7 Must-See Historic Sites in Stuart, FloridaPosted on: March 10, 2022
Read Time: 5 minutes
Located on Florida’s East Coast, the city of Stuart and its surrounding areas are not only rooted in coastal views but also in unique historic sites. First founded in 1870, this charming seaside town is filled with numerous sites that showcase the city’s countless years of growth and community spirit. Take a journey back in time and visit the cultural and historic landmarks that make Stuart a one-of-a-kind destination.
1. The House of Refuge
The House of Refuge at Gilbert’s Bar is one of ten original houses built along Florida’s east coast to provide shelter for shipwreck survivors. The building is not only the last remaining House of Refuge but is also the oldest structure in Martin County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum displays historical maritime artifacts, a model ship collection, Ais Native American artifacts, shipwreck artifacts, and much more.
Photography Credits: Martin County Office of Tourism
2. Georges Valentine
Just 100 yards from the House of Refuge Museum is the shipwreck of Georges Valentine, one of only 12 underwater archaeological preserves within the state of Florida. Visitors can park at the House of Refuge and walk to the rocky outcropping entry point. Thanks to its location just 100 yards offshore, guests can either dive or snorkel through the ship wreckage and take in the abundance of marine life in the area.
3. The Lyric Theatre
Located on Main Street in Downtown Stuart, the Lyric Theatre is the city’s cherished home to the performing arts. The Theatre was built in 1926 as a silent movie house and has been used in a variety of manners since then. Numerous revitalization projects throughout the years have brought the building back to performance condition, including a 2020 renovation that added a new roof, restored the marquees, upgraded the signage, and more. The stage is now home to numerous shows annually, including comedy acts, musicals, classic movie showings, and educational programs.
Photography Credits: The Lyric Theater
4. Captain Henry Sewall’s House
This historic structure, built in 1889 at the tip of the peninsula that became Sewall’s Point, was once the home of local pioneer and developer Henry E. Sewall. When Captain Sewall became the postmaster, he established the Sewall’s Point post office in his home in 1891. Captain Sewall and his wife Abbie lived in the house until 1910. Historic guided tours of the home are held every first and third Wednesday of the month.
Photography Credits: Martin County Office of Tourism
5. The Elliott Museum
Founded in 1960, the Elliott Museum was created to showcase the inventive genius of Sterling Elliott. The museum features installments and exhibits dedicated to inspiring creativity through history, art, and community culture for the people who live in and visit the Treasure Coast. From the most comprehensive assemblage of Model A trucks in the world to one of the largest collections of signed baseball-related items, the museum is filled with something for everyone to enjoy.
6. The Court House Cultural Center
Stuart’s Court House Cultural Center and Gallery is host to fine art exhibitions created by local, regional, and internationally renowned artists. Designed in the art deco style and built in 1937 as a federal courthouse, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. In 1989, MartinArts saved the building from demolition, restoring it to its natural beauty and creating the current fine art gallery.
7. The Stuart Heritage Museum
After purchasing the Stuart Feed Store building in 1988, the City of Stuart wanted to create a museum that celebrated and preserved the history of Stuart and its surrounding communities. Today, the Stuart Heritage Museum is home to countless relics and artifacts that define the history of the businesses, agriculture, and community spirit of the City of Stuart and Martin County.
Photography Credits: Tom Cloud
A Historic Waterfront Lifestyle
Standing as one of Florida’s first waterfront golf communities, Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club is also a part of Stuart’s storied history. Located on the shoreline of the St. Lucie River, Harbour Ridge offers the very best of boating and golf course living. The 45,000 square foot Clubhouse is the heart of the community, designed to take full advantage of the stunning panoramic vistas of the St. Lucie River. Residents can also entertain themselves at the Lakeside Lifestyle Center, home to a tennis program, full-service spa, barbershop, physical therapy, and a spacious fitness center. Harbour Ridge also features two USGA recognized championship golf courses: The River Ridge, a Pete & P.B. Dye designed course with tropical landscapes and vistas that can be played from any of the five sets of tees, and the Golden Marsh, a Bobby-Weed designed course with tropical charm, swaying palms, and sweeping vistas. Three private marinas on-site provide a combined total of 98 slips for boats up to 80 feet in length.
The wide variety of homes for sale within the Harbour Ridge community offers varying price points and styles to suit every need. All single-family homes and condominiums have stunning views of the St. Lucie River, lakes golf courses, or nature preserves. Move-in-ready rental residences are also available for seasonal residents. Our complimentary digital brochure shares an even closer look at the amenities and lifestyle offered within this waterfront community. Visit HarbourRidge.com or call 772-336-3000 for more information.