Updates on Miller Radio’s fate, the naming of Military Trail
Readers: Today we do some updates.
Military Trail: We’ve written often about how it got its name. It really was a military trail.
During the Second Seminole War, the longest and costliest of the Indian wars and one of the most unpopular in U.S. history, Maj. William Lauderdale was leading troops of Tennessee Volunteers. Lauderdale, a longtime colleague of Andrew Jackson and a fellow Tennessean, was in ill health but had answered the call of his old friend, now President of the United States.
After the battle of Okeechobee in December 1837, which involved Missouri volunteers, Lauderdale’s Tennessee Volunteers made their way from Central Florida to what is now Jupiter, where they fought the battles of Lock- ahatchee (Loxahatchee), Jan. 15 and 24. Nearly 1,700 volunteers and regular soldiers squared off against 200 to 300 Seminoles and black allies along the banks of the Loxahatchee. The soldiers went on to build Fort Jupiter, 3 miles west of Jupiter Inlet, on Jan. 26. It would be abandoned three months later.
After finishing Fort Jupiter, the volunteers then hacked a supply trail southward; it would become Military Trail. They worked their way from Fort Jupiter to “the new river,” where they built a fort that later was named for Major Lauderdale.
But Graham Huls, a Jupiter surveyor, says the Military Trail we know today is nowhere near the historic one, which he said hugged the coastline. The Post already had references to the current Military Trail location as early as 1916, its first year. But how was it named? Was it just to honor the original military trail? Or was there another reason? Sigh. We’ll add it to our list of mysteries.
Miller Radio: Our March 22 column on the mysterious “Miller Radio” photo prompted a call from Jay Parthemore of Ocean Ridge. He’s a nephew of Wendell E. Miller, who founded the radio shop. The last reference we have to Miller Radio is in 1964 at its later location, at 519 S. Dixie Highway. We figured it was sold. No, Jay says; the family continued to operate it, and in fact moved it to Belvedere Road, west of Dixie — not far from where The Palm Beach Post complex now stands.
Armed with that, we went back to the city directories. We found it, starting around 1967, at 805 Belvedere — between Lake and Parker avenues — a store called “Radio and Hi-Fi Inc.”
From 1957 to 1965, it had been Ingram’s Paint Shop, just across from the grocery store the Ingram family would operate for decades. The “Hi-Fi” shop last appears in The Post in 1978, mentioning owner Roy Holton. The city directory has it still there in 1984, but it’s a barber shop in 1986. It later was a dance studio, and now is a detective agency.
MILITARY TRAIL: In 1838, U.S. troops searching for Seminole warriors hacked a 63-mile trail through overgrown terrain — in four days.