As dark clouds loomed over Mickler's Beach in Ponte Vedra Thursday afternoon, the water revealed something rarely seen: palm logs lodged deep in the sand. You could see two as the waves lapped over the normally buried wood.
In the crowd watching the waves was Tom Vontour, the grandson of Sid Mickler. The beach was named after Mickler, who in 1936 built the 696-foot fishing pier using an ax to cut the palm trees logs. Visitors could fish for just 30 cents a day.
Vontour says the pier was knocked down in the '40s during a storm.
"When we get a west wind about twice a year the water goes out far enough that you can actually see the pilings," he says.
Normally, the leftover pilings are buried deep in the sand.
Vontour stood with other beach-goers snapping pictures. "I have aunts and uncles still alive," he explains. "They'll get a big kick out of this."
He also cleared up another debate along the beach—"It's pronounced Mike-lers. Trust me."