Saturday, December 3, 2016

I met a gentleman named Joseph “Jay” Fearnley at the Rotary last Wednesday. . .

This will not take long today; there will be much more to come later about this. To read about my conversation with Mr. Fearnley use this link.

The Blueway Trail project on the C-51 Canal between the city’s of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach has been getting a tremendous amount of attention on this blog and took an unexpected turn this week: the Blueway Trail in the context of history.

The first image below is of Spillway Park in Lake Worth and the S-155 structure that blocks public access between the Intracoastal and the inland Chain of Lakes (for example, Lake Osborne is one of those lakes). The S-155 was constructed in the 1950’s. I believe this structure, along with the construction of I-95, ushered in the long period of decline that this City still experiences today along N. Dixie Hwy. and elsewhere.

Examine the following pictures for yourself and if you have more information to share please feel free to contact me: 561-308-0364; email:

Inside the hashed box: Spillway Park, C-51 Canal and the S-155 structure as it is today. To see this for yourself take Maryland Ave. off Federal Hwy in Lake Worth.

Note the change in orientation and C-51 Canal (on right). This image is from 1937. In the center you can see the early platted streets of what is now the College Park neighborhood in Lake Worth.

This image is from the 1950’s. Compare with the first image above. See the marina on the Lake Worth side of the C-51? How many businesses supported this marina? Motels? Restaurants? Fishing supply stores?

Would it be a stretch to call former-Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill a visionary? She was an early proponent of kayak access from the Intracoastal to the Chain of Lakes. Stay tuned as they say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Palm Beach Canal actually had a navigation lock for commercial boat traffic to & from Canal Point (the 20 Mile Bend Pumping Station had not yet been built).
The boats would take tourists and prospective land buyers to & from Canal Point, where a hotel was located.
Many Commercial Skippers ran the canal, and many would dock-in at the docks and early marinas of the hotels circa 1910-1930 or so.
One such boat operator was Capt. Cricket Cross and his relative (either Dad or brother) Noah Cross. Many others of his time also navigated the inland regions before the Herbert Hoover Dike was built.
Lawrence E. Will wrote the book 'Okeechobee Boats & Skippers'. The Lake, canal and lagoon were very busy during this time frame.
The spillway still has some elements of the old lock still there.