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Historic home in Stuart moving to new location

Historic home in Stuart moving to new location (Ike Crumpler)

The historic Clifton Guest and Fishing Lodge has lifted off and is ready to go boating.

Built in 1915 by prolific Stuart builder Sam Matthews, the 2,500-sqauare-foot building at 41 S.E. Seminole St. is being relocated by barge roughly 1,500 feet away, according to a press release. The home was wheeled to the barge on the St. Lucie River Saturday afternoon and will be floated to its new address at 32 S.E. Seminole St.

The relocation is part of an elaborate effort to preserve the past while clearing the way for the construction of the new riverfront Seminole Bluff complex.

“Real progress honors the past,” says John Gonzalez, broker/owner of Engel & Völkers Stuart, exclusive listing agent for Seminole Bluff. “As excited as people are about additional riverfront housing, with upscale amenities, coming to downtown Stuart, they’re comforted knowing an historical gem like the Clifton Lodge is being preserved in the process. Plus, it’s just really cool to see a house lifted, put on a barge and resettled elsewhere.”

Gonzalez and Seminole Bluff developer John Doyle paired with Vitale—who owns the 100-year-old Colorado Inn, the Ernie Lyons home and the Sears and Roebuck kit house among several other historic properties—to ensure the preservation. Vitale brought on the Brownie Company, which moved the Crary House and the Stuart Feed Store, among others, to conduct the move.

“People love downtown Stuart because it’s historic, charming, and authentic,” Gonzalez said. “Great old locations like the Clifton Lodge, which hold all this rich local history and folklore, can’t be duplicated. That’s what makes what Steve Vitale is doing—and has done—so important. It’s a privilege to know something this invaluable will stay around a lot longer for future generations to enjoy.”

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