Port St. Lucie Historical Society


Take a minute to play this short video from the City to see what a historic treasure Port St. Lucie inherited when the 3,100 acres of the McCarty Ranch came into its boundaries.

The city’s McCarty Ranch Preserve was named to recognize and honor the locally and statewide influential McCarty family. Charles Tobin McCarty, known as C.T., began growing pineapples in St. Lucie County during the 1880s, and the McCarty family eventually expanded their St. Lucie County land holdings to accommodate their growing citrus farming and cattle ranching ventures. The family ran cattle on the ranch for many years, selling the last piece of it in 2004.

The family’s influence extended throughout Florida, with C.T.’s grandson Dan becoming the state’s 31st governor in 1953. C.T.’s other grandson John managed the family ranch for many years and was keenly aware of its value to future generations as an environmental resource and potential water supply.

The McCarty Ranch is largely unspoiled, natural Florida land. The city purchased the property in 2012 and incorporated it into the city limits in 2013, with plans to use it as a water storage and treatment facility to help meet the city's water demands for decades to come.

Additionally, the property now serves as an environmentally friendly passive recreational area for all to enjoy. City leaders have a strategic plan to build on the legacy of its namesake and to create a better community that connects the past, present and future. Click here to view that Strategic Plan and visit the City's web site for details of the recreational facilities.



Students were few but enthusiastic in their evaluation of the two-session adult education class given in October for the Fielden Institute of Indian River State College at the Strelsa Schrieber Center on the St. Lucie West campus.

In the college-sponsored evaluation, respondents said the course was informative, enjoyable and well-organized. They also strongly agreed they would recommend the course to others, so stay tuned for future offerings.

Aided by persons who witnessed and have participated in making the city's history, Port St. Lucie Historiical Society members presented slides and discussion about the days before the city came on the scene and various key points of growth since its incorporation in 1961.

The history book produced for the city's anniversary, Port St. Lucie at 50: A City for All People, is being used as text, The first class gave the students a chance to hear some firsthand accounts of historical events and trends within the city. The class continued in the second session with the professionally produced 90-minuted docudrama City of Dreams, further discussion and a question-and-answer session.

The course is presented by society Chair Richard McAfoos and Secretary Mary Dodge, with aid from board members Dennis Grabhorn and Patricia Chirstensen and society member Beth Gessner as well as archeologist and author Lucille Rights, former City Council member Chris Cooper and City Planner Patti Tobin.

Read other news about the PSL Historical Society

Would you like a presentation by the PSL Historical Society for your organization? Drop us a note at info@pslhistory.org.

New Home

In progress ...
In the future ...
  • Recruit and train volunteers to share history with the public through researching archives and creating displays
  • Form a Speakers Bureau knowledgeable about various segments of our past


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