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Munyon Island Directory


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Munyon Island History


Munyon Island is located in the Lake Worth Lagoon Estuary and is part of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

The Island was originally called Nuctsachoo by the Seminoles, which means Pelican Island and it reportedly supported one of the largest wading bird rookeries in South Florida.

The first documented inhabitant of Munyon Island in 1884, was a man named Rodgers who was known to be an eccentric "Robinson Crusoe" type who lived in a tent and made his living by selling green sea turtles which he caught in Lake Worth.

The next inhabitants were the Pitts family, who bought the island in 1892 and built a two story house. They were active horticulturalists who reportedly grew more than 28 kinds of fruit on the island and cultivated the island into the "most picturesque spot in Florida".

In 1901, the Pitts sold the island to Dr. James Munyon. In 1903, Munyon completed construction of the Hotel Hygeia. Named after the Greek goddess of Health, the five story, twenty-one room, eight bath hotel catered to ailing, wealthy Northerners who came to Palm Beach to recuperate on the tropical Island, soak in the Fountain of Youth and drink of "Dr. Munyon's Paw-Paw Elixir", consisting primarily of fermented papaya juice, which he bottled on the island.

hygeia hotel elixir ad

The hotel burned to the ground in 1917 and from that time, the island has remained largely uninhabited.

Munyon Island's pre-fill appearance was linear and narrow and approximately 15 acres in size. The spoil obtained from the construction and modification of the Intracoastal Waterway in the 1930's and 1950's was deposited along Munyon's western shore, which considerably altered the island's shape and tripled its size to 45 acres.

The island was acquired by John D. MacArthur in 1955 and by the State in 1981.


Current Highlights

  • Read the latest edition of the Lake Worth Lagoon E-News [LINK]
  • Read the Fall 2015 edition of Environmental Times [PDF]
  • Become a Natural Area Youth Explorer by completing a Scavenger Hunt at a local natural area! [PDF]
  • Watch this touching footage on the Andrew "Red" Harris Artificial Reef deployed last week 1 mile offshore from the Jupiter Inlet [VIDEO]
  • Operation Clean Sweep is a mobile pesticide collection program offering free pick up of the first 500 lbs for farms, nurseries, pest control companies, and golf courses. Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website for more information. [LINK]
  • Stay up to date on our projects with the Department's Monthly Status Reports. [LINK]