Thank you! Music Bingo & Dinner at the Saints Pub on Tuesday 28 March

Sandpiper Bay Community Members & Friends

I would like to thank those attendees at our Music Bingo & Dinner at the Saints Pub on Tuesday 28 March. Hoping you enjoyed the event as much as I did, and would be grateful for any feedback that you would like to share.

This Music Bingo again had a benefactor supplying generous gift certificates to local establishments. The Saints Pub donated two $25 Certificates and Saints Golf donating two rounds of golf for 2.

A special thank you to the friends and staff at the Saints Pub that are always welcoming to the Sandpiper Bay Community and so helpful in making the evening happen. I know things started out a
little shaky, but we pulled together and made the event a success with everyone’s help, a community together.

Thank You to Ingrid for bringing Music Bingo to us and making the evening lively.

None of this could happen without you our Sandpiper Bay Community Members and our Sandpiper Bay friends that like to have a little fun with us.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our next community event.

Thank you once again,
R. Sawers Tosh

Social Events
Sandpiper Bay Community


Seniors are often targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite. They also usually have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit—all of which make them attractive to scammers. However, anyone may be targeted!

Please read this article – being informed is your best defense:

We’ve included some additional information regarding scams from our local officials:

$ AVOID ID Theft – Brochure

$ Credit Segregation (New ID Is A Bad Idea) – Brochure

$ FBI Fraud Poster $ Foreclosure Rescue Scams

$ Nigerian 419 Advanced Fee Schemes

$ Work At Home Scams

AARP Article – The Voices of Deception

Fake calls about your SSN _ FTC Consumer Information

How To Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams _ FTC Consumer Information

IRS Imposter Scams _ FTC Consumer Information

Phone Scams _ FTC Consumer Information Scam Alert – Beware Scare Tactics


Courtesy of the Port St Lucie Historical Society (For more on the city’s history and to become a member, visit

The Early Years

Sandpiper Bay was where General Development Corp. chose to build the first homes and businesses inside the incorporated city. It is appropriate that what the City has designated as the Sandpiper Bay Neighborhood includes the location along the river where a city historical museum is being planned.

The Sandpiper Bay area is also home to much of the history that predates GDC.

Sandpiper history 1The Indian Mound in Spruce Bluff, across the North Fork from Sandpiper Bay, is the first indication there was habitation in the area. Studies of the mound have uncovered few clues, only small fragments, or bone pieces. It was first noted in 1853 by a surveyor surveying for homesteaders under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.

Some Florida archeologists have said the site may be “pre-ceramic archaic,” meaning it could be 3,000 to 5,000 years old. Anyway, we know the area was occupied by Native Peoples, including the Ais , whom Spanish explorer Jonathan Dickenson described as “cannibalistic” in the 1500s. Over the years a number of indigenous peoples have hunted and fished there, including the Seminoles.

John Enos Fultz Jr. had moved to Florida, at Cocoa, with his family in 1888. His wife died and his house burned down, so he decided to move his family to the west bank of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River in the early 1890s. Others soon followed and he remarried.

In September 1891, Fultz petitioned for a post office and the name Spruce Bluff was adopted. For $10 a month he navigated the river back and forth to Stuart, then called Potsdam, to deliver the mail.

There settlers grew pineapples and citrus and set up an apiary to collect and sell honey. Their crops were shipped north, notably to Baltimore. Life was tough, men had to find work between crops to support their families. They fished and hunted for deer, wild boar and turkey. The pineapples and other crops came to an end in the severe freezes in the winter of 1894-95.

In the late 1890s, William F. and Harley A. Crews came to operate a sawmill near stands of pine or cypress. It would be moved as the trees were depleted. The sawmill brought the first African Americans to the area.

In 1896, a school opened, and the teacher boarded with one of the families.

Discouraged, most of the families, including Fultz’s, moved to Fort Pierce. When St. Lucie County was carved from Brevard in 1905, Fultz became the first Clerk of the Circuit Court. When he died in 1954, he owned more than 600 acres of the Spruce Bluff area.

Over the years, much of the land that is now Port St. Lucie was bought by ranchers. However, maps of the large ranch holdings do not include the Sandpiper Bay area. It is assumed there were other large landowners in the area as well as smaller farms and ranches.

In the early 1930s, a scrawny, ambitious Georgia boy with ancestors going back to the Civil and Revolutionary wars, came down to Florida to sell, repair and test motorboats. Burt Pruitt also liked to fish and soon was building an active guiding business that took him to the St. Lucie Inlet and into the North Fork. Throughout his career, this included many of the rich and sort of famous who frequented Palm Beach.

His story is indicative of the rough-and-tumble frontier lives that were common in the Florida as late as the 1930s and 40s. In the late 30s, Pruitt shot and killed a man he said was trying to steal his wife Cora Leigh and break up his home. Cora Leigh had left with her son for Reno to join her mother. After years of trials and retrials, Pruitt was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1939 for manslaughter. He was not imprisoned for long. By the early 1940s, he was out and building a fishing camp on the east bank of the North Fork, in the area that became a failed development called Tesoro in the early 2000s. It is now known as Rivella.

Bootleggers and moonshiners were still in the woods along the river, and Pruitt probably knew all of them. Pruitt continued to guide fishing trips for visitors and locals hold wild parties at the camp. Wives were not invited, but that did not mean there were no women there. You can imagine what tales he could tell about his customers. This may be why when he shot and killed his mother-in-law and brother-in-law at the camp site and he and Cora Leigh turned themselves in, he spent only a week in jail. His wife had been released immediately. Pruitt said the mother and son were there to kill him, and they probably were. The pair thought, and perhaps knew, he was being abusive to Cora Leigh.  A grand jury, made up of local men, decided it was self-defense.

By 1962, GDC started asking to buy the 163 acres of wilderness Pruitt owned along the river. By then he was known as a law-abiding citizen and conservationist, in addition to having fishing prowess. He sold the land to GDC in 1968 and stayed on for two years before leaving the camp. He died in 1980 and is buried with his son in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Pierce. Cora Leigh lived until 1998. She was buried next to Burt, but cemetery records show her body was disinterred and sent to Tennessee for reburial. That was at the request of her family.

For more on this story, click


Before there was a GDC, before there were stoplights on U.S. 1, actually before there was anything, the Williams family opened the Shell Bazaar in 1953 along the open stretch of U.S. 1 between Stuart and Fort Pierce. The 2 ½ ton shell was added in 1955. In the city’s beginning, people often asked, “Where in the heck is Port St. Lucie?” The answer was often “At the big shell on U.S. 1.”

Also, in 1953, Look magazine publisher Gardner Cowles of Iowa was discovering the area between Fort Pierce and Stuart. He platted a new community there, called River Park.

Not long afterwards, the three Mackle brothers, heads of one of Florida’s major developers and home builders, made a deal to take over Cowles land and they bought some more. With Cowles, and Canadian businessman Louis Chesler, they formed General Development Corporation, and went on to buy more big chunks of ranchland.

An October 1956 ad promotes the opening of “Port St. Lucie” to sell houses that now are actually in River Park. You could get a lot for $10 down and $10 a month. By 1959, there were eight models ready to be shown in a “fenced home show” in Port St. Lucie/River Park. For example, you could contract for the two-bed, one-bath Georgian Park for $12,270, with $370 down and monthly payments of $79. You entered the show through a model on land of an old-time stern wheeler named the St. Lucie Queen. Inside was a calliope reported to have been built in Germany in 1880, and, you can bet, sales offices.

In February 1961, shortly before the incorporation of PSL, GDC officially opened the Port St. Lucie Country Club (now known as Club Med Sandpiper) as a sales and convention center. Florida Governor Farris Bryant did the honors.

Morningside Boulevard and Monte Vista Street were lined with one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, fully furnished, with maid service and central TV, for prospective lot and home buyers to rent. Morningside does not look much different today than it did when it first opened.

Florida State Representative Rupert Smith introduced the bill of incorporation that would be signed by Governor Farris on April 27, 1961. Smith later became city attorney and a circuit judge.

The partially inhabited River Park area was not included because residents had indicated they wanted a lifestyle free of municipal responsibilities such as taxes and probably would have voted against incorporation. GDC’s formation of a “paper city” also left several other inhabited enclosed enclaves.
By 1970, the U.S. Census showed only 330 residents in the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that had grown to 201,846 by July 1, 2019. Other sources have estimated the population by mid-2020 to be over 206,000. The land area of the city has grown from 70 square miles to 117 square miles

Golf was a draw to the city from the beginning. The Sinners Course opened with the Port St. Lucie Country Club. The new course drew top name golfers, like Sam Snead. In August 1961, the 11th hole was dedicated in his name.

The Saints, now a public city course, opened that Thanksgiving with the first of many Perry Como Amateur Invitationals.

The Brass Sandpiper Restaurant did not open until 1975 and soon became a favorite for a night out or a special event. At that time, the public had access to a road that looped through the resort. The then-called Sandpiper Bay Resort was a social center in the south part of the city. In the north, activities centered around the North Port St. Lucie Marina on Prima Vista.

The first Port St. Lucie City Hall was in the straight section of Sandpiper Bay Plaza, next to a “Country Store.” The first Mayor, William Farmer, was a GDC employee appointed to the job. The first City Council elections were scheduled for 1964. They did not occur until 1965, when there were only 50 votes. Initially the council chose a Mayor from its members. It was not until 1977 that the residents elected a Mayor. The first elected Mayor was William B. McChesney, a retired Sears executive from Chicago who lived in Sandpiper Bay and served until 1990.

The City did not have a police force of its own until 1980. Law enforcement was in the hands of St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies.

The Brass Sandpiper Restaurant did not open until 1975 and soon became a favorite for a night out or a special event. At that time, the public had access to a road that looped through the resort. The then-called Sandpiper Bay Resort was a social center in the south part of the city. In the north, activities centered around the North Port St. Lucie Marina on Prima Vista.

The first Port St. Lucie City Hall was in the straight section of Sandpiper Bay Plaza, next to a “Country Store.”  The first Mayor, William Farmer, was a GDC employee appointed to the job. The first City Council elections were scheduled for 1964. They did not occur until 1965, when there were only 50 votes. Initially the council chose a Mayor from its members. It was not until 1977 that the residents elected a Mayor. The first elected Mayor was William B. McChesney, a retired Sears executive from Chicago who lived in Sandpiper Bay and served until 1990.

The City did not have a police force of its own until 1980. Law enforcement was in the hands of St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies.

The Port St. Lucie Historical Society

The Port St. Lucie Historical Society began in 1995 when a small group of women who wanted to preserve the history of the city met over burgers and fries at Johnny’s Restaurant.  The Society incorporated in April 1997, leading to years of speakers, events and helping with the City’s anniversaries.

From 2008 through 2011, the Society, under the direction of Sandpiper Bay resident Richard McAfoos worked in cooperation with the Celebration Executive Committee making plans for the City’s 50th Anniversary. The Society published a 191-page history book and produced a full-length docudrama. They can be purchased and you can join at the PSL Historical Society’s web store,

Currently, under Chair and former mayor Patricia Christensen, the group holds gatherings with speakers and dinner for members, maintains archives using professional museum software, produces a web site with information of past and present and provides speakers to local groups.

The City, through years of negotiations, owns almost 10 acres of riverfront land on Westmoreland Boulevard. Plans are for the development on a third of this include an historical museum among other attractions, including a riverside restaurant and children’s playground. It’s perfectly located at the heart of so much of the city’s early history … including the beginnings in Sandpiper Bay.

Work has begun on two Peacock Ranch buildings, registered with the state as “historic.”  The Port St. Lucie Historical Society hopes to use these for museum purposes. The buildings had been moved from western Fort Pierce to the C.T. McCarty Ranch, 3,100 acres of largely old Florida pine lands. The city purchased the McCarty property in 2012 and incorporated it into the city limits in 2013, with plans to use it as a water storage and treatment facility to help meet the city’s water demands for decades to come.

For a detailed history of the city through 2011, get Port St. Lucie at 50: A City for All People.

For more historical information about the city and activities of the historical Society, visit

Compiled by Mary Dodge with thanks

Board Members 2022

Board 2022

Elections for the 2022 Sandpiper Bay Community

Elections for the 2022 Sandpiper Bay Community Association Board are fast approaching

Can you spare a bit of your time to lead us next year?

Did you know that Sandpiper Bay is one of the FEW sub-divisions in Port St Lucie that HAS a Community Association?   We have had one for a long time.  Every year, we look to understand and address the needs of our residents.

Many of your neighbors over theses many years have volunteered a bit of their time and knowledge to help steer our Community Associations.  Our primary goals have not changed:  1. Keep our community association, strong, relevant and vital.  2. Keep property values high 3. Keep Sandpiper Bay clean and tidy. 4.  Keep our residents safe.   The residents work in concert with each other to make that happen.  This association is the way we communicate with each other and focus our energies to make this happen

2021 has been another unprecedented year with Covid-19 forcing a continued rewrite of how we live and work.

For your Association, it meant no monthly public meetings—using Zoom instead—and Board and Committee Meetings following mask and Social Distancing guidelines.

REGARDLESS OF THE CHANGE TO HOW WE WORKED, Your COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION NOT ONLY SURVIVED, BUT THRIVE–GROWING MEMBERSHIP BY 24% this year!    Thanks to all the Board Members and Committees who made this happen!

Consider Contributing as part of our Community’s Leadership Team in 2022

In January we hold our Annual Membership Meeting.    We expect to have that meeting IN PERSON once again.   It will be held Monday, January 17 at 6:45pm, being held at the PSL Botanical Garden.

WE NEED TO PLAN FOR THAT MEETING NOW:  We need members to consider running for a Board Seat or working on one of our committees.   Fresh faces, new ideas, people with different life experiences, all make our Community Association stay cutting edge and to reinvent itself each year.  ALL organizations need this to remain relevant.

As a volunteer, this is also a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to interact with City leaders and agencies.

Sandpiper Bay Community Association has 8 total Board Seats and 12 Committees.

2021 Board of Directors and their term status:

Mr. Lee                2021 President (1-Year Remaining)

Mrs. Lee               2021 Treasurer (0-Years Remaining)                         Running for another term

Mr. Millevolte   2021 VP                (1 Year Remaining)

Mrs. Hitchcock   2021 Secretary (1-Year Remaining)

Mr. Hammer      2021 Director     (2-Years Remaining)

Mrs. Dunkel        2021 Director     (1-Year Remaining)

Mrs. Suter           2021 Director     (2-Years Remaining)


We need at least four (4) association members to run for the 2022 Board.

For our consideration, the Committees that run our association are as follows.  Many have leaders and are in need of members to help out.

Adopt A Street

Civic Affairs

Community Patrol Liaison



Guest Speakers



Member Communications

Membership Renewal

Press Relations




Click (HERE) for an application to put your name forward to be a Director.

Bill Bradley, our past president, will be the Election Committee Chair for the 2022 Election.


Barry Lee,


Help make Sandpiper Bay Community even a better place to live!

New Design of the Sign at Our Park

It took us about two years to get the city to recognize our park as dedicated in 1998 (sign shows 1999 but will be changed). Below is a picture of the new and old sign. The new sign should be installed in the near future.

With your help, our next project for our park is to add more amenities such as park benches, picnic tables and some children’s play equipment. We have two new memorial park benches there now and will be working with the City on how we can add more.

If you have some time, we would like to form an advisory group of about six members to suggest a plan. Please send an email to .

Thank you,
Barry Lee
Sandpiper Bay Community

sandpiper sign

From the Desk of Our President


Just when we thought we were on the down slide of Covid-19 we are now seeing a rise in cases, younger people are getting sick and even people who have been vaccinated, getting a return of symptoms. Your Board and Volunteers have been continuing to work to increase membership and making Sandpiper Bay a better place to live. We are the original planned community in Port St Lucie so we are the senior neighborhood and the city looks to this area for our accomplishments.

Even through these tough times our membership has grown by 12% to the end of July. The only way we can grow right now is “Neighbors Telling Neighbors”, and that is the part where we need your help. You can either direct your neighbors to or send an email to with their name, address and phone number if you have it and we will send them an enrollment package.

We worked with a member and the city to have a memorial bench installed at our park at the end of Gowen and Westmoreland. At the same time we had the city install a second bench as a replacement for a memorial tree that had been removed. It was in memory of a longtime volunteer for Sandpiper Bay, Chic Chilton.

Louisa and Gary Beckett have come forward as volunteers to head up our social and print media. They are in this business now, so it is great to welcome people with experience. If you have information that you would like sent to our members, please send your material to .

Frank Quaile who headed up our membership had help from Robin Montcerisier. From a list of new homeowner addresses that Shelly Hammer provided, these two people would locate who the new owners are and we send them a welcome package. Thanks to you both.

Sandra Pikuski who is a member and a web designer volunteered to build us a new web site and tie in a better merchant accounting system is nearing the end of her work. We do need some help in filling in some of the blanks and find some advertisers to sponsor the expenses of the web site. If you have some time please contact Sandy at

The Adopt-A-Street has continued to operate under our volunteer Chairperson Ivars Mazjanis. If you are out walking your neighborhood, Ivars would like you to join in his program or better yet help him by starting a group in your neighborhood.

Sandpiper Bay Community Patrol suspended operations for several months and finally started to operate again last month only to suspend operations again because of the spread of the new Covid variant. Not sure when it will operate again.

We have missed offering social events all spring and summer. We planned to start with a bang up get together in September at the Saints Pub but again we can’t make a decision or plans until there is a lowering of covid-19 infections. Kathy Dunkel is our chair for social and as I keep saying she welcomes your input and help.

The Civic Committee continues to meet with the city on your behalf. Here are a few items discussed/proposed at out last meeting:

Sandpiper Bay Park Needs – SBC recommended the need for more benches, picnic tables, an exercise pod and a children’s pod. The city agreed to consider more benches and picnic tables, and the possibility of an exercise pod. Ms. Caraballo, our council woman said that the city does not put children’s pods in Neighborhood parks, plus this park is too close to a main road and would be dangerous for children.

Coyote issues. The city agreed it was a common problem. Mr. Lee provided them with the recommendations from the FL Fish and Wildlife Commission and the program that Atlantic Beach developed and requested that information be given to PSL residents. One key element emphasized was to prevent the availability of human food to the coyotes by securing our food waste.

Bike Lanes at Roundabouts – The need for them was expressed by SBC. The city recognizes this as a significant but costly problem.

Code Compliance- SBC reviewed the summary list provide by the city’s Code Compliance Supervisor. As a summary all definitions are not fully described, and confusion can result. It is recommended that a reference to the compliance code website be included to avoid misunderstanding.

Community Patrol – Community patrol is managed directly by the police department for liability reasons.  Coordination with civic associations, where available, should be included for the mutual benefit of the community and their ability to solicit volunteers and support the COP.

Sandpiper Bay Nights – are being considered by SBC. The first night is Wednesday, September 22 at the Saints Pub. Preliminary plans call for 5-7 dining and 7PM on for fun events for our members. Remember, all members get a 10% discount anytime at the Pub when they show their SBC card.

Upgrade the Saints Golf Course – a seed question was asked; can the Saints be up graded to more of a country club atmosphere, especially considering Club Med issues. Further discussion was agreed to.

This piece was longer than I had planned but it does show our continued support for our community

An Update on the Club Med Golf Course Revitalization Project

Greetings Sandpiper Bay Neighbors and Friends,

We have continued to make progress on the former Club Med golf course, even through the recent heavy rains, and trust you share in our excitement as we bring the golf course back to life. Our agronomy team is among the best in the golf industry. You will see, and enjoy playing on, the revitalized golf course as we target an October 1st public opening.

We are working productively on the many other areas of the golf operations as well: Golf shop merchandise, golf equipment and technology for club fitting, technology for the driving range, golf programming, instruction and coaching for young and old – and of every level of ability!

We will be offering some upcoming “sneak peek” open house tours and will share that schedule with you later in July. We also are creating some golf and instruction specials exclusively for the Sandpiper Bay Community resident neighbors and friends. We have met many of you out on the course and around the community in the past weeks, and we are grateful for your kind support.

We are excited to create a wonderful, innovative and special golf course experience for all to enjoy. And we look forward to enjoying the golf journey together with you!

Warmest regards, The Reimagine Golf and Eagle Management Golf team

Mayer Oravec’s Farewell Message

Dear Vice Mayor & City Council, City Manager & Staff, and the People of Port St. Lucie,


This statement serves to follow up on my previous statement of May 20, 2021, in which I announced that I would not be seeking reelection, and the statements should be considered together.


As my family and I came to terms with the incredibly difficult decision to not seek reelection and to instead pursue other public service employment opportunities, we had no idea what opportunities would present themselves, where, and when.  As fate would have it, something special came along much sooner than we anticipated in a place that is very special to us as a family and to me as a native Floridian and someone who loves the water and the environment.


In reading the recruitment for the position of Islamorada Village Manager, I felt that the recruiter, Village Council and community were speaking to me on a very deep and personal level, that I couldn’t ask for a better professional fit or a better next chapter in life for my family.  When I realized that the closing date for applying was the same day as my Mom’s birthday (we lost my Mom to cancer in 2013, but she always loved visiting me when I lived in the Keys), I took it as a sign that the universe was talking to me.  If you believe as I do, when you feel like the universe is talking to you, you listen, and then you act accordingly.  As I think you know, I went for the job, and, due to all the good work we have done here together, my amazing family, incredible references, and an abundance of good fortune, the Mayor, Vice Mayor and Village Council of Islamorada selected me as the next Village Manager.  Accordingly, this letter serves to tender my resignation as Mayor effective midnight, the night of June 30, 2021.


I regret that there will have to be a special election to fill my seat, but I take heart in knowing that by most objective indicators, the state of our City is at an all-time high, our reputation has never been stronger, and, most importantly, the Vice Mayor & City Council, the City Manager and hard-working City employees, and you—all of the passionate involved citizens, the Port St. Luckies out there—will keep working hard, smart, and together to keep our community’s incredible progress, and our shared commitment to continuous improvement, on track.


As to whom will fill my seat, I have never been one to interject myself between the voters and their candidates; but, for those who are interested in my opinion, I would share that Vice Mayor Shannon Martin has been an integral part of our great success over the last six years, and it is my hope that she will be given the opportunity to shine and to demonstrate that she is willing and able to lead our City forward.


The Office of Mayor is an incredible thing and among its many virtues, I believe that it simultaneously reveals who you really are while also helping you become a better version of yourself for as long as you can serve with maximum effort and purity of heart.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you as Mayor.  Thank you for all the support and well wishes.  Thank you for your help in making the world a better place, starting right here in PSL.  I hope that you’re proud of the work that we have done together.  The funny thing is…for all the improvements, for all that there is to love about Port St. Lucie today, I am certain, now more than ever, that Port St. Lucie’s best is yet to come.  Onward and upward, PSL!


With gratitude, I am


Very truly yours,