Oh yeah, that Willie Nelson song just keeps running through our heads!!! On this trip, we met up with friends and totally enjoyed their company while exploring, doing a little geocaching, sampling new restaurants, and downing a brew or two along the way!!! And Fort Pierce provided us with a lot to see and do on our last exploration of this Road Trip!!!
So, what are the highlights???
Well, let’s start with the downtown area and let the photos tell the story:
So, why is A.E. Backus important??? And who are the Highwaymen???
Ah, this is the fun stuff!!!
A.E. Backus was born in Fort Pierce in 1906. He spent his life here, leaving to attend the Parsons School of Design and to serve in WWII aboard the USS Hermitage. He taught himself to paint and then taught others. Backus’ protegees are referred to as “The Indian River School” of artists. They are like the “Hudson River School” of the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountains of the mid-19th century, although less itinerant. Alfred Hair, one of the driving forces behind the loosely allied group of 26 African-American artists known as the Florida Highwaymen, was a student. The Florida Highwaymen would sell their paintings from their cars up and down the Treasure Coast along highway US 1. The 25 men and 1 woman of the Highwaymen lived and worked in Fort Pierce. Many are buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery.
The Highwaymen are acknowledged and honored along “The Highwaymen Heritage Trail.” Consisting of 10 stops, the trail tells the story of the Indian River School art movement and the fascinating people who created it. The Highwaymen have been called “The Last Great American Art Movement of the 20th Century.”
This post is getting long; and yet, there is so much more to explore in Fort Pierce:
We really enjoyed our time in Fort Pierce and will plan to return. Maybe for the Highwaymen Heritage Trail Art show and Festival next year. Hey, you never know!!!