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GILBERT'S BAR, FLORIDA

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Postby AL » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:46 am


Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge completed March 1876 was one of ten houses in Florida commissioned by the U.S. Lifesaving Service as havens for shipwrecked sailors or travelers. Today it is the only one that remains.

Houses of refuge had no lifesaving crews. Instead they were occupied by a keeper and his family, who after storms, walked along the shore in both directions as far as possible, searching for shipwreck victims. In addition there were directional signs erected along the beach pointing to the refuge house for those that came ashore. The family would occupy the first floor and the attic would serve as a dormitory for survivors. The housekeepers would be provide food, shelter and assistance for the shipwrecked.

During WW II the Coast Guard used the location for construction of a lookout tower until it was decommissioned in April of 1945

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HOUSE AND TOWER
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RECONSTRUCTED BOATHOUSE
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TOWER AND CISTERN
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AL
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Postby ericlighthouse » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:17 pm


Nice pictures. The wife and I drove down one Sunday during the hours it was schedule to be open but no one was there. I did get some photo's from outside the fence.
President of Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation, Godfather of Jones Point River Lighthouse, member and EVP of Florida Lighthouse Association and member of other lighthouse groups.
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Postby epona » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:23 pm


Did others areas, states besides Florida have houses of refuge?
Does anyone on the board have more information about these houses?
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Postby vacastle » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:45 am


Did others areas, states besides Florida have houses of refuge?
Does anyone on the board have more information about these houses?

Carole, here's a little bit.
The Life-Saving Service under the direction of Sumner Kimball, only built the Houses of Refuge along the coast of Florida, and Gilbert's Bar is indeed the only one still standing.

But the idea came from the Massachusetts Humane Society, modeled on Britain’s Royal Humane Society, and established by an act of Congress in 1796. The Massachusetts Humane Society built huts of refuge (in some accounts also referred to as houses). One of the places you can read more about this is here:
http://www.lifesavingmuseum.org/exhibits/humanesociety.html

A good reference book about the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service is Shanks & York, The U.S. Life-Saving Service, Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard.

Judy
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Postby beachbum1616 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:57 pm


Do you have directions? We are thinking about making a trip to FL this summer and we would like to go.
Stephen

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Postby ericlighthouse » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:58 pm


Here is the address and phone numbers. It is not hard to find. It is one of the few places in Florida with a rocky coast.


Street Address: 301 SE MacArthur Blvd.
Hutchinson Island
Stuart, FL 34996


Phone: 772-225-1875


Fax: 772-225-2333


Email: info@elliottmuseumfl.org


Web: www.houseofrefugefl.org


Admissions: Adults $4
Children $2


Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.



Mission: The mission of the Historical Society of Martin County is to collect, preserve and interpret for the public the history of American life in the context of the St. Lucie River region and Florida through objects, images, publications, memorabilia and historic sties including Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge and to reflect the vision of the Elliott Museum founder, Harmon Elliott. This vision includes the exhibition of decorative arts, scientific and domestic inventions, tools, vehicles and costumes that reflect American life and arts.


Staff: Robin Hicks-Connors, President & CEO




Museum Type: Archaeology, History, Nature Centers


Governance: Historical Society
President of Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation, Godfather of Jones Point River Lighthouse, member and EVP of Florida Lighthouse Association and member of other lighthouse groups.
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