Fort Pierce, FL – St. Lucie Village is the oldest continuously occupied place in St. Lucie County. But it did not get around to incorporating until 1961. St. Lucie Village, which turned 50 on May 6, does things its own way. The village nestles between U.S. 1 and the Indian River Lagoon north of Fort Pierce. It is mostly residential, with a mix of mansions and bungalows. The population is about 600. Almost that many people lived on this land when it was occupied by Fort Capron, erected in 1850 during the third Seminole War. James Paine built a house near the fort, and the evolving settlement was called Paines. In the 1920s, Hattie Chamberlin laid out a subdivision. Chamberlin Boulevard, which still has stately palms in its median, was to be an approach to a bridge to North Hutchinson Island. But the hurricane of 1928 put a stop to that. The residents voted to incorporate to block construction of a steel plant. The mayor and the aldermen serve without pay. The annual budget is less than $400,000. The village has three employees - all part time. As I said, St. Lucie Village does things its own way. For 88.9, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.