Buried Treasure, Pineapples, and Railways Oh My!

June 29, 2024 | Read Time: 3 minutes

exterior of the Elliot Museum

Martin County’s vibrant coastal lifestyle has attracted residents and visitors alike since the very beginning of time. The area is filled with a deep and colorful history that spans countless years of transformation and community spirit.

The Treasure Coast received its nickname after Spanish Fleets that shipwrecked along the coast in the 1700s. Gold, silver, and jewels were deposited into the waters and beaches, making it an excellent area to search for buried treasure. Treasure hunters, however, aren’t the only ones who have struck gold along the Treasure Coast. Otto and Ernest, two of Martin County’s earliest settlers in the 1890s, found their fortunes in pineapple farming. Soon after, farmers from across the nation flocked to the area to create a life of their own. The Indian River became a highway for millions of pineapples, citrus, fish, and more shipped north annually, and Jensen even became known as the “Pineapple Capital of the World.”

pineapple in Treasure Coast

Enticed by the area’s thriving coastal lifestyle, railroad pioneer Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railway system further south, initiating trading from New York to Key West. The railroad brought about a new wave of excitement to the area, as more and more people were attracted to settle down in this coastal community. Today, Martin County continues to grow into a world-class destination, but it still stays humble to its historic roots. Residents have come together to preserve numerous historic buildings that show the transformation of this one-of-a-kind destination.

the house of refuge in Treasure Coast


Built in 1876, the House of Refuge is Martin County’s oldest building and the last remaining of ten cottages built along Florida’s coastline to provide shelter for shipwreck survivors. Now, the museum displays historical maritime artifacts, a model ship collection, and furnishings belonging to the house’s keeper.


Founded in 1960, the Elliott Museum showcases the ingenuity of local inventor Sterling Elliott, with eclectic collections including a comprehensive assemblage of Model A trucks, the world’s largest collection of baseball cards, the history of local smugglers the Ashley Gang, and much more.

Stuart Feed Supply building


Housed in what was previously the Stuart Feed & Supply Store, the Stuart Heritage Museum celebrates and preserves Stuart’s vast history with countless relics
and artifacts spanning from the area’s Native American heritage up to the present day.


In Palm Beach just 40 minutes south, Henry Flagler’s historic residence Whitehall is now open as the Flagler Museum. Here, visitors can step into the Gilded Age, a period that
brought about the rise of railroads and socialites

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