Seminoles shooting alligators
For thousands of years before Europeans arrived,
Native peoples thrived in south Florida by hunting, fishing, and
gathering of wild plants and shellfish. On nearby Corbett Wildlife
Management Area are two significant archeological sites, Big Mound
City and Big Gopher Mound. Hundreds of years after members of the
original native cultures were gone, mostly dead from European
diseases to which they had no resistance, the Seminole Indians,
newcomers to Florida from Georgia and Alabama, sought refuge from
the U.S. Army in Hungryland Slough until starvation forced them to
The slough itself is on Corbett Wildlife Management
Area, but the region as a whole became known to local ranchers as
the Hungryland. In the late 1800s trading posts were established at
Indiantown and Jupiter. Here Indians who had remained after the
Seminole Wars came to trade plumes, alligator skins, deer hides and
meat, sweet potatoes, melons, huckleberries, starch from the
coontie root, and other natural products for manufactured
Florida Photo Archives
Early travelers on the Jupiter-Indiantown Road.
Around the turn of the century, pioneer families
began settling the area, establishing citrus groves, farms, and
cattle ranches along the newly cut Jupiter-Indiantown Road. Virgin
timber was harvested and sawmills to process the lumber were
established. Known as the Central-Dixie Highway and designated SR
29 by the State Road Department, the Jupiter-Indiantown Road was
heavily used by area residents until paved roads were constructed
from Indiantown to Jupiter in the late 1950s.
In the late 1960s the area currently known as Pal
Mar, of which the Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area
is a part, was the victim of a real estate scheme. Developers sold
several thousand residential lots, mainly to out-of-state buyers.
Deep canals were cut in an attempt to drain the property for
development. Because the developers had failed to file the proper
plans, Martin County filed a lawsuit that put an end to drainage of
the property. The citizens of Martin and Palm Beach counties
regarded the land as a conservation area, and the Martin County
Conservation Alliance and other conservation groups conducted
interpretive tours across the property.
The land was purchased in 1994 and 1997 under the
Save Our Rivers program and in 1999 under the Conservation and
Recreation Lands Program.