Festival revisits rich history of the Treasure Coast

Cow Creek cowboys
Cow Creek cowboys from the early 1970s are pictured above. Their descendants will discuss folklife and the early Florida cattle ranch during the Treasure Coast History Festival Jan. 14 at the Sunrise Theatre.


If you’ve been following our Cow Creek Chronicles series — or if you just want to learn more about early Florida cattle ranching and folk ways — you’ll want to mark 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, on your calendar.

That’s when we’ll be presenting a Cow Creek Reunion on the main stage of the Sunrise Theatre in downtown Fort Pierce. As you may be aware, we try to present a story each issue in our Living History department of Indian River Magazine. The department is what its name implies: We try to bring history alive through our storytelling.

Since the founding of the magazine 17 years ago, a focus on history has been one of our hallmarks. We’ve found that the history stories resonate with a broad group of people. Newcomers like to learn about their new communities and old-timers like to learn more details about events that they may have just a vague remembrance. 

Now in its third installment appearing in this issue, the Cow Creek Chronicles follows the life of early cattle rancher Frank Raulerson and the operation of his 23,000-acre ranch, Cow Creek, that would be inherited by his granddaughter, Jo Ann Sloan. This issue focuses on what happens to the ranch during the ownership of Jo Ann and her husband, TL Sloan. If you missed the first two installments, you can go to indianrivermagazine.com and read them online.

The Cow Creek Chronicles Reunion scheduled for the Treasure Coast History Festival, now in its fifth year, is our way of bringing the story alive. Many of the people who will appear are descendants of Cow Creek cowboys and many still practice ranch life and Old Florida folk ways. 

The history festival, which is free and our gift to the community, will also feature at 9 a.m. a segment on the centennial celebration for Lincoln Park Academy, which opened as a segregated school for African American students in 1923, and is one of the leading high schools in the nation. At 10:30 a.m. on the Sunrise Theatre main stage, we’ll have a presentation on the history of the Sunrise Theatre, which is also celebrating its 100th anniversary. That presentation will include descendants of Sunrise founder R.N. “Pop’’ Koblegard, along with many of the people who helped resurrect the theater and reopen it in 2006.

Many thanks to our partners, Main Street Fort Pierce, the Sunrise Theatre and the St. Lucie Historical Society, for helping us bring the Treasure Coast History Festival to you.

January is always a big month for us. Besides the history festival, we also bring you the results in our winter issue arriving in early January of our Best of the Treasure Coast contest. Voting will start on our website, indianrivermagazine.com in mid-October. If you have suggestions for categories, please email me at the address below.

We hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to bringing you our annual holiday issue, arriving in mid-November.




Gregory Enns
Reach Gregory Enns or 772.940.9005.

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