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

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

The Mystery of the Lonely Delray Beekeeper – UPDATE

UPDATE # 1 – March 23, 2018 – See below for new information on the Beekeeper saga. UPDATE # 2 – April 4, 2018 – We have found Elsie! UPDATE # 3 – June 1, 2019 – A new picture of George has been found.  As I was searching in… Continue reading

The Land that Time Forgot

It is said in India that mangoes bring Eternal Life. I don’t know if that’s true, but I did stumble across a little piece of Heaven, tucked away in a West Palm Beach neighborhood. I was out exploring with Janet DeVries Naughton, trying to find what looked like some sort… Continue reading

West Boca’s Secret – It was to have been Farmville…except for that water thing…

It is funny how stories sometimes find their way to me. At Thanksgiving dinner, a friend asked if I would research the land history of her parent’s house. I thought in all likelihood I would find the old aerial photos of Western Boca Raton along State Road 7/441 showing the land… Continue reading

Need a job? Look to the Madisons for inspiration.

I recently had the great pleasure to present some of my research at the Boynton Beach Historical Society’s monthly meeting. At that meeting, I mentioned an article I had found in the Palm Beach Post archives while looking for articles on the orange groves that once surrounded Lawrence Road in… Continue reading