If you’re from the Jupiter area, you probably have many childhood memories splashing around the shallow lagoon of DuBois Park. Some of the best family time of my childhood was spent searching for crabs, attempting to catch small fish with a toy net in the mangroves, and eating grilled hotdogs on the warm sand.
While the unique estuary is a joy to explore, there is also a rich history behind DuBois Park. At the top of the “Indian mound”, a large pile of mollusk shells built by indigenous Native Americans, in the center of the park is a house made of Florida pine that was once home to early Florida pioneers, Harry and Susan DuBois. Harry bought 18 acres south of the Jupiter Inlet that he had long admired for its ridge of Indian shell mound, and he needed somewhere to store his pineapple crop before it shipped out. The site is also believed to be where Jonathan Dickinson and his shipmates were taken by the Jobe Indians when they were shipwrecked in 1696. The second oldest home in Palm Beach County, Henry DuBois built his home in 1898, and actually sold most of the shell mound as roadbed for Park Avenue, Silver Beach Road, and other streets in Kelsey City, late renamed Lake Park.
DuBois Park goes even deeper than the 1800s, as it is the most studied site of over 300 historic digs throughout Florida. To put it into perspective, the great pyramids of Egypt are 4,000 years old. Artifacts dug up in DuBois date back over 3,000 years and several are thought to be as old as 6,000. This means that people were living at the Jupiter Inlet location before the pyramids were even built!
Artifacts found in the Indian mound at DuBois include pieces of pottery, bone-handled toothbrushes, and the most notable – a faceted chevron bead. Chevron beads were produced in Italy in the 14th century and only used by wealthy individuals for trade purposes. In fact, all of Manhattan Island was purchased with beads.
Other fascinating discoveries are a bead dating back to the time of Jonathan Dickenson, volcanic pumice traced from Mexico, and jewelry made from a rock only found in Georgia or the Carolinas dating back from 780 A.D.
DuBois Park is open during the hours of sunrise and sunset at 19075 DuBois Road, Jupiter FL 33477.