Amid the Rubble, The Hermitage is Found

In the ten years since Byrd Spilman Dewey (https://www.byrdspilmandewey.com) was rediscovered as an important author and journalist in early South Florida, I have made it a quest to find the exact locations of all of her homes in Palm Beach County. There was the grand estate Ben Trovato, where the… Continue reading

Boca Raton’s Forgotten Pioneer John Henry Moore

My last blog (click here) chronicled the newly discovered photographs of the Lofthus wreck and how Thomas Moore Rickards removed and transported much of the wood from the shipwreck. But who was the photographer of the revealing photographs? John Henry Moore was born in 1860 in Macoupin County, Illinois, near… Continue reading

Going Postal, 1920s Style – The Strange Case of Lena Clarke

This is another blog posting that found its way to me in mysterious ways. I was looking for information on the Clarke family that farmed the Lake Clarke area in the old Tropical Sun newspapers online. What I found instead was a story that belies belief. My timing in finding… Continue reading

Hidden Shipwreck Photos discovered in Local Library Archives

Shipwreck Photo

February 4, 1898 was a stormy evening on the Florida east coast. A large ship, a three-masted barque, is sailing from Pensacola to Buenos Aires with a load of Southern pine. The captain had ventured too close to shore in the feisty storm and the ship hit the reef, just… Continue reading

True age of one of West Palm Beach’s Oldest Homes Found – The Spencer House – 115 years old.

I love old pioneer homes, especially those with Victorian elements. West Palm Beach was once the “Cottage City,” and filled with these lovely homes with their towers, gingerbread, and shingle features. Very few of these homes have stood the forces of nature – whether it be hurricanes, termites, or worst… Continue reading

The Hidden Treat in the Hedges – The Cocoplum

You have seen them, and perhaps wondered what they were. Purple oblong fruits, tucked away in hedges in mundane places – at the supermarket, drug store, church, school – wherever this popular hedge plant has made its home.  The Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) has become a favorite landscape hedge of South… Continue reading

A Tropical Paradise…A Cold Murder – The Richard Hone Murder Case

This blog is the result of the first complete investigation and report of the most infamous crimes in the West Palm Beach pioneer era. Although frequently mentioned, most of the information written about the Richard Hone case in newspapers or on the Internet is incomplete, and in some cases, wrong…. Continue reading