Hypoluxo, Florida: Home of the Barefoot Mailman
Hypoluxo, Florida, is nestled in the heart of Palm Beach County on the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway -- just minutes from West Palm Beach and a mere stone's throw from the sandy Atlantic Ocean beaches. The Hypoluxo name is from the Seminole term for Lake Worth. The lose translation of Hypoluxo is roughly translated "water all 'round -- no get out." Lake Worth was later renamed in honor of Colonel W.J. Worth, a Seminole Indian.
The Town of Hypoluxo has a rich history of "Barefoot Mailmen". In the late 19th century, the mail was being delivered by boat and railway for most towns. When the mail came into Hypoluxo by rowboat from West Palm Beach, there was not a direct route to deliver letters to Miami. Hypoluxo's postmaster commissioned "barefoot mailmen" to walk the 60 miles along the beaches to deliver the mail to Miami. On average a "barefoot mailman", could complete the route within 6 days round-trip.
The town's administration facility is built in old Key West style. Nature buffs will want to visit the Hammock located south of the administation building. It is a natural enclave of 100% indigenous plant species. Hypoluxo Hammock is located on the grounds of the Town Hall. It was designed to recreate the site as it would have looked 100 years ago to the Barefoot Mailman as he began his trek to Miami with a coastal hammock which was so common to this particular area before housing development and the introduction of many exotic and destructive plant species.
The town also has two other parks: 1) Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area on Hypoluxo Road just west of Federal Highway features an observation structure overlooking the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area, which allows visitors to see what the the area looked like before it was developed. A series of plaques, on the main level between the towers, explain the area's history from the early settlers in 1873 to Melton's Autorama in the 1960's. A 14' tall Barefoot Mailman statue, by Frank Varga, honors the men who braved the elements on the 120 mile round trip trek and boat ride to deliver the mail. Smaller sculptures, by Chrisanthy Vargo, represent what can be seen when visiting the scrub - a scrub jay, a bromeliad, a tortoise and a fox. 2) Garnett Park is a new passive park is located at 7210 South Federal Highway. It is a place to learn of the past and the experiences of the Barefoot Mailmen. The sculpture, "Sail into the Future" by sculptor Frank Varga, moves with the wind to inspire new thoughts.
- Text courtesy hypoluxo.org
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