NAME: Zion
COUNTY: Palm Beach
CLIMATE: hot most of the year, mild in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: anytime, it's a day at the beach
COMMENTS: Site and House of Refuge Marker are located in Delray Beach, on A1A just north of Atlantic Avenue. Nearby Andrews Avenue is named after keeper Stephen Andrews.
REMAINS: Historic Marker
In the 1870's The US Government built several shelter houses along the then-unpopulated lower east coast of Florida for the rescue and sustenance of shipwreck victims. The Orange Grove House of Refuge #3 began operation in 1876, located on the beach near an ancient grove of wild sour oranges. It was constructed and in service 19 years before the settlement of present-day Delray Beach. The structure consisted of four rooms downstairs for the keeper and his family and an upper half-story dormitory. The first operator was Hannibal Pierce, and it's recorded that in August 1876 his wife gave birth to the first white girl born between Jupiter and Miami. In 1877 Stephen Andrews took over as keeper. His wife set up a Post Office there in 1877, giving the area the official name of Zion. The Post Office was discontinued in 1892, and the House of Refuge ceased operations in 1896. It housed many pioneers and early settlers over the years, including hunters, trappers, and indians. It also housed the Barefoot Mailman the night before his disappearance near the Hillsboro Inlet. The House burned down in 1927, but the beach ridge and site of the sour orange grove patch are still there. Submitted by: Jim Pike

Site of the House of Refuge
Courtesy Jim Pike

beach ridge and former wild sour orange grove
Courtesy Jim Pike

Historic Marker, dedicated in 1967
Courtesy Jim Pike

Andrews Avenue, named in honor of Stephen Andrews
Courtesy Jim Pike

Only known photo of the Orange Grove House of Refuge #3, courtesy Delray Beach Historical Society