and small boat, he reached Lemon City on Wedneday night and began his return early the next morning. The round trip was 136 miles, 80 by foot, 56 by boat. He reached Palm City by late Saturday, rested Sunday, and started over again on Monday .
For the amazing complete story by David J. Castello, reprinted from the Boynton Beach Times, go to: http://www.boyntonbeach.com/history/,mailman/

The Wreck Of The Coquimbo (1909)
In early 1909 the Norwegian barkentine "Coquimbo" ran hard aground on Boynton's off-shore reef after taking on a full cargo of long-leaf pine lumber in Gulfstream, Mississippi. There were fifteen men aboard. The residents of Boynton were awakened by the foghorns blasting just offshore about a third of a mile south of present day Ocean Avenue. Many settlers came to the beach and by midmorning they rushed by bicycle and foot to cross a canal, now known as the Intracoastal, on a hand-pulled skiff. A "breeches buoy" was quickly erected and all fifteen men were safely transported to the beach. A steam tug finally arrived from Key West. The tug pulled on the stranded vessel for days to no avail. The Coquimbo finally broke up from the pounding of waves. Within days long-leaf pine, including 4x4s, 4x10s and 6x12s (some 30 feet long) washed up along a one mile stretch of Boynton Beach. Men and their families pulled the boards out of the surf and stacked them in heaps that sometimes reached as high as fifty feet. A U.S. Marshall arrived and said that all the wood would have to be auctioned, but, he allowed the Boynton men to mark their piles and they bought them at extremely low bids The remaining wood was bought by a salvager from Key West, who used it to construct homes in Key West. Some of the Coquimbo wood still exists today. The most notable surviving structure is the Early Attic Furniture Store on East Ocean Avenue, which was originally the Boynton Beach Women's Club. Some of the foundation timbers are said to be 12x12 and still in excellent condition. This story by David J. Castello, reprinted from the Boyton Beach Times, can be found:

Boynton's Indian Mounds (1000B.C.-1700)
The largest cluster of Native American Indian mounds in Palm Beach County is located just west of Boynton Beach in an area of the Agricultural Reserve across from Faith farm Ministries. The twelve mounds are spread over an area of approximately 10 acres and range in size from a few yards circular to a rectangular one measuring 200x100 feet.
For this complete story by David J. Castello, reprinted from the Boynton Beach Times go to:

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