Camp Murphy at Jonathan Dickinson State Park
In 1942 the federal government opened Camp Murphy. It was the home of the Southern Signal Corps School during World War II and served as a U.S. Army base for instruction in radar operation in the early course of the war. The post was named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Murphy, a pioneer in the development of radio beams and equipment for military aircraft.
Camp Murphy consisted of 11,364 acres and accommodated 854 officers and 5,752 enlisted men. The camp had close to 1000 buildings that included a bank, movie theater, church, and bowling alley.
Camp Murphy was officially decommissioned in 1944 and used for migrant housing during the fall and winter of 1945. Buildings not already dismantled after the camp’s deactivation were sold and carted away beginning in 1946. On June 9, 1947, the property was transferred from the U.S. Government to the State of Florida for a State Park.
In 1950 Jonathan Dickinson State Park opened to the public.
The 10-minute walk up to the top of the Hobe Mountain Observation tower will give you a view of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracostal Waterway and the entire expanse of the park. As you walk through the sand pine scrub (vanishing plant community) notice the changes in terrain and elevation. This “mountain” is the higest natural point south of lake Okeechobee, rising 86 feet above sea level on ancient sand dunes