City of Stuart Details & History
Stuart, Florida is located on Florida’s East Coast, which borders the St. Lucie River and West of the Indian River. The climate is pleasant with mild winters and warm summers. The annual average temperature is 72 degrees. Annual rainfall averages 70.44 inches.
Stuart is famed for Sail fishing and all other types of sport fishing, you can enjoy Ocean fishing, river and bay fishing, fresh water fishing. The North and South forks of the St. Lucie River are tropical wonderlands for cruises. Stuart has quaint older neighborhoods in the downtown area. There is a mixture of town homes and condominiums. Stuart’s successful revitalization program has made the Downtown area a pleasant ambiance, lined with shops and restaurants.
Stuart was first settled in 1870; Incorporated 1914; Chartered 1925. Known as the County seat, Stuart was originally named Potsdam from 1893 to 1896 and was named by Otto Stypmann one of the earliest settlers of Stuart (History of Martin County, by Janet Hutchinson) Otto Stypmann and his brother, Ernest, came here in 1892 and were originally from Potsdam, Germany. The Stypmann brothers originally owned what is now known as “Downtown Stuart”, and were large landowners. They started their fortunes here in pineapple farming. The name was changed to Stuart after the FEC railroad was established and was named after Homer Hine Stuart, Jr., another early settler. (more info on how Stuart was named)
Stuart’s population is 17,285 and increases to 21,087 with winter visitors.
The city tax rate is currently 4.75 mils.
The top major employers are, Martin Memorial Hospital, Vought Aircraft, Municipal Government, and thousands of successful small businesses. The economy is driven by retail service, hospitality, construction and government sectors located throughout the city.
At the present time Stuart is a growing community, annexing new properties north and south of the city, currently 6.25 square miles. Revitalization is in progress in the Potsdam section of the downtown area as well as North of the new Roosevelt Bridge. The new Roosevelt Bridge was completed in 1996, and the Department of Transportation recently finished the Evans Crary Bridge, which leads to Stuart’s Public Beaches.
The legislative body of the City of Stuart is comprised of a Mayor, Vice Mayor, and three Commissioners. The Mayor is recognized as the head of city government. The City Manager is appointed by the Commission and is responsible for the efficient administration of all departments.
Stuart owns and operates it’s own Water Department getting the supply from shallow wells. Water is then treated at the plant, tested in our own certified laboratory, and confirmed by the State Environmental Department. The city has paved streets with sidewalks, curbs, gutters and streetlights. The city provides garbage and trash collection. The Police and Fire Departments are both operated by the city.
Municipal Parks & Community Services Division
The city maintains several large parks and also small street end parks. There is a Community Services Division club meetings, youth activities, Senior Citizens programs and entertainment programs. Flagler Park is located next to City Hall on the St. Lucie River. Another major passive park is also located on the south bank of the St. Lucie River with a Riverwalk and floating boat dock for the public.
The Stuart Museum has additional information, documents and photographs pertaining to Otto and Ernest Stypman and family in their archives.