Historic Mount Elizabeth Mound, Martin County FL

Mount Elizabeth (1)The historic Mount Elizabeth Mound Archeological Site is a prehistoric midden and an archaeological site in Jensen Beach, Florida. This Martin County Historical Site is also known as Racey's Tuckahoe and St. Joseph's Novitiate. Southern Florida is covered with ancient archaeological sites left behind by the first Floridians. Many of these sites are thousands of years old.

Early Native Americans did not leave us written information about their lives. It is up to archaeologists to tell their story by researching historic sites like the Mount Elizabeth site. Achaeologists learn about these Native Americans from artifacts found at ancient campsites and villages. Important clues about the early Floridians are the numerous shell and earthen mounds, large earthworks, and canals they left behind. The Mount Elizabeth historic site is one such shell midden which may provide great insight into these prehistoric people. Native Americans created these shell, or midden mounds, by tossing away the empty shells of shellfish or other refuse such as broken pottery, shell tools, animal bones. Archaeologists research and excavate these mounds to learn about the everyday life of the early Native Americans.

The Mount Elizabeth Mound Archeological Site is located in Martin County's Indian RiverSide Park, which includes the former Florida Institute of Technology. 4,000 years ago, the Nomadic Tribes inhabited Jensen Beach & built the Mount Elizabeth midden we see today. In 1850 the lands surrounding the site were purchased by explorer William Racey who named the mound Mount Elizabeth. This purchase was one of the earliest property sales in Martin County. The property would change hands a few times before Willaford and Ann Bates Leach purchased the land and
built the Mediterranean style mansion, which they called “Tuckahoe,” a Native American expression meaning “welcome.”

The historic Mount Elizabeth was added to the National Register of Historic Place on September 14, 2002.

Mount Elizabeth (2)

In 2008 an excavation of a portion of the mound was financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance to Martin County provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Historic Preservation Advisory Council. The project was conducted with adult volunteers from the Friends of Mount Elizabeth and Southeast Florida Archaeological Society. The excavation hopes to uncover more details about this historic site in Martin County Florida.

Location of Historic Mount Elizabeth Mound


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