Stuart, Florida

Stuart is a city in and the seat of Martin County, Florida, United States. Located on Florida's Treasure Coast, Stuart is the largest of four incorporated municipalities in Martin County. The estimated population is 16,543 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Stuart is the 126th largest city in Florida based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau.[5] It is part of the Port St. Lucie, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Stuart is frequently cited as one of the best small towns to visit in the U.S., in large part because of its proximity to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.[6][7]

Stuart, Florida
Downtown Stuart
Downtown Stuart
Sailfish Capital of the World
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°11′32″N 80°14′35″W / 27.19222°N 80.24306°WCoordinates: 27°11′32″N 80°14′35″W / 27.19222°N 80.24306°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCommission-Manager
 • MayorBecky Bruner
 • Vice MayorEula Clarke
 • Total9.00 sq mi (23.31 km2)
 • Land6.65 sq mi (17.22 km2)
 • Water2.35 sq mi (6.09 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total15,593
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,500.08/sq mi (965.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)772
FIPS code12-68875[3]
GNIS feature ID0291756[4]
WebsiteCity of Stuart Website


In the 18th century, several Spanish galleons were shipwrecked in the Martin County area of Florida's Treasure Coast. The multiple wrecks were reportedly the result of a hurricane, and the ships were carrying unknown quantities of gold and silver. Some of this treasure has since been recovered, and its presence resulted in the region's name.

Dudley - Bessey House, Stuart, Florida 002
The historic Dudley-Bessey House on SW Atlanta Avenue is now a yacht brokerage office

In 1832, pirate Pedro Gilbert, who often used a sandbar off the coast as a lure to unsuspecting prey, chased and caught the Mexican, a U.S. merchant ship. Although he attempted to burn the ship and kill the crew, they survived to report the incident, ultimately resulting in the capture and execution of Gilbert and his crew. The bar from which he lured his intended booty is named "Gilbert's Bar" on nautical charts.[8]

OldMartinCountyFlaCourthouse 012
The Old Martin County Courthouse, built in 1937, now the Courthouse Cultural Center

The Treasure Coast area that became Stuart was first settled by non-Native Americans in 1870. In 1875, a United States Lifesaving Station was established on Hutchinson Island, near Stuart. Today, the station is known as Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

From 1893-1895, the area was called Potsdam. This name was chosen by Otto Stypmann, a local landowner originally from Potsdam, Germany. Stypmann, with his brother Ernest, owned the land that would become downtown Stuart. Potsdam was renamed Stuart in 1895, after the establishment of the Florida East Coast Railway, in honor of Homer Hine Stuart, Jr., another local landowner.

When Stuart was incorporated as a town in 1914, it was located in Palm Beach County. In 1925, Stuart was chartered as a city and named the county seat of the newly created Martin County.[9]

The city of Stuart is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, because of the many sailfish found in the ocean off Martin County.

From 1871 to 2005, 19 hurricanes passed through Stuart, including Isbell (1964), Frances (2004), Jeanne (2004), and Wilma (2005).[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22 km2), of which 6.3 square miles (16 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is water.


According to the Köppen climate classification, Stuart has a tropical climate, with hot, humid summers, with frequent rainfall, and warm, dry winters. Stuart has a noticeably seasonal precipitation pattern, with June through September being the wettest months, and the dry season from November through April. For the climate map of the University of Melbourne, the city is the southern boundary on the Florida's east coast of humid subtropical climate (Cfa) according to the data used. The southern tip of Stuart can be framed as a tropical monsoon climate (Am) in the vicinity of Seabranch Preserve State Park.[11][12]

Summers (May through October) feature with hot temperatures, intense sun, and frequent (daily) thundershowers that build in the daytime heat. High temperatures are typically in the upper 80s to low 90s. The city's coastal location prevents temperatures from becoming very hot, though heat indices are often over 100 °F (38 °C). There are 76 days of 90+ °F highs annually. On average, 96 °F (36 °C) is the highest temperature recorded each summer. Late summer brings an increased threat of tropical storms and hurricanes, though landfalls are rare. Several major hurricanes have impacted Stuart since 1900, with Hurricane David in 1979 and hurricanes Frances and Jeanne caused moderate damage to the area in 2004.

Winter (November through April) or the dry season brings much cooler and drier air masses, and humidity and dew points fall considerably. Winters can become quite dry, and by late winter (March) there is often high fire danger and even residential water use restriction. Average daytime highs in the winter/dry season are from 73 °F (23 °C) to 77 °F (25 °C), though occasional strong cold fronts bring brief rainfall followed by cooler temperatures, with highs in the 50s °F for a few days each winter. Low temperatures fall rarely fall below 40 °F (4 °C), and most winters are frost-free. The first cold front of the season usually occurs in October or November, when the first low below 60 °F (16 °C) usually occurs. Though weather during this time is generally more mild, mid winter highs can still hit 80 °F (27 °C) or higher on occasion.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201616,623[2]6.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 15,593 people, 7,220 households, and 3,422 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,320.5 per square mile (896.0/km2). There were 8,777 housing units at an average density of 1,391.9 per square mile (537.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.30% White, 12.33% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.97% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.29% of the population.

There were 7,220 households out of which 15.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.6% were non-families. 46.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.88 and the average family size was 2.60.

In the city, the population was spread out with 14.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 32.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,954, and the median income for a family was $47,736. Males had a median income of $29,151 versus $23,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,020. About 7.8% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over. Stuart is publicly seen as a new coming old city, starting a new boom in its local economy with construction of a new bridge, rise of new buildings and roadways being restored.

The cost of living in Stuart is 88, on a relative scale where the U.S. average is represented by 100.[14]

Cost of Living Stuart U.S.
Overall 88 100
Food 105 100
Utilities 97 100
Housing 55 100


Stuart hosts one of the two Florida Department of Health offices in Martin County, the other being in Indiantown.[15]

Various businesses cater to tourists, such as fishing charters, boating charters, sailing, cruises, SCUBA and snorkeling, and nature tours.

Top employers

According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top employers in the Stuart area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Martin Health System 2,825
2 Martin County School District 2,566
3 Martin County 1,566
4 Publix 1,276
5 State of Florida 637
6 iVox Solutions 532
7 TurboCombustor Technology 420
8 Winn-Dixie 329
9 Liberator Medical Supply 319
10 Florida Power & Light 303

Arts and culture

Points of interest

Stuart FL Riverwalk03
Stuart Riverwalk, 2018


Public education in Stuart is administered by the Martin County School District.



Witham Field is a public-use airport located one mile southeast of the central business district.

Local transit is provided by the county.[18][19]

Until 1968 the Florida East Coast Railway operated Jacksonville to Miami service, with a station stop in Stuart. In 1961 service consisted of three long distance trains a day, in each direction, traveled along the route, from Jacksonville to Miami, with trains originating in Chicago or New York City. This was supplemented by a local train that ran from New Smyrna Beach to Miami.

Notable people

Stuart in popular culture

In 1973, the movie Little Laura and Big John, a highly fictionalized version of the true story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, was filmed in Stuart.[20]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Stuart, Florida Population 2018". World Population Review. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
  6. ^ "The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015 -- 3. Stuart, Florida".
  7. ^ "20 Amazing Small Towns in America".
  8. ^ Johnson, Larry (13 May 2009). "column:Always Learning". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1D.
  9. ^ "Our Area's History". Stuary/Martin County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  10. ^ "Stuart,Florida's history with tropical systems". Hurricane City. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  11. ^ "Interactive United States Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification Map". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  12. ^ "Updated Köppen-Geiger climate map of the world". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Compare Cost of Living". Sperling's Best Places. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "City of StuartCAFR" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  17. ^ Audubon of Martin County: Possum Long Nature Center Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-18. Retrieved 2016-11-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^
  20. ^ Luckhardt, Alice; Luckhardt, Greg (27 October 2013). "Ashley Gang: Notorious outlaws struck fear in Stuart residents". TCPalm. Retrieved 23 May 2016.

External links

Bryan Silas

Bryan Silas (born June 13, 1987) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He has competed in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and ARCA Racing Series in the past, and also recently competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 99 Chevrolet Silverado for T3R Motorsports.

Chris Marquette

Chris Marquette (born Christopher George Rodriguez; October 3, 1984) is an American film and television actor. He is known for his roles in such films as The Tic Code, Freddy vs. Jason, The Girl Next Door, Just Friends, Alpha Dog and Fanboys.

Cleveland Gary

Cleveland Everette Gary (born May 4, 1966), also known as Cleveland Edward Gary, is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. Cleveland led the NFL in touchdowns in 1990 with 14. In 1992 Cleveland rushed for 1,125 yards and caught 52 passes.

Gary began his college career at the University of Georgia where in his first start as a true freshman against Clemson he rushed for 101 yards and scored two touchdowns. After his freshman year at Georgia, Cleveland made the cover of Inside Sports Magazine and was touted as the best running back in the SEC as a true freshman. After his freshman season at the University of Georgia he transferred to the University of Miami, where he became a first team All-American and set a school record for most catches (57) ever in a single season by a running back that stills stands. After leaving the Hurricanes and before being drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams, he was voted MVP of the Senior Bowl.

At the University of Miami, after playing only one season of baseball for the Miami Hurricanes, Gary was offered a six-figure baseball contract from the Atlanta Braves in 1989. In 1990 Gary played professional baseball in the minor leagues for the Montreal Expos as an outfielder and displayed tremendous power as a hitter.

Gary attended South Fork High School, where he was an outstanding baseball and football player. In baseball, he played shortstop for the South Fork Bulldogs and was a tremendous power hitter. Against archrival Martin County High School his 450 ft home run over center field wall is noted as the longest hit home run in Bulldog history. In football, he was a Parade Magazine High School Football All-American. In his senior season, he rushed for 2,100 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. He was one of the nations most sought out athletes coming out of high school.

Gary became part owner of the National Indoor Football League, an indoor football organization that ran for several seasons in the 2000s. Some of the teams included: Palm Beach Waves, Port St. Lucie Mustangs, Green Cove Lions, Beaumont Drillers, Fort Worth Sixers, San Antonio Steers, Wyoming Cavalry, Fort Myers Tarpons, Fayetteville Guard, LA Lynx, and San Diego Shock Waves, however, the NIFL ended operations in the 2007 season.

Dan Bakkedahl

Dan Bakkedahl (born November 18, 1969) is an American actor and improvisational comedian from Chicago's Second City. He is best known for starring as Tim Hughes on the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, as Congressman Roger Furlong on the HBO series Veep, and as Steve Nugent in the FX comedy series Legit. From 2005 to 2007, he was a correspondent for three seasons on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Derek Fathauer

Derek Fathauer (born January 20, 1986) is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and the Tour.

Fathauer was born in Stuart, Florida. He attended Martin County High School in Stuart, Florida. He and his twin brother Daryl played in the Ginn sur Mer Classic in October 2007, the first twins to do so in a PGA Tour event.

Doug Rader

Douglas Lee Rader (born July 30, 1944), nicknamed "The Red Rooster", is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who was known primarily for his defensive ability, winning five straight Gold Glove Awards from 1970 to 1974.

Rader's career lasted from 1967 to 1977, playing for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Toronto Blue Jays, then later managed the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels between 1983 and 1991.

Also nicknamed "Rojo", Rader earned his nickname "The Red Rooster" from the thick head of red hair which always protruded from under his cap.

Rader attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Howard Porter (basketball)

Howard Porter (August 31, 1948 – May 26, 2007) was an American professional basketball player. At 6'8" and 220 pounds, he played as a forward and a center.

John F. Hennessey

John Francis Hennessey (October 27, 1900, Indianapolis, Indiana – 18 August 1981, Stuart, Florida) was a top American tennis player of the 1920s.

Justin Simmons (American football)

Justin Simmons (born November 19, 1993) is an American football safety for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Boston College.

Larry Rinker

Larry Rinker (born July 20, 1957) is an American professional golfer.

Rinker was born in Stuart, Florida. He played college golf at the University of Florida and turned professional in 1979.

Rinker initially played on mini-tours before joining the PGA Tour in 1981, and regained his tour card via qualifying school for 1982, the first year of the all-exempt tour. His best year came in 1985, when he finished 30th on the money list. He never won on tour, but recorded two runners-up finishes, at the 1984 USF&G Classic and the 1985 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. His best finish in a major was tied-12th at the 1992 Open Championship. He also finished tied-15th at the 1982 U. S. Open, where he was in the final group for the third round alongside leader Bruce Devlin.

Rinker's brother, Lee, and his sister, Laurie, are also professional golfers. Sister-in-law Kelli, wife of older brother Laine, was also on the LPGA Tour. In 1985 Larry and Laurie Rinker teamed together to win the JCPenney Classic.

Since leaving the tour, Rinker is now teaching full-time in Florida and Colorado. He is the host of a golf instruction show, "Rinker's Golf Tips," on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio since 2013.

Laurie Rinker

Laurie Anne Rinker (born September 28, 1962) is an American professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.

Linsey Godfrey

Linsey Godfrey (born July 25, 1988) is an American actress. From 2012 to 2018, she starred as Caroline Spencer on the CBS daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She is also known for her role in the 2010 television movie, Jack's Family Adventure.

Lyric Theatre (Stuart, Florida)

The Lyric Theatre is an historic theater located at 59 South West Flagler Avenue near Confusion Corner in Stuart, Florida. The building fronts on its north side on South West Osceola Street. Built to serve as a movie house, it is now used primarily as a stage and music venue. Additions were made on the west side to provide back stage space for these new uses. The additions also face on both streets. On November 12, 1993, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Martin County High School

Martin County High School is a public high school in Stuart, Florida in the Martin County School District. The school enrolled 2,079 students in a 2012 census. Its mascot is the Tiger, and its colors are blue and gold. The principal is Alfred Fabrizio.

Nicole Melichar

Nicole Melichar (Czech: Nicole Melicharová, Czech pronunciation: [ˈmelixarovaː]) is an American tennis player.

She was born in the Czech Republic, but moved to Florida with her parents shortly after her birth. Her older sister Jane played tennis, and Melichar claims to have taken up the sport aged just one year old.She has won four doubles titles on the WTA Tour and one WTA 125K series doubles title as well as two singles and seven doubles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit. On September 24, 2012, she reached her best singles ranking of world No. 400. On October 8, 2018, she peaked at No. 15 in the doubles rankings.

Melichar, who also is working as a coach for Madison Brengle, won the mixed doubles title at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships with Austrian partner Alexander Peya.

South Fork High School

South Fork High School (SFHS) is a public high school in Stuart, Florida, USA. It is part of the Martin County School District.

The school's mascot is the Bulldog, and its colors are black, red and white. South Fork has its own on-campus golf course. There is also an on-campus farm used for cattle and citrus groves, a football/track stadium, tennis and volleyball courts, and a baseball/softball field.

South Fork High is the only high school in the Martin County School District with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.


WAVW (92.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Country format. Licensed to Stuart, Florida, the station is currently owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..


WWFR (91.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a religious format. Licensed to Stuart, Florida, the station is currently owned by Family Radio.


WWHB-CA is a Class A, Azteca América-affiliated television station licensed to Stuart, Florida, United States, serving the Gold and Treasure Coasts of South Florida. It broadcasts a low-powered high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 48 from a transmitter in unincorporated Martin County (southwest of Hobe Sound) on the Jonathan Dickinson State Park boundary. On cable, the station can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 21 (in Martin, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, and southern St. Lucie counties) and channel 24 (in Indian River and northern St. Lucie counties), as well as on digital channel 611.

Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTCN is sister to West Palm Beach-licensed CBS affiliate WPEC (channel 12), Fort Pierce-licensed CW affiliate WTVX (channel 34), and Palm Beach-licensed Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WTCN-CA (channel 43). All of the television outlets share studios on Fairfield Drive in Mangonia Park, Florida (with a West Palm Beach postal address).

Due to WWHB's Class A status, the station's low-powered directional antenna pattern prevents it from reaching Vero Beach (to the north) and Boca Raton (to the south). To expand the broadcasting radius, WWHB is simulcast in standard definition on WTVX's second digital subchannel. This signal broadcasts on UHF channel 20.2 (or virtual channel 34.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter, southwest of Palm City and I-95/SR 9, in unincorporated Martin County.

Climate data for Stuart, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
Average high °F (°C) 73.5
Average low °F (°C) 54.7
Record low °F (°C) 23
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.59
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.7 8.2 9.7 8.8 10.0 15.6 17.5 16.6 16.8 14.3 10.2 9.4 145.8
Source: [1]
Municipalities and communities of Martin County, Florida, United States
Largest city
(by population)
Cities and towns
Other incorporated places
Major census-designated places
See also:
Major hurricanes
Metro areas
Largest cities

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