Jupiter, Florida is well known for its beaches and local history, like the Jupiter Lighthouse. Part of this history includes the DuBois Family, the DuBois Pioneer Home and the Pineapple House. Construction of the Jupiter Lighthouse marks the first development of the area in 1860. Over the years, several pioneering families had settled in the area. With the coming of the railroad in the 1890s, the population boomed as people came to the area to work, settle and farm the land.
One of those people was Harry DuBois. He first came to Jupiter Inlet from New Jersey in the 1880s. He purchased 20 acres of property along what would become the lntracoastal Waterway. Here he planted pineapples and it was also the location of a small packinghouse. This structure was originally used by Harry DuBois to pack pineapples he grew along the Loxahatchee River.
In 1898, Harry married Susan Sanders. He later purchased a plot of land, now known as DuBois Park, as the site of the home that he would bring his new bride to. Historic accounts vary on how the packinghouse was moved to this new property. Some state that Harry floated the structure up the river, while others state that he had dismantled the structure and rebuilt it on site. They lived in this structure while he constructed what is now the DuBois Pioneer Home atop the shell midden.
In 1899, they had their first child, John. The DuBois’ were a pioneering family and they undertook many tasks to make a living over the decades. This included running a fernery, growing bananas, practicing apiculture (bee keeping for honey production), operating and maintaining a fish camp, marina and restaurant, shell mining and lastly as a pay to play recreation area.
Over the years, the packinghouse was used as a storage shed, and then a rental house, where it got its name, The Pineapple House. According to Harry’s son John, the Pineapple House is one of the oldest wooden structures still remaining in Palm Beach County today, and it pre-dates the DuBois house by at least several years.
The Pineapple House is an important part of Jupiter history because the structure is associated with the DuBois family, which has been shown to be one of Jupiter’s founding families, and it likely represents the oldest building in the county.
The Parks and Recreation Department has agreed to save and restore this structure. The structure was recently relocated approximately 35 feet south of its previous location and anchored onto a new foundation. Both the interior and exterior of the structure will be restored to allow for the display of archaeological materials found within the park. Restoration work commenced January 2022.
For more information on DuBois Park, the DuBois Pioneer Home and the Pineapple House, visit https://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/DuBois.aspx.