Historic Markers Across Florida

Trapper Nelson interpretive site

Marker ID: FLHM F-815
Location: In Jonathan Dickson State Park
County: Martin
Coordinates: N 26° 58.577    W 080° 09.798
  26.97628333    -80.1633
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM4P46


When he arrived from New Jersey in the early 1930s, Vincent Natulkiewicz, also known as VinceTrapper Nelson found the area still teeming with wildlife. For decades he lived off the land, supplementing his diet of raccoon, gopher tortoise, opossum and with fruit from his citrus grove. In addition to trapping he made his living by developing a business that he called Trappers Zoo and Jungle Garden. His docks, cages, cabins and shelters were hand made from pine trees. While he lived there, Trapper introduced hundreds of tourists and local visitors to the rivers mystery and beauty, building the image of Eden in South Florida. Trapper Nelson lived in his camp until his mysterious death in 1968. The Trapper Nelson Interpretive Site is a rare survivor of a formerly common building type, exemplary of a vanished occupation and lifestyle, enhanced by its location in equally rare pristine woodland. Trapper Nelson actively engaged in efforts to preserve the Loxahatchee River and to protect his ownership of large tracts along its banks. Trappers estate was sold by his family to a developer. The Florida Park Service acquired the estate through a land swap and maintains and protects the site for future generations to enjoy.

Sponsors: The Jonathan Dickinson State Park and the Florida Department of State - 2006


City: Hobe Sound