13075 South Indian River Drive
BUILT ca Early 1880's
The Old Eden Grove Post Office
Served as the Eden Post Office from 7 July 1882 through 31 March 1923
Presently home to Robert & Rosemary Heritage

Photo from Memories of Eden by Raymone Richards Brown
ca Mid 1910's
"Capt. Richards" is Capt. Thomas E. Richards, an Atlantic Coast Schooner Captain from Newark, New Jersey.  He homesteaded at Eden in the Summer of 1879 and was among the first to successfully raise pineapples on the ridge.

The Richards Home is background left, the Inn is background right (behind the dockside store and sail.)
Photo from Memories of Eden by Raymone Richards Brown
ca Mid 1910's

Photo from Memories of Eden by Raymone Richards Brown
ca Mid 1910's

The Richards Place, with the exception of the old Eden Grove Post Office building, burned to the ground in 1989.

Re. "The Drive" at this time (~1914) from Palmetto Rambler by Walter R. Hellier
"...One day I received a phone call from Mr. Williams, cashier of St. Lucie County Bank, asking if I could come up the next day for a conference with Mr. E.P, Maule who, with a parthner by the name of Smith, was just getting a good start to build a two-hundred -thousand dollar rock road through St. Lucie county .... "
Brevard County had purchased Right of Way in 1895 “along the Indian River on top of the bluff and about 20 feet back from the top thereof” for the purpose of constructing what is now South Indian River Drive.  By the Fall of 1898, this narrow, single lane, dirt road that tunneled through the dense river bank hammock growth was Florida's first East coast throughway.  Improvements to this sand cut roadway between 1898 and 1914 consisted of  mixing local shell, from Indian midens in the area, to the sand road for stabilization..

The old Eden Grove Post Office Building following the September 2004 Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne

The old Eden Grove Post Office building "today" (6 months after the October 2005 Hurricane Katrina)

The old Eden Grove Post Office building "today" (6 months after the October 2005 Hurricane Katrina)

Negotiations are currently underway (supported by the St. Lucie County Planning Division, and the County's Historic Preservation Ordinance - passed in 2005) with the St. Lucie Historical Society and the Martin County Historical Society in an attempt to relocate and restore this historic structure -  one of, if not THE, oldest structure in St. Lucie County.  I believe those plans include relocating it to the Elliot Museum (The Martin County Historical Society) property and restoring it there.

I spent many hours with County Staff on the language and content of that Historic Preservation Ordinance and was lead to believe that one of it's primary goals was to put something in place that would (hopefully) prevent future "demolition by neglect" as had happened with some of the historic buildings in St. Lucie Village.

I've also sent links to the same "County Staff" to this growing page, several times since 2004,  - with the responce of ..... "WOW".
With that sort of a reply, just "why" did they work so hard to get the St. Lucie County  "Historic Preservation Ordanance" passed and on the books.  It was being worked and was scheduled for it's public readings in the Fall of 2004 - when Frances and Jeane came thru ... was set aside ... and finally brought back up, rescheduled for public hearings, and passed in 2005, just prior to Wilma  coming thru (if memory serves correctly).

2007 Update

Jeff West - the new owner of The Eden Lawn Plantation has what appears to be great plans to restore it to it's former glory as a neighboorhood community, Bed & Breakfast Inn, and a Restaurant open to the public.  Many of the existing stand alone "guest cottages" on the property are in very poor condition following years of lack of maintenance (in addition to the fact that many of then were litterally "cobbled together") plus the ravages of the 2004 & 2005 hurricanes.  He proposes to take many or most of them down, renovate the main house, and what used to be the restaurant , and construct a series of new "Cracker Style" Cottage homes on the rear part of the property ... all within the properties current zoning classification and it's allowed and permitted uses.  In addition he has proposed to relocate the EDEN PO to the Eden Lawn Plantation Property - renovate it and bring it back to life for it's original use - as the PO for the Eden Lawn Plantation  Community.

I hope it happens.  (Although there is a minority faction on The Drive that is opposing his plans on the grounds that it would be "commercial".)

2008 Update

Due apparently to the obstruction or opposition that Jeff West encountered after making his plans known with a presentation to The Indian River Drive Freeholders Association, the part of his plans to relocate the Eden Grove PO and bring it back to life in his redevelopment plans for The Eden Lawn Plantation property has been withdrawn.  After SEVERAL appearances before the Historic Preservation Commission and The BOCC, I believe Jeff has received permission to take down the delapidated ex-guest cottages at the Eden Grove Plantation property and hopefully "soon" start on the property's restoration and renovations.

This from today's paper - "The Ft. Pierce Tribune"

by - Mr. John O'Conner
July 26, 2008
----> 360 Degree Panorama <----