- Palm Beach County
- Year Founded: 1957
- Founded by: Charles Martyn
- Previously known as: None
Uniquely situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Loxahatchee River, the Village of Tequesta is home to approximately 5,800 residents, including many celebrities and sports figures. During the winter season, the population increases dramatically. Founded by Developer Charles Martyn in 1957 on land that had previously included a 19-acre pineapple farm and in an area with a rich Indian heritage, Mr. Martyn chose the Indian name Tequesta for his new village. Research shows the Jaega and Hobe Indians actually lived where the Village is today, and the Tekesta tribe was farther south, closer to the Miami area.
Amenities in the Village include a premier 18-hole golf course at Tequesta Country Club, Lighthouse ArtCenter Museum and School, an active artist’s co-op, several churches, private schools, unique shops and restaurants, a brewery, a county library, assisted living facilities, and parks; with Coral Cove Park located on the ocean. Residents enjoy year-round boating activities via the ocean; in the Loxahatchee River, the only river designated a Wild and Scenic River by the State of Florida; and in the Intracoastal Waterway. Fishing, swimming, water activities, and beach combing are favorite pastimes. In 1977, a friendly dolphin would swim in the river with residents. Then Mayor Dottie Campbell named the dolphin “Silky” since he felt like wet velvet.
The Village’s high-energy Recreation Department program provides classes and activities for adults and children. Teenagers enjoy skateboarding at Constitution Park; Tequesta Park has facilities for baseball, tennis and a dog park; and Paradise Park offers a peaceful tranquility to read a book or enjoy a game of Frisbee with your family dog. In the near future Remembrance Park will open as an additional passive green space for residents’ enjoyment. Former Mayor Jim Humpage spearheaded the “Friends of Public Safety” to raise funds, which culminated in a monument to the 9-11 heroes, police, and firefighters on the municipal grounds of the Village Green.
Our engaged art community holds many cultural events throughout the year. For many years “Coastal Players” was active in providing community theater and the Burt Reynolds Institute for Theater Training trained actors and produced plays for the public.
Tequesta’s Water Treatment Facility recently was distinguished as a leader in water quality through its receipt of a 20-year permit. The Police Department recently installed high tech laptops and cameras in their cars. The Fire Department, along with their emergency response team, has one of the fastest response times in the county.
Tequesta operates under the city manager form of government. The Village has approximately 100 employees. The Public Safety Building and Village Hall were both constructed and paid for without taxing the residents. Volunteer residents make up the Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, Historic Preservation Committee, Board of Adjustment, two Pension Boards, and also assist in other departments.
Story of City’s Founding
The real beginning of the Village of Tequesta as it is known today dates back to the early 1950’s when Charles Martyn purchased the 340-acre Roebock tract lying between the north and west forks of the Loxahatchee River. Martyn from the beginning wanted an Indian name for his development and decided on Tequesta, even though it was discovered the Tekestas had lived further south, and the Indians in the Jupiter Inlet area were the Jaega and Hobe Indians. Several tribes had often used the inlet area as a feasting ground, indulging in enormous quantities of oysters, resulting in large shell mounds. Artifacts found in the area of the mounds date back to 500 B.C. Mr. Marytn began developing the land, and on June 4, 1957 the Charter for the Village of Tequesta was granted, creating a remarkable village intertwined with four other jurisdictions’ the adjacent and overlapping communities of Jupiter, the Jupiter Inlet Colony, South Martin County, and unincorporated North Palm Beach County.
Key Historical Events
Event: Village of Tequesta Incorporation
Village of Tequesta was incorporated on 6/4/1957 by Charles Martyn.
The first Village meeting was held on 7/10/1957 at the office of Thomas Daly, Inc.
Mayor – John Kurtz, Jr.
Vice-Mayor – C.W. Pietz
Tax Assessor – Albert Alderman
Tax Collector – Thomas Daly
Clerk – Walter Lathrop
Event: Tequesta Welcomes New Doctor to Town – Circa 1960′s
Dr. Grogan was welcomed upon his arrival to practice int he Village.
Event: Tequesta Plaza – Home of the first Tequesta Publix – Circa 1960′s
Event: Tequesta Drive Bridge Opening
The newly designed Tequesta Drive Bridge opened with a community celebration attended by many residents and officials. The Village received $3 million from the federal government in stimulus money, and the project finished ahead of schedule and under budget, replacing the old bridge which had been declared unsound.
Event: Tequesta Tribute 25th Anniversary May 29 – June 4, 1982
The 7-day tribute for the Village’s 25th anniversary was enthusiastically celebrated by the residents. Activities included a parade, pancake breakfast, worship services, sand sculpture contest, bridge tournament, Memorial Day services, arts and crafts, shuffleboard contest, bingo,and beautification awards. The celegration ended with a community concert and birthday party.
Event: Golden Tribute – Village of Tequesta Celebrates 50th Birthday
The residents of Tequesta celebrated 50 years since the Village’s incorporation with events that included an employee appreciation celebration, parade, lucky duck race, open house, movie in the park, golf tournament, and golden ball drop. The event closed with a reception for dignitaries at the Village Hall.
Event: New Municipal Complex Opening
The new City Hall’s doors opened in December of 2006, completing the Municipal Complex, which includes the state-of-the-art Public Safety Building that was finished in October of 2002.
Event: Tequesta Public Safety Building’s Pre-Dedication and Dinner Dance
The Village of Tequesta held a pre-dedication and dinner dance at Tequesta Country Club on October 17, 2007 for the newly completed Public Safety Building at 357 Tequesta Drive, paying tribute to local police and fiew rescue personnel..
Event: Dedication of Newly Constructed Village Hall, July 1965
The new Village Hall at 357 Tequesta Drive, was officially dedicated in July of 1965. The facility included the Police Department, Village Council Meeting Chambers, and Administrative Offices. (This structure was demolished after 36 years to make way for a new Public Safety Facility on the site.)