This article is only about the City of Stuart in Martin County, Florida. For other nearby places , see: Martin County. Stuart is a city in Martin County, Florida, on Florida's Treasure Coast. The population was 14,633 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 15,728 Stuart is the county seat of Martin County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22.1 km²), of which, 6.3 square miles (16.3 km²) of it is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km²) of it is water.
There were 7,220 households out of which 15.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.6% were non-families. 46.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.88 and the average family size was 2.60.
In the city the population was spread out with 14.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 32.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,574, and the median income for a family was $40,701. Males had a median income of $29,151 versus $23,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,139. About 7.8% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.
In the 1700s, several Spanish galleons shipwrecked in the Martin County area of Florida's Treasure Coast. The multiple wrecks were reportedly the result of a hurricane, and the ships were carrying unknown quantities of gold and silver. Some of this treasure has since been recovered, and its presence resulted in the region's name.
The Treasure Coast area that became Stuart was first settled by non-Native Americans in 1870. In 1875, a United States Lifesaving Station was established on Hutchinson Island, near Stuart. Today, the station is known as Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
From 1893-1895, the area was called Potsdam. This name was chosen by Otto Stypmann, a local landowner originally from Potsdam, Germany. Stypmann, with his brother Ernest, owned the land that would become downtown Stuart. Potsdam was renamed Stuart in 1895, after the establishment of the Florida East Coast Railway, in honor of another local landowner named Homer Hine Stuart, Jr.
When Stuart was incorporated as a town in 1914, it was located in Palm Beach County. In 1925, Stuart was chartered as a city and named the county seat of the newly created Martin County.
The city of Stuart is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, because of the many sailfish found in the ocean off Martin County.