A fifth generation Floridian, born in Gainesville, Sandra fell in love Martin County when her future husband brought her home to meet his parents fifty-five years ago. As a self-appointed local historian, she is able to draw on her training as a teacher and her interest in people and the environment. She finds life stories fascinating and relishes the opportunity to go beyond superficial conversation. Always alert to serendipity, Sandra wonders if the next person she meets will lead her to some new local history treasure.


Sandra Thurlow has devoted thirty years to researching, collecting and sharing local history. Her three coffee-table-style books, Sewall’s Point: The History of a Peninsular Community on Florida’s Treasure Coast, first published in 1992 and republished in 2007, Stuart on the St. Lucie, published in 2002, and Historic Jensen and Eden on Florida’s Indian River, published in 2004, showcase photographs collected from pioneer families and community leaders. Painstaking research augments information obtained from personal interviews.

Sandra’s fourth book, Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge ─ Home of History. published in collaboration with her daughter-in-law, Deanna Thurlow, was completed this March. The entire proceeds from book, which chronicles the history of Martin County’s oldest and most historic building, benefit the Historical Society of Martin County.