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Munyon Island Directory


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Lakes, Estuaries, and Lagoon 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 and Upcoming Events

  • Frenchman's Forest Natural Area Closed
    The site will be closed beginning Wednesday, June 22nd while crews are out working. The natural area will reopen on the weekend for public use.
  • Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, June 1st - 30th
    Interested in helping collect valuable fisheries information while getting a chance to win a prize? If so, you'll want to participate in this free fishing event. Visit the web page for details. [LINK]
  • Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative Grant Program
    Now accepting applications for FY 2017. Deadline to submit is August 15, 2016. [LINK]
  • Adventure Awaits - Bike and Hike, June 25th 8:00am
    Discover the trails of Loxahatchee Slough with ERM staff during this unique tour that incorporates cycling and hiking. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
  • Environmental Times Newsletter
    Read the latest edition Spring 2016 for highlights on artificial reefs, climate change, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
  • Lake Worth Lagoon E-News
    Read the latest edition May 2016 for highlights on the Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, restoration projects, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
  • Volunteer Accomplishments in 2015
    See what ERM's volunteers were up to in 2015. [PDF]
  • Mosquito Control Update - Zika Virus
    While ERM's Mosquito Control Division is hard at work taking proactive steps to reducing mosquito popluations learn how you can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to mosquitoe-borne diseases. [PDF]
  • Scavenger Hunts
    Are available at several natural areas for youngsters to complete to recieve their Natural Area Youth Explorer certificate. [PDF]
  • ERM's Status Reports
    Stay up to date on our projects with these monthly publications. [LINK]