Lost Town of Mangonia & Gale's Point - Archaeological Dig - 2018
Lost Town of Mangonia & Gale's Point - 2018 Archaeological Dig Uncovers Exciting Past
Witness the rediscovery of the 1890s Lost Town of Mangonia and historic Gale's Point in Northwood Shores (located on the 22 mile long Lake Worth Lagoon in the North End of West Palm Beach, Florida). Address: The "Holly property" on Gale's Point, 3336 North Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33407, USA.
The origins of Mangonia and its strategic position on Gale's Point started in November 1884 with pioneer settlers Elbridge Gale and his son George Gale. By 1890 Mangonia's town streets were laid out and by 1892 lots were platted and being sold to arriving settlers.
What would have become an independent town in its own right was eclipsed by several key events. The arrival of Henry Flagler's railroad in 1893, and the establishment of the City of West Palm Beach in 1894 created a new growth magnet only two miles south. With neighboring Palm Beach and West Palm Beach fueling a tourist and settler boom, by 1930 Mangonia was surrounded by growth.
Beginning in the 1920s the new place names of Northborough and Northwood became associated with upscale homes during the Florida Land Boom. People forgot about pioneer-era Mangonia. The untamed paradise that settlers first encountered in the "Wild Lake Worth Country" of the late 1800s was paved over.
This short film is designed to raise awareness. Around today's Gale's Point, overlooked history has been rediscovered.
This video answers questions. In 1973, what was really under his planned pool site when Dr. Derek Brock unearthed an antique 3 ton steam engine? Was it part of a buried 1800s schooner? Were the 45 year old memories of two teenage neighbors accurately retold in 2018? Even 87 year old Dr. Brock was located, although his recollections were spotty. Would his photographs of the time help fill in the gaps?
What happened to make a late 1800s seaport town fade from memory? Why does Gale's Point rank high as a historic place of statewide significance in Palm Beach County?
The 1926 land fill and eastward expansion of the coastline provides clues. Portions of Mangonia were simply buried in place. Even now relics of old Mangonia continue to await discovery. More artifacts are still hidden below the surface throughout Northwood Shores.
The Lost Town of Mangonia is home to many fascinating stories. These include several large and innovative mango farms (beginning in 1885), the first house built on the west side of the Lake Worth Lagoon (1885), the second school house constructed in Southeast Florida (the Mangonia School - 1889), Otwell & Gale's two story general store (1891) situated on Gale's Point, The co-located Mangonia Post Office (1894), and the Mangonia Town Wharf (1890).
The rediscovery of Brock's steam engine on August 1, 2018, kicked off a series of events that focused new attention on the Lost Town of Mangonia and historic Gale's Point. Three years before, the City of West Palm Beach has purchased a waterfront lot at the Point from the Holly family due to extreme flooding along North Flagler Drive. City staffers drew up demolition plans for the 1938 home, two studio units, and the pool, in preparation for the site's conversion to a flood control retention pond. The subsequent archaeological digging on the "Holly property" commenced after the Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association sought historic oversight and protection. As the pre-arranged demolition and digging neared, the community insisted on a parallel archaeological investigation. It would finally answer the question of what artifacts dating back over a century ago might lay buried. In response the city agreed and hired Archaeological & Historical Conservancy out of Davie, Florida.
The August to December 2018 archaeological excavation of the Holly property yielded many surprises. In the process, the discoveries enabled today's residents to reopen a new window to the past. What was uncovered reveals an amazing pioneer history that can now be retold with pinpoint accuracy. Gale's Point is indeed hallowed historic ground. Dr. J. E. Liddy's Boat Yard, it's marine railway, steam engine parts, and other artifacts now see the light of day once again. As part of its commitment to conserving what has been discovered, the city has committed to setting up an on-sight historical interpretative display for the public.
The production of this video (including all historical research, photography, filming, and writing) was carried out by Carl A. Flick, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Copyright©2018 Carl A. Flick
Music: Karlis Auzans - Why Riga, 2011;
AudioJungle - Hummingbirds, 2016