Stuart, Florida: House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar

A museum in a foster home for shipwrecked sailors.

Elliott Museum

Address:
301 SE MacArthur Blvd., Stuart, FL
Directions:
Hutchinson Island. From I-95, Exit 61 (SR 76), follow East, turn right on Monterey Road. Keep left at fork and follow to end. Turn right on E. Ocean Boulevard and continue East to the Elliott Museum (on the right-hand side).
Hours:
M-Sat 10 am - 4 pm, Su 1- 4 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
772-225-1875
Admission:
Adults $5
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House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar

The House of Refuge was built in 1876 and is the only one of 10 sailors' sanctuaries still standing along Florida's southeast coast. When cargo ships from South America, Portugal and other places crashed onto rows of reefs offshore, their crews showed up on the beaches looking for food and a place to sleep.

Keepers living in these "lifesaving stations" -- built every 26 miles from Miami to Daytona Beach -- gave them shelter.

Today, this one is a museum, with old photos and Indian artifacts downstairs and rooms upstairs decorated as if the refuge keeper and his family have just stepped away.

The House of Refuge is the Oldest Building in Martin County, FL. surviving a direct hit of 2 hurricanes (2 weeks apart) in 2004. Access to this area was destroyed for a period of time.

[Cheri, 05/04/2008]

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