Jupiter is a far-out name for a small town in Palm Beach County. Like so much of modern history, it was borne out of misunderstanding and total ignorance of native culture. British colonialists (later known as the original Florida crackers) arrived to the area in 1763 after Spain traded Florida to Great Britain upon Britain's defeat of France in the Seven Years' War. Historians generally concur, according to the Town of Jupiter's website, that the name emerged from the Brits' misreading of Río Jobe on their Spanish predecessors' maps. They read the J as J, even though the Spanish J is pronounced as H. (Jobe was a Spanish phoneticism of the Seminoles' original name, the Hobe River.) The Brits immediately Anglicized the name to Jupiter. Later, the American colonialists, apparently without any more curiosity or decent historians in their midst, established the towns of Juno, Mars and Neptune, all connected by the short-lived Celestial Railroad, built in 1885 and now nothing more than a spike or two on Jupiter's beach.
· How did Florida's Jupiter get its name? [Eye on Miami]
· How Jupiter Got Its Name [Town of Jupiter]
[Photos courtesy of the Town of Jupiter]