The Highwaymen Heritage Trail

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Highwaymen Trail Stops

7Gables5inches

1. Seven Gables House
482 North Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce’s Visitor Center and the beginning of The Highwaymen Heritage Trail
and the location of a Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail information kiosk.

The house was built around 1905. In 1943, it was converted into a brothel that was
popular among many servicemen that were stationed in Fort Pierce during WWII.
The house was sold at auction in 1987 and became a taxidermy studio. It was donated
to the City of Fort Pierce in 1997 and moved to its present location where it was restored
as the City’s Visitor Center.

 

PlattBackus

2. A.E. Backus Studio
122 A.E. Backus Avenue

Former art studio of Albert Ernest “Bean” Backus, a talented and revered Florida landscape artist. Backus is remembered for his impressionistic paintings of Florida and the Caribbean and the mentor ship he gave to many of the Florida Highwaymen. He was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1984. Main Street Fort Pierce purchased the property for their offices in 2005.

 

Pine Grove-Hair

3. Pine Grove Cemetery
10th Street and Avenue K

Location of five decorated Highwaymen graves – Alfred Hair, Livingston ‘Castro’
Roberts, Johnny ‘Hook’ Daniels, Carnell Smith and John Maynor. When Pine Grove Cemetery was started, blacks and whites were still segregated, even in death.

Graves are decorated with beautiful mosaic replicas of the individual artist’s paintings. Local artist Anita Prentice decorated the graves of Hair, Roberts, Smith and Maynor. Second Generation Highwaymen Artist AJ Brown decorated Daniels’ grave. Local artist Pat Cochran designed and created bronze plaques that adorn each grave mosaic.

 

LPA

4. Lincoln Park Academy
1806 Avenue I

Many of the Highwaymen attended Lincoln Park Academy where they received art lessons
from Zanobia Jefferson, who introduced future Highwayman Alfred Hair, to A.E. ‘Bean’
Backus. The school’s roots reach back to 1921 when it became the area’s first four-year
black high school. When Lincoln Park Academy was accredited in 1928, it was one of only
four accredited black high schools in Florida.

 

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5. The Dunbar House
2804 Dunbar Street

The home of Alfred and Doretha Hair, their four children and a popular gathering place
for several Highwaymen artists and their helpers. Hair often painted twenty or more
Florida scenes here in one day.

 

Newton-Eddies

6. Eddie’s Place
1907 Avenue D

Eddie’s Place was a juke joint where several Florida Highwaymen congregated. Alfred
Hair was shot and killed here in a bar fight by Julius Funderburk, a local ranch hand.

Highwaymen artist Harold Newton painted this rendition of Eddie’s Place in memory of Alfred Hair and Highwaymen Artist Livingston Roberts.

 

Newobelisk

7. Highwaymen Trail Obelisk
Avenue D and 15th Street

This grant funded 20-foot obelisk features mosaic duplicates of  several Highwaymen paintings. It was created by noted Florida artist Stephanie Jaffe Werner.

 

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8. Mary Ann Carroll
Moore’s Creek Linear Park, Avenue B and 10th Street

Mary Ann Carroll is the only “Highwaywoman” – the lone female of the original twenty-six
Florida Hall of Fame awardees. Born in 1940, her family of sharecroppers moved to Fort
Pierce when she was 8. Mentored by Highwayman Harold Newton, Mary Ann sold her first painting at 18.

 

Harold Newton-4

9. Harold Newton
Moore’s Creek Linear Park, Avenue B and 10th Street

Harold Newton (1934-1994) was a central and founding member of the loose-knit group
known as the Florida Highwaymen. Despite his lack of formal training, Newton had an
exceptional ability to capture the subtlety and variety of Florida’s coastlines and wetlands.
His oil paintings, once sold door-to-door for very modest sums, now bring in the tens of
thousands, depending on the scene, composition, and quality.

 

Intermodal5unches

10. Intermodal Transit Station
8th Street and Avenue D

The west wall of the Intermodal Transit Station features 26 engraved plaques that list the
names of each artist mounted on a huge mosaic of a colorful Royal Poinciana tree, which
was painted by many of the Highwaymen artists in their landscape scenes.

The beautiful mosaic was created by local artist Anita Prentice. Local artist Pat Cochran provided the bronze name plates.