Q: We have seen pictures (probably taken in the early 1900s) of the Pennock Plantation in Jupiter. Was Pennock Lane (between Toney Penna Drive and Center Street) named for the family and could you find out where the Pennock Plantation was located?
- Earl and Patty Miller, Jupiter
A: The old plantation dates back to the start of the 20th century, when Abraham L. Pennock, a Philadelphia florist who tired of the expense of hot houses, recalled visits to South Florida. He sent two sons to scout a place to raise asparagus plumosus, a popular plant often considered a fern, although it’s in a different plant category.
Son Henry set up an operation, locating the plantation around the area of what is now Pennock Lane. Soon Jupiter was a center of fern farming with as many as 17 facilities. Farms also thrived in the Boynton Beach-Hypoluxo area.
For decades the Pennocks had more than seven acres of ferns growing under shelters, but by the mid-1950s, the market had softened and the Pennocks were growing on only an acre and a half. Pennock also operated a large dairy, and was one of the largest employers in the northern part of the county.
The plantation’s remaining buildings were destroyed in a 1970 fire.
In the late 1920s, Pennock and some other businesses and residents had become disenchanted with Jupiter’s government and taxes, and decided to take drastic action. Soon, they had their own town.
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