Spanning the northern tip of Palm Beach County and the Southern tip of Martin County, the village of Tequesta is an upscale but laid back water-lover’s paradise. Surrounded on an east, south and west by the waters of the Loxahatchee River, Florida’s Intracoastal, the Jupiter Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean the town offers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, snorkeling and diving. Nearby beaches and state parks provide even more recreational opportunities. The beauty of Tequesta is unsurpassed in South Florida and real estate prices remain affordable. The area offers a mix of residences, from oceanfront condominiums and bungalows to modest single family homes and riverfront mansions. Tequesta is home to approximately 6,000 people who have access to both Palm Beach and Martin County’s A-rated schools (depending on which county they live in.) The town is also minutes away from the I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike for easy access to all South Florida has to offer.
The history of Tequesta
In the early 1950s, south of Jonathan Dickinson State Park and the Martin County line, there were only scattered homes along Riverside Drive, County Line Road, and Seabrook Road. In 1955 Charles Prynne “Charlie” Martyn (1911-1983) purchased 350 acres along the north and northwest forks of the Loxahatchee River and laid out 600 home sites priced from $3,900 to $7,500. Although Martyn knew the Tequesta Indians had not lived that far north, he named his subdivision the Tequesta Country Club, preferring the name to Jeaga, the local tribe.
Tequesta was incorporated in 1957 with the Tequesta Country Club as its core. Martyn’s partners, John W. “Jack” Kurtz, Jr. (1930-2009) and Walter Fuller “Bud” Lathrop, Jr. (1918-2004), served as the first village mayor and town clerk, respectively. Originally Charles Martyn proposed a Village of Jupiter Beach that included Tequesta and the Jupiter Inlet Colony, which he had recently developed. Instead, the Village of Tequesta includes most of the land from the northwest fork of the Loxahatchee River, east to the ocean on Jupiter Island, and north to the county line, a total of 1.75 square miles of land. Jupiter Inlet Colony, incorporated in 1959, is excluded. Tequesta became “sister cities” with Jupiter in 1957; they are still often referred to as Jupiter-Tequesta.
The opening of Tequesta’s golf course, designed by Dick Wilson, was attended by Arnold Palmer and Dow Finsterwald, the club pro and winner of the PGA Championship in 1958. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player soon joined Finsterwald to play at Tequesta and would later buy homes in northern Palm Beach County. Tequesta received national attention in 1960, when the CBS Sports Spectacular, featuring Ray Milland and Sam Snead, was played at the club, and when Richard M. Nixon, then vice president and running for president for the Republican party, played in a pro-amateur tournament on the Tequesta course. Tequesta Country Club was semi-public until 1963, when the members purchased it from Martyn.
Several subdivisions were built in Tequesta during the early 1960s after big industry arrived in northern Palm Beach County, such as Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (1958) and RCA (1960).