Barefoot Mailman statue.

Barefoot Mailman Statue

Field review by the editors.

Hillsboro Beach, Florida

Eleven barefoot mailmen carried mail along the beaches between Palm Beach and Miami in the late 1800s. One of them, James "Ed" Hamilton, disappeared in 1887 near Hillsboro Inlet. Some speculate that he was swimming across the inlet to complete his route when he was eaten by alligators.

Better roads ended the need for barefoot mailmen. But they weren't forgotten, and in 1973 a ten-foot-tall stone statue of one was erected in front of the Barefoot Mailman Hotel. Fifteen years later the hotel burned down, but the town paid to have the statue moved to the front of municipal hall. Then it paid to have a second Barefoot Mailman statue made, in bronze, which still stands there today. The original eventually was moved to the Coast Guard's Hillsboro Inlet Light Station, overlooking the place where Hamilton disappeared.

The mailman is depicted as vigorous and virile -- and of course, barefoot -- with a jaunty cap and a big machete, his mail sack slung over one shoulder. He claws the air with his free hand, perhaps to brush aside palm leaves or a charging alligator. A granite pseudo-tombstone that explains the statue is placed behind his bronzed butt.

Rear view of the Barefoot Mailman statue.

The Barefoot Mailman Statue joins the Barefoot Ranger Memorial in Blairsville, Georgia, the Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest in L'Anse, Michigan, and several barefoot statues of Johnny Appleseed scattered across the country, as evidence of a fascination for public-spirited men with strong feet.

Barefoot Mailman Statue

Address:
1210 Hillsboro Mile, Hillsboro Beach, FL
Directions:
I-95 exit 42B. East on Hillsboro Blvd 2.5 miles, then south on A1A a little over a mile. The Statue is in front of municipal hall, on the west side of the road.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

More Quirky Attractions in Florida

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Florida.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

July 23, 2014

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Florida Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center, Richmond, California (Jul 21-27, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Hillsboro Beach, Florida

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now