The 16-acre Historic Jones Pier property, located along the Jungle Trail, was once owned by one of the barrier island’s first pioneers, Seaborn Jones. In 1889 the Jones family homesteaded about 160 acres on Orchid Island where they farmed beans, mango, coconut, pineapple and citrus on the land and sold it at their roadside fruit stand, which became popular with tourists. The now famous Indian River citrus originated from these early settlers. Jones Pier itself was built in 1907 to facilitate shipping citrus and other produce to the mainland before the first bridges in the area were constructed and is believed to be the oldest pier on the barrier island! 3 generations of the family tended the pier which eventually became a popular place for local fishermen and boaters from afar to tie up to for an overnight stay. The family resided on the property for more than 115 years up until Richard Milton Jones’ death in 2011.
Currently the Historic Jones Pier property is under restoration in order to preserve its rich history. Visitors will have the opportunity to travel back in time to experience Old Florida like it was at the turn of the 20th Century. The family’s cottage will serve as a museum of island history that will house historical artifacts, a replica of the famous fruit stand will be constructed, a 1-mile walking trail, community garden and informational kiosk about the importance of Jungle Trail will be built. The entire project should take 18-24 months to complete. The historic pier has already been restored and is open to the public. So take a stroll down the Jungle Trail and step back in time to the days of the first pioneers!
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