Published by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County
Vol. 9 No. 1 Spring 2018
Camp Murphy FLORIDA ADVENTURES: FAKAHATCHEE STRANDED MARY DUGGETT BENSON
Early in 2018, HSPBC obtained temporary custody of an important collection of photographs from local resident, Jane Hadley Caruso, who had recently completed an oral history interview. Among the images were several photos which had never been seen by HSPBC staff. These included a sharp print depicting the original F.E.C. train bridge to Palm Beach and the James Judge wreck, repurposed as a tourist attraction. Often, staff is contacted by individuals who wish to share their private collections but are reluctant to part with them. In such a case, every effort is made to digitize and document the original examples to preserve them for future research and educational endeavors. 2 | TUSTENEGEE
Vol. 9 No. 1 Spring 2018
Florida Adventures: Fakahatchee Stranded By Russell Kelley A misadventure while traveling through the Fakahatchee Strands. Kelley describes what should have been a scenic drive as one that we all will remember.
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Become a Member HSPBC Membership Volunteer Spring Events Photographic Collections
By Lt. Colonel Danny M. Johnson, USA-Ret. The history of Camp Murphy, also known as the Southern Signal Corps School is a story full of camouflage, concealment, and isolation of a highly classified program that was hidden from the public, and ultimately the enemy.
Mary Duggett Benson and her Iconic Worth Avenue Gallery By Deborah Pollack Pollack explores the life of Mary Duggett Benson and her efforts to bring the Worth Avenue Gallery to life.
On the Cover
A 1943 photo of Camp Murphy staff members. Front row: Ebeling, Silvasy, Haynes, Gehringer, Cross, and Coleman. Back row: Chalmers, Keck, Guyton, Anderson, Olson, and Abbey. Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives.
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From the Editor Dear Reader, Recently we received a wonderful surprise in the mail, an article from On Point Magazine, "A Journal of Army History," about Camp Murphy in northern Jupiter. The article had spiked the interest of our former education curator, Tony Marconi, who sent it to our editor-in-chief, Debi Murray. Camp Murphy was a secretive training ground during WWII, a pivotal step for our military in gaining ground to win the war. The article is reprinted here. This Spring issue also includes an article on the fascinating life of Mary Duggett Benson and her devotion to the establishment of the Worth Avenue Gallery. It seems that creativity is in the air this spring, as we received a fascinating account of a misadventure to the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. One of our board members, Russell Kelley, tells a humorous account of a wild ride his family took while they explored Florida. Have you found yourself with an interesting story? We would love to hear about your own "Florida Adventure" for this new occasional series! I hope you enjoy this issue, and do let us know if there are any topics you would like to see covered in the future. We are always looking for fresh, informative, and entertaining articles.
Rose Guerrero Editor
Have an abstract or an idea for an article? We are looking for new articles to share with our readers. Send us your ideas: rgualtieri@HSPBC.org
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Editor-in-Chief Debi Murray Editor Rose E. Guerrero Copy Editor Lise M. Steinhauer Graphics and Layout Rose E. Guerrero Printed by Kustom Print Design
The Tustenegee is a journal about Palm Beach County and Florida history and is published online twice a year by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, and share the rich history and cultural heritage of Palm Beach County.
Historical Society of Palm Beach County 300 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Phone: (561) 832-4164 Fax: (561) 832-7965 www.hspbc.org www.pbchistoryonline.org Mailing Address: Historical Society of Palm Beach County PO Box 4364 West Palm Beach, FL 33402-4364 The contents of the Tustenegee are copyrighted by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. All rights are reserved. Reprint of material is encouraged; however, written permission from the Historical Society is required. The Historical Society disclaims any responsibility for errors in factual material or statements of opinion expressed by contributors. The contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editors, board, or staff of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
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Florida Adventures Fakahatchee Stranded By Russell Kelley Fakahatchee Strand. Photo courtesy Russell Kelley.
This recent submission to the Tustenegee involves an adventure on a scenic drive alongside the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in southern Florida. The editorial staff so enjoyed the article, which brought back many memories of misadventurous Sunday drives, that we thought it would be fun to start a new occasional column entitled “Florida Adventures.” We hope you enjoy it as much we have and that some of you will share your own tales. Have you taken a drive in new territory and heard the soft sounds of banjos coming from the woods? We want to hear about it! Or perhaps you’ve got a favorite drive that no one else seems to know about that you’d like to share with our readers. Write it up and send it in (with pictures, if possible)! Don’t limit yourself to car rides – think about bike rides, hiking adventures, or just an unusual walk in your neighborhood. Humorous tales are welcome!
ne recent January, my wife and I drove from Palm Beach down to the Everglades in our trusty Toyota Prius for what we expected to be a short and relaxing dose of nature primeval and a nice visit with an old friend. We got much more than we expected. Our journey led us out the Tamiami Trail from Miami to Everglades City (population 400), the western gateway to
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Everglades National Park, where we spent the night after dinner with an adventurous artist friend from Boston. She had rented a house there for a month so she could paint the wild orchids and bromeliads found in the surrounding state and national parks. Her favorite, she said, was Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, about 15 miles north of Everglades City. We had never heard of it, but the
Florida State Park website described Fakahatchee as “‘the Amazon of North America’… a linear swamp forest, approximately twenty miles long by five miles wide and oriented from north to south.” Our friend said there was a scenic drive that ran the length of the park. The next day we took a kayak tour on the Turner River and visited Smallwood’s Trading Post in nearby Chokoloskee. We planned, before heading home, to end the day with a boat tour of the Ten Thousand Islands, but a torrential downpour and high winds nixed that idea. Why not take the opportunity to take the scenic drive through Fakahatchee Strand? Consulting Google Maps, we saw that Janes Memorial Scenic Drive headed north through Fakahatchee Strand toward Alligator Alley (a/k/a US 75), which we wanted to take to drive home. It ran into Stewart Boulevard, which seemed to be in an urban area crisscrossed by an impressive grid of avenues (numbered from 48th to 134th) and boulevards. It was unclear on the map just how you got from Stewart Boulevard to Alligator Alley, but surely, we agreed, there would be signs. So off we went. We entered the park, stopping at the ranger’s station. No one was home, so we deposited our $3 in an envelope and proceeded to
Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, which turned out to be a narrow dirt road. With a name like that, we had expected something a little more substantial. We later learned that the road had been a railroad bed in the 1940s used for logging the Fakahatchee’s oldgrowth cypress trees.
Entering the Fakahatchee Strand. Photo courtesy Google Maps.
The road was soon swallowed up by the swamp forest. On both sides it looked like Jurassic Park, with cypress trees, mangroves, and giant ferns all standing in still, black water; orchids and bromeliads clung to the trees. As we later learned, this was where “Orchid Thief ” John Laroche had come to poach the rare ghost orchid. Before long, we encountered some major potholes in the road, all filled to the brim with water from the earlier downpour, so we couldn’t tell how deep they were. We couldn’t avoid them, so we lurched from one to another, never sure if we would drive into a hole so deep that it would drown the engine. We persevered, though, since we were headed in the right direction and Stewart Boulevard was at the other end. This went on for eleven teeth-jarring miles. Along the drive we stopped to admire the flora, and egrets escorted us part of the way. Twice, Florida black bears scampered across the road
Kayaking the Turner River. Photo courtesy Russell Kelley. SPRING 2018 | 7
The Kelley Family: Phelps (left), Russell (center) and, Lynn (right) on another adventure. Photo courtesy Russell Kelley.
ahead and then disappeared into the swamp. Finally, we got to the end of Janes Scenic Drive and exited the Fakahatchee Strand. But instead of seeing a metropolis looming in the distance, we came upon a sign welcoming us to Picayune Strand State Forest. That was the first we had heard of it. Soon thereafter the road we were on ended at a T-junction, where Stewart Boulevard was supposed to be. There was no street sign, but the road was straight and wide and headed due west as far as the eye could see, as the map had shown. Unfortunately, it was a packed-dirt road with fields under water on either side. We started down the road, but some of the edges of the road had collapsed and water from the adjoining fields flooded large sections of the road. We made it through one inundated section but stopped when we got to the next one since it was very large and looked like it might be deep. Peering down the road ahead, we saw an endless series of
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pools shimmering in the distance like a chain of oases. There was now an hour of sunlight left. It was time to fish or cut bait. Do we forge ahead into the unknown and risk flooding the engine and being stuck overnight in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by predators? (We hadn’t seen a single car during our entire time on Janes Scenic Drive.) Or do we retrace our steps, driving 11 miles on the rutted road back to where we had begun, which was south when we wanted to go north? We turned back, figuring we knew we could make it back, whereas we didn’t know what lay ahead on Stewart Boulevard. So back we drove, lurching from one water-filled pothole to another and scraping bottom every time we drove into a rut. This time we didn’t stop to admire the scenery. As dusk was approaching and we were nearing the beginning of the Janes Scenic Drive, we saw headlights in the distance. Perhaps the park rangers
were making a last sweep of the day to make sure no tourists were stuck in the strand overnight? Or were they swamp dwellers intent on stealing our Prius and feeding us to the alligators? My wife, recalling what happened in Deliverance, yelled, “Whatever you do, don’t stop! Keep driving!” As we got closer, it became clear that the vehicle with the headlights on was not moving. As we got closer still, we could tell that it was neither the kind of SUV that park rangers would drive nor the kind of rusted pick-up truck that swamp dwellers from Deliverance would have. It was, in fact, a Toyota Corolla. We pulled up to warn the driver not to proceed any further. Sitting in the car were two middle-aged women with binoculars trained on something high in the trees next to the road. Without lowering her binoculars, the woman in the driver’s seat said peremptorily in an English accent, “We are looking at a bittern.” Left unsaid: “Please go away.” So away we went. We made it out of the strand, but the tire pressure warning light on the dashboard started to flash and there was a strange sound coming from underneath the car. An inspection revealed that one of our tires was losing air and that something was hanging down from the undercarriage of the car and dragging on the road. We drove to a gas station in Everglades City, where we filled the leaky tire with air. We bought a roll of duct tape at the convenience store and managed to tape up the part of the undercarriage that was hanging down so that it no longer scraped the road. We limped back home, filling the leaky tire every half hour.
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve Map. Photo courtesy Google Maps. Prius is not designed for off-road driving.” The garage replaced the flat tire, installed a new splash shield, repaired both front fender liners, balanced and aligned the wheels, and cleaned the car. The bill came to $836.22. Next time we’re going to take the two-and-a-halfhour Fakahatchee Ghost Rider Tram Tour, which costs $25 a head.
EPILOGUE Back home, I did some research on the Fakahatchee Strand. The first thing I came across was a TripAdvisor report – with the ominous title “Janes Memorial Scenic Drive (Warning)” – from a visitor The next morning the leaky tire was completely flat. to the park in 2012 who complained that Janes I changed it and drove our mud-spattered, beat-up Scenic Drive was not maintained and had potholes Prius to the Toyota dealership. When I explained that were more like craters, making the road the situation to the mechanic, he listened patiently “impassable except maybe for a tracked vehicle.” and then observed, “You do know, sir, that the He concluded: “I do not recommend you spend any SPRING 2018 | 9
Picayune Strand. Photo courtesy Google Maps. time on this trail unless you’re in a tank.” I also did some research on why Picayune Strand State Forest has a grid of roads that resembles Manhattan. It turns out that the Picayune Strand was logged for cypress trees in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s, after all the cypress trees had been cut down, 57,000 acres of swampland were purchased by Gulf American Land Corporation, which planned to build the world’s largest subdivision, five times the size of Manhattan with a projected population of 400,000. This project became the mother of all “swampland in Florida” scams.
to thousands of buyers, but what looked like dry land in the winter was under water and swarming with mosquitoes in the summer. Gulf American eventually went bankrupt. In 1977, the State of Florida began the herculean task of purchasing vacant lots from 17,000 absentee landowners to create a wildlife sanctuary, but the old canals and roads are still there. The Florida Forest Service officially changed the name of Southern Golden Gate Estates to Picayune Strand State Forest in May 1995.
Finally, I did run across one blog by a guy who Over the next few years, Gulf American drained managed to drive sixteen miles from Janes the southern half of the land, below Alligator Alley, Memorial Scenic Drive through Picayune Strand which it named Southern Golden Gate Estates, State Forest and make it back to civilization. He dredging 55 miles of canals and building nearly doesn’t say what kind of car he was driving, but I 300 miles of roads. It then platted the land for bet it wasn’t a Prius. housing, laying out a vast grid of 1.5- and 2.5-acre lots. Salesmen used high pressure tactics to sell lots 10 | TUSTENEGEE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Russell Kelley was born in Palm Beach but moved away at age 12. When he moved back 50 years later, he and his wife started to discover south Florida, including the Everglades and Fakahatchee Strand. Between stints in Palm Beach, he praticed international business law in London, Tokyo, and Paris. He serves actively on the Board of Governors of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
HSPBCâ€™s Collection Catalog is available for browsing. It is a great place to begin research or to view and order photographs from our extensive archives. With over 13,000 records and 26,000 photographs available online, discovering your history couldn't be more easy. To access the catalog, please visit www. hspbc.org/archives
HISTORICAL SOCIETY of
PALM BEACH COUNTY
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Camp Murphy, Florida
By Lieutenant Colonel Danny M. Johnson, USA-Ret. Originally published in ON POINT: THE JOURNAL OF ARMY HISTORY
An aerial photograph of Camp Murphy taken in May 1942 shows its close proximity to the Florida coast. Due to the top-secret radar training conducted at the camp, the photograph was not released to the public until February 1945. Photo courtesy National Archives.
Reprinted without editing
he history of Camp Murphy, located in Martin and Palm Beach Counties in southeastern Florida along the Atlantic coast, and also known as the Southern Signal Corps School, is a story of deception, camouflage, concealment, and isolation for a highly classified program that was hidden from the public and ultimately the enemy. The program involved aircraft warning (AW) radar. Officials warned students at Camp Murphy never to speak off-post about the type of training they were undertaking at the camp. According to Barry Richardson, a park ranger at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which is located on the former site of Camp Murphy, the post had signs that read,
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Camp Murphy was named for Colonel William H. Murphy, a pioneer in the field of military radio. Murphy was killed in early February 1942 when the aircraft he was in was shot down by two Japanese Zeros. Photo courtesy Southern Signal Corps School, Camp Murphy, Florida. Army and Navy Publishing Company, Inc., 1943.
“Discussion of radar outside the classroom is forbidden. Keep silent.” The U.S. Army Signal Corps had been experimenting with radar since the 1930s at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the need for trained radar technicians was overwhelming. Radar training had already begun at Fort Monmouth, but space for training students had to compete with the other Signal Corps courses being taught there. Since Fort Monmouth was in New Jersey, which experienced relatively harsh winters, the Adjutant General agreed in December 1941 that the Signal Corps should look for another site where the weather would be ideal for year-round training. The Army appointed Major James H. Green, Jr., (later to become a post commander and commandant of the Camp Murphy school) as chairman of a board of officers to begin the search for a new AW radar training base. The location had to have good weather for year-round training, adequate space, and sufficient support facilities to house a large faculty and thousands of trainees. The new location, once built, also had to offer natural cover and concealment so it could not be seen from the air or ground, so much of the vegetation on the site had to be left untouched to offer the best possible camouflage. Green and his board of officers soon began their search. They consulted the Martin County Engineer and selected the land that the post would occupy. The site chosen met all the criteria, but the factor that sealed the deal was the vegetation on the land that would offer natural camouflage. Buildings could be built around the natural habitat, unlike the cookie-cutter layout of typical Army posts. Another selling point was that the Army Air Forces and Navy had airfields in the area, so students could practice tracking aircraft from those bases by radar. The next step was to identify the actual property, who owned it, and how the government would go about purchasing or leasing it. The location of the soon to be Camp Murphy was on a
“tract of land south of Hobe Sound and about 20 miles north of Palm Beach, Florida." Some 11,364 acres would be needed to create Camp Murphy. The Hobe Sound Company owned 7,996 acres operated by the Reed family who lived on Jupiter Island. The
Colonel Hugh Mitchell, the first commander of Camp Murphy, speaks at the post’s dedication ceremony, 5 July 1942. Photo courtesy National Archives. War Department purchased that property. It also leased another 3,368 acres from other land owners in the area. In all, the total area of the post ran five miles north-south along U.S. 1 and four miles inland towards the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. The Corps of Engineers quickly completed topographical surveys and finished some early planning. Construction began on 13 March 1942. The Army named the new camp after the late Colonel William H. Murphy, the son of an American diplomat who was born in Germany and attended college at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering. He was a pioneer in the field of radio, working as a research engineer at the Technical Institute, Karl-sruhe, Germany, before World War I and at the Marconi Company of America. Murphy was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section, Signal SPRING 2018 | 13
Members of the first graduating class of the Signal Corps School, originally located in the nearby town of Riviera, attend the Camp Murphy dedication ceremony, 5 July 1942. Photo courtesy National Archives. Officers Reserve Corps, in July 1917. As World War I concluded, Murphy, with his experience in radio and photography, decided to remain in the Regular Army but moved from the Army Air Service to the Signal Corps in November 1921. He then took charge of the Signal Corps aircraft radio laboratories at McCook Field and Wright Field, both in Dayton, Ohio, from 1921 to 1926. Later, he assumed command of the Signal Corps Laboratories at Fort Monmouth. Murphy developed the most critically important radio beam used in military and commercial aircraft communications at the time. He also had assignments at the Research and Develop-ment Division of the Chief Signal Officer in Washington, DC, and taught at the Signal Corps School. Camp Murphy, Florida, was not the only camp named for the late Colonel Murphy. On 13 April 1942, General Douglas MacArthur established a policy to name camps in Australia after officers and enlisted personnel killed in action. The second 14 | TUSTENEGEE
American camp in Australia, located at the large Melbourne Cricket Ground, was named for Murphy, who was killed in action on 3 February 1942 when the Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber, on which he was flying as a passenger, bound for Bandung, Dutch East Indies, was shot down by two Japanese Zeros. Radar training was so important that it had to begin before the new camp was completed. The Corps of Engineers had to come up with a solution quickly, so it initiated a lease of 100 feet of a Port of Palm Beach transit shed and a 300foot Merchants & Miners Transportation Company warehouse in Riviera (now Riviera Beach), Florida. Previously, this warehouse stocked such things as chicken and cow feed as well as a soup-to-nuts inventory of “alarm clocks, bath tubs and canned milk, children’s toys, flour, and stockings for milady.” What became the mess hall had previously housed plumbing supplies. Offices and school rooms occupied another part of the warehouse. The Army initially paid a whopping $125 a month
Military police guard the front gate at Camp Murphy. Security was extremely tight, and camp personnel were instructed not to talk about their activities off-post. Photo courtesy Southern Signal Corps School, Camp Murphy, Florida. Army and Navy Publishing Company, Inc., 1943. to rent these buildings for four months and later renewed the lease in monthly extensions. Colonel Hugh Mitchell, who came from the Office of the Chief Signal Of-ficer in Washington, was assigned as the first commandant of the Signal Corps School, Hobe Sound, Florida, on 27 March 1942. The school's headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) was activated on 1 April 1942 with two of-ficers and fourteen enlisted men. The school started classes at the Riviera warehouse with twenty students. The construction of Camp Murphy proceeded at an accelerated pace. The "blitz" schedule used by the Corps of Engineers to survey, plan, and build the camp began on 19 January 1942 and was finished by 1 June. During construction, over 200 officers and men continued to train in aircraft early warning radar techniques at the "warehouse" until the Riviera installation closed in June 1942. The formal opening of Camp Murphy occurred on 5 July 1942. Camp Murphy was not laid out as a typical Army post. A typical Army installation would be laid out in straight rows of barracks, mess halls, company supply and orderly rooms, and motor
pools. Camp Murphy was laid out according to the existing vegetation lines. Roads went in different directions and followed no pattern. If possible, trees and shrubs were not touched to be able to take advantage of cover, concealment, and camouflage in the design of the post. All buildings were painted a dull green color to blend in with the existing foliage. Over one thousand buildings that could house 6,816 officers and enlisted men were built at Camp Murphy. All buildings and roads were designed to ensure that they could not be seen from the ground or the air. Camp Murphy had a wide array of types of buildings used during its short history. It had its own railway station, post office, telegraph office, movie theater, bowling alley, bank, two churches, recreation halls, mess halls, library, lecture halls, gas station, lookout tower, and telephone system. There was a top-flight hospital as well as clinics. The post also generated its own electricity and operated its own wa-ter and sewage plants. Camp Murphy had warehouses, cold storage facilities, ice plants, and its own commissary and post exchange. The training unit for Camp Murphy trainees was the 801st Signal Training Regiment under the
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shown at the post movie theaters. The camp had steady hand of Colonel Albert B. Cox. The 801st its own orchestra, the 391st Army Service Forces had an HHC, four student battalions, twentyBand, and a glee club for performances on and off two training companies, a supply company and a post. Musicals and drama club performances were security company. The radar training curriculum held at the camp's multipurpose building. for students at Camp Murphy was a challenging While Camp Murphy had its own share of one. All officer and enlisted trainees had to pass famous personnel, one, in particular, stands out. a rigorous and exhaustive loyalty investigation of their personal and family background. The program Joseph L. Lockard was only a private when, on 7 December 1941, while assigned to the Signal exposed students to all facets of radar operation and maintenance. Some Camp Murphy trainees had Aircraft Warning Company, Hawaii, as an operator graduated from civilian radio schools which taught on a SCR-270B radar unit on Oahu at Opana Point, he gave the warning of Japanese aircraft them basic radio training, while others at Camp approaching the Hawaiian Islands that ultimately Murphy learned their pre-radar training right on went unheeded. Because of his actions, Lockard the grounds. Soldiers studied theoretical subjects was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and accompanied by work in the laboratory. Students were advanced in their class based on their abilities. promoted to staff sergeant. He later applied to Officer Candidate School and was commissioned Trainees also learned about tower construction a second lieutenant. He was assigned to Camp since most radar units had to be mounted in many Murphy for his aircraft warning officer training tactical situations. course. Officer training normally consisted of groups In January 1943, Camp Murphy's training center of fifty students. Officers studied radar-controlled gained a new title. It would thereafter be known as searchlight operations, calibration of radar sets, the Southern Signal Corps School. In May 1943, use of radio recognition and identification, and Camp Murphy changed commanders when Colonel operator instruction on all types of ground radar Mitchell, the first commandant, moved on to a equipment. Radar officers trained to supervise the installation, maintenance, and repair of tactical radar equipment in the field. Camp Murphy also trained officer personnel who had fewer technical qualifications. These students were exposed to a couple of months of electronic principles and just a single month of radar, UHF, and microwave principles before being assigned to AW units. Despite the rigorous training, it was not all work and no play at Camp Murphy. There were softball, touch football, basketball, swimming, bowling, tennis, and golf teams organized in leagues, with teams at Camp Murphy called the "Shamrocks." There were USO shows held at Camp Murphy with top Hollywood entertainers, and first-run Hollywood movies were The Army, Play by Play bond drive for Camp Murphy plays at Paramount Theater, Palm Beach, 1942-1945. Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives. 16 | TUSTENEGEE
new assignment in the Southwest Pacific. Colonel to work in war industries. The WFA used eighty James W. Green, Jr., became commandant in May buildings at Camp Murphy to house the workers 1943. He remained in command until June 1944 prior to their shipment back to their home when Colonel Albert B. Cox was appointed acting countries. commandant. Next, Colonel John A. Ord took In the spring of 1946, the Palm Beach over as commandant for two months, (July-August Commission submitted a proposal to convert 1944). He also became commanding officer of the the base to a tuberculosis sanitarium. The plan, post for a few months in 1944. During the week however, was disapproved by September 1946 as of 4 September 1944, Colonel Louis Tatom took the location was too isolated for employees and over command of Camp Murphy. The Army had for transportation of supplies. Also, between 1946 built Camp Murphy as a temporary installation, so and 1947, the War Assets Administration (WAA) it was not surprising that on 9 August 1944, the War identified certain surplus buildings at Camp Murphy Department declared Camp Murphy as surplus, for transfer to local medical clinics and school effective 30 November 1944. This meant that all districts. It further announced that it would raze 280 personnel and equipment had to be transferred to buildings and sell the lumber to veterans. Finally, in other installations and all training activities had to late 1947, the WAA announced it would sell off at be curtailed by that date. Signal Corps equipment least ninety-eight more buildings. and all vehicles were to be transferred either to On 9 June 1947, the federal government Fort Monmouth or Camp Crowder, Missouri. All transferred Camp Murphy to the State of Florida to radar equipment was to be transferred to Fort become a state park. It became Jonathan Dickinson Monmouth, where the AW radar school was to State Park in July 1950. However, in February be reestablished. On 30 November 1944, Colonel 1951, the Stuart Merchants Association passed Tatom turned Camp Murphy over to Captain a resolution seeking the reactivation of Camp Reuben G. Ray, post engineer, who served as the Murphy to full military status. Even though the land custodian of the property with a twenty-man skeleton civilian crew. In the years following Camp Murphyâ€™s deactivation, agencies and individuals proposed other uses for the former post. In 1945, the War Food Administration (WFA) under the War Manpower Commission chose Camp Murphy to participate in a specialized foreign employment program. The WFA had recruited over 83,000 foreign workers for wartime jobs in the United States. Approximately 67,000 of them had come from Mexico to perform railroad work; another Post headquarters at Camp Murphy. While the army cleared trees and other vegetation from most of its posts, it kept much of the natural foliage in place at Camp Murphy for cover and concealment from prying eyes. Photo 16,000 were from Barbados, Jamaica, and British Honduras courtesy Southern Signal Corps School, Camp Murphy, Florida. Army and Navy Publishing Company, Inc., 1943. SPRING 2018 | 17
was already a state park, ideas for its use continued to pour in. In June 1953, the Palm Beach County Commission proposed using Camp Murphy as a site for a state mental hospital. In April 1954, Senator George Smathers proposed that Camp Murphy be made available as a potential site for the new U.S. Air Force Academy. None of these proposals were received favorably. A noteworthy achievement at the old Camp Murphy property was in the field of satellite tracking. Beginning in 1957, as part of the International Geophysical Year Satellite Tracking Program, the Jupiter tracking station was located on a piece of the old Camp Murphy property until it closed in 1967. In January 1987, a new system, the Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, went online and was certified to provide launch support for National Aeronautics and Space Administration launches. This state-of-the-art site “included four telemetry units, which provided inflight monitoring of launch vehicles performance, electronics, and associated subsystems.” The park’s role as a site for communications devices continued to be upgraded. Though decommissioned in 2010, a large Coast Guard LORAN (Long Range Navigation) tower that stood for many years was only recently dismantled. The Smithsonian Institution currently maintains a large telescope to track satellites on part of the park property.
Soldiers are shown on a Camp Murphy radar tower during maintenance training. Photo courtesy Southern Signal Corps School Camp Murphy, Florida, Army and Navy Publishing Company, Inc., 1943.
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From its earliest beginnings with “wig-wag flags” during the Civil War to today’s use of integrated joint-service operations incorporating modern information technologies, the Signal Corps has come a long way. In its short history, Camp Murphy trained countless radar officers and thousands of radar technicians for the Army, Army Air Forces, Navy, and Marine Corps. Built as a quick solution to overcrowding and poor weather conditions at Fort Monmouth, Camp Murphy met the demanding requirements for highly classified and technical radar instruction and great weather for training year-round. Keeping what soldiers did everyday away from other soldiers, family members, civilians, and the press was paramount. The highly technical training that soldiers received at Camp Murphy spread to all parts of combat theaters throughout the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lieutenant Colonel Danny M. Johnson, USA-Ret. worked as a civilian on the Department of the Army staff at the Pentagon, and as Command Historian for U.S. Army Information Systems Command and 5th Signal Command. He served a short tour in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003, documenting Signal Corps involvement in the invasion. As a private military scholar, he has made numerous contributions to On Point. He authored Military Communications Supporting Peacekeeping Operations in the Balkans (2000), edited The European Signal Corps Order of Battle (2001), and contributed numerous inserts for The Oxford Companion to Military History (2001) and Military Communications from Ancient Times to the 21st Century (2007). He currently resides in Sacramento, California.
Mary Duggett Benson and her Iconic Worth Avenue Gallery By Deborah C. Pollack
Mary Duggett Benson, 1924. Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, photo by Arnold Genthe.
he life of Mary Duggett Benson changed dramatically in December 1917, when she and the stage star Eva Le Gallienne fell in love. Born on March 30, 1890, to a devout Catholic New York family, Mary was nine years older than Eva, and nurtured and cared for the actress, especially in times of ill health and crisis. After a live-in relationship lasting around three years, in 1921, bowing to pressure from her family and society to adopt a more accepted relationship, Mary married the sculptor Stuart Benson. She and Eva remained intimate friends, however, and Eva would visit Mary and Stuart at their home, Folding Key Farm, in Weston, Connecticut.
Note: From Palm Beach Visual Arts by Deborah C. Pollack, © 2016 by Deborah C. Pollack, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. www.pelicanpub.com.
During the 1920s, Mary became Eva’s personal secretary and business manager of Le Gallienne’s Civic Repertory Theater, where Mary’s winning personality helped in fundraising. This position gave her the opportunity to socialize with the theater’s most loyal backers, including the wealthy Alice De Lamar. Later called “an American legend,” De Lamar, born on April 23, 1895, was the daughter of Joseph Raphael De Lamar, a financier. After her father’s death in 1918, Alice inherited over $10 million in cash and real estate. She began regularly wintering in Palm Beach during the 1919-1920 “season,” and bought a property at 1425 South Ocean Boulevard in 1921. De Lamar devoted herself to art and artists completely, and would keep
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Left: Eva Le Gallienne, 1920s. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons, photo by Nicholas Haz. Right: Alice De Lemar (left) and Mary Duggett Benson in Weston, Connecticut, 1933. Photo courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, photo by Arnold Genthe.
many of them afloat but remain anonymous in her philanthropic activities.
Mary Benson and Alice De Lamar wintered annually Mary and Stuart Benson separated around 1926 and in Palm Beach, both living in De Lamar’s expansive would divorce in 1930. In the interim De Lamar’s oceanfront mansion, with Mary ensconced in a godfather asked Mary to befriend Alice and move private apartment. But during World War II, Mary in with her. Alice lived almost as a hermit and he and Alice resided at De Lamar’s house on 247 felt that Mary, with her gregarious nature, could Brazilian Avenue, as her mansion was in a blackout draw Alice out of her shell. Mary agreed, the two zone and had only one telephone after authorities women became close friends, and in December removed the rest of them to use at military camps. 1926 De Lamar brought Benson to Palm Beach due Also, gasoline was difficult to obtain, and the into Mary’s bout with bronchitis. town location of Brazilian Avenue was a convenient walking or biking distance to many shops. Mary Benson’s friendships with famed mega-art collectors Bernard Berenson and Alfred Erickson, In 1942, amid the sound of countless bombers and renowned art dealers Carroll Carstairs and flying overhead and German U-boats sinking Joseph Duveen further cultivated her inherent American ships just off the Florida coast, the interest in art. Due to Duveen’s recommendation, in fifty-two-year old Benson established the first 1937 Benson began to oversee the prestigious Jules major commercial gallery on Worth Avenue. In Bache collection in New York City, now housed in doing so, Mary elevated Palm Beach in the eyes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bache, a Palm the art world and cultivated its allure as a vibrant Beach winter resident, collected some of the most gallery capital. Influential critic Lawrence Dame famous paintings in the world, and Mary’s position later commented that words could not express as his curator boosted her esteem in international the amount of good Mary Benson provided, both
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Drawing from Worth Avenue Gallery flyer, ca. 1944. Photo courtsey HSPBC Archives. “culturally and otherwise.” And as critic Elizabeth Vaughan put it, “Palm Beach had to wait for the arrival of Mrs. Duggett Benson to really get down to business.”
moment, artists have been painting for YOU!” She also assured potential patrons that her prices were moderate and that visitors were always welcome.
After hearing a suggestion by Philadelphia/Palm While some have assumed, claimed, or parroted Beach artist Marguerite Idell, Benson initiated the that Alice De Lamar anonymously owned the annual Palm Beach clothesline show, first held in Worth Avenue Gallery, sworn affidavits signed by the patio of the Worth Avenue Gallery around Mary Benson filed with the State of Florida and 1943 with over 100 art students and professionals Alice De Lamar’s intimate letters prove otherwise. participating. Mary’s clothesline exhibits were a The gallery was first co-owned by Mary and her huge success, and after she moved the gallery to 347 nephew Edward Nash Mathews Jr., called Ned, who Worth Avenue, she held the outdoor shows in the maintained Miami Beach’s Washington Art Gallery. courtyard of the adjacent Via Parigi. When Mary and Ned Mathews opened the Palm Beach annex of his gallery at 310½ Worth Avenue By then Mary Benson had found a co-director in (between Saks Fifth Avenue and Bonwit Teller), the Emily (Mrs. Archibald) Rayner, whom she met partners named it the Washington Art Studio. through De Lamar. Rayner possessed a strong artistic sensitivity, instilled in her by her older sister, Benson soon changed the Washington Art Studio’s prominent New York artist and art dealer Betty name to the Worth Avenue Gallery. She advertised Parsons, who pioneered the marketing of abstract art-boosting sentiments, advising the public to expressionism. “create wider horizons for the walls of your home” and that “four walls make a home either a prison On April 29, 1946, Benson formally registered her or a palace. From the long gone past to the present name with the State of Florida as “doing business
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as” the Worth Avenue Gallery. However, she still retained the partnership with Ned Mathews. There was no particular school that Benson selected—it just depended on a certain something possessed by an artist: “A painting must have an intangible part that you intuitively recognize as art,” she explained. “It is an indefinable, inspiration quality. And when you find it, the reward is a wonderful, exciting experience.” She “set standards” for later Palm Beach art galleries and offered the privilege to own a great work of art by an artist she believed in. As one artist put it, “Mary Benson doesn’t sell paintings, she allows people to buy them.” Critic Laurence Dame remarked, “Mary had heart, knowledge, and rare intuition” and considered the cause of art “sacred.” She believed that “the artist is the all important factor, not the gallery. The gallery is there simply to serve the artist and of course, the public.” And serve she did; so much so that she became known as “the first lady” of Palm Beach art.
who later rendered the likeness of Caroline Kennedy; Channing Hare; and Mary MacKinnon (aka McKinnon) Johnson made up the gallery’s portrait painters, along with Mary Benson’s exhusband Stuart who provided portrait sculpture before he died in 1949.
By the 1950s the Worth Avenue Gallery had become one of the most distinguished galleries in the United States and, along with The Society of the Four Arts and Norton Gallery and School of Art, enhanced recognition of the Palm Beaches as an important, if not small, art center. Every season Benson would hold a masterpiece show, with major paintings she borrowed from such New York art firms as Kraushaar Galleries, Carroll Carstairs Gallery, and the then prestigious Knoedler Gallery. Along with European and American masters such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Toulouse Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, and Childe Hassam, many young and obscure artists’ works graced the Worth Avenue Gallery’s walls. These painters and sculptors relied on Mary’s gallery to sell their art to discriminating Devoted to her artists unequivocally, Benson gave Palm Beach collectors and also garner an Palm Beach debuts to French modernist Bernard international clientele. Often sales occurred during Buffet; Franz Bueb, whose work Jacqueline Benson’s famous Worth Avenue Gallery cocktail Kennedy collected; and many other talented party openings where throngs of art enthusiastic painters who would achieve world renown. She also crowds would mingle every week, reaching a provided a well-attended space to show off the crescendo some two decades later. work of longtime Palm Beach artists of the past, such as Clarence Percival Dietsch. Zoe Shippen, Important modern art collectors Charlotte and William McKim and Audrey and LeRay Berdeau Ned Matthews in his Miami Beach gallery. Photo courtesy Pamela Matthews. were among the cultural leaders who supported Benson in her efforts. And of course, Alice De Lamar offered unyielding support anytime Mary or one of her artists needed it. The gallery was also a space where De Lamar’s artist friends could exhibit, such as Paul Cadmus and Pavel Tchelitchew, who called Mary “a beautiful magnificent woman.” On November 4, 1957, Mary Benson registered her gallery with the State of Florida as a domestic for-profit corporation with three principals—Mary as president, Ned as vice president and Mary’s sister, Frances, as secretary, treasurer, and director. But by the end of 1958, Ned was no longer a 22 | TUSTENEGEE
The Worth Avenue Gallery continued to thrive by exhibiting the beloved Orville Bulman’s whimsical renderings, New York modernist Gertrude Schweitzer’s paintings, and works by such artists as surrealist Jack Hawkins; glass designer Grover Hendricks; Hopkins Hensel; Ouida George, Patrick Archer (Graham-Eckes School Art Department Chairman); Paul Crosthwaite; John Sharp; and Piero Aversa. During the 1959-60 Palm Beach season Aversa exhibited his portraits of socialites and threw the show’s cocktail party reception, where Alice De Lamar conversed with the artist James DeVries, son of Mary MacKinnon (DeVries) Johnson.
Sworn Affidavit by Mary Benson, signed December 18, 1958; filed February 2, 1959. Photo courtesy State of Florida Public Records. principal and Benson signed a sworn oath notarized by Virginia Smith for the State of Florida that Mary maintained “100% ownership” of the Worth Avenue Gallery. She was almost sixty-nine years old. While one could speculate that Alice De Lamar financially backed Mary’s efforts after Ned left the firm, Mary later asserted that the gallery had been continually self sufficient and never subsidized. However, there is no doubt that Alice, whose generosity extended to so many in the arts, financially supported Mary in various ways during her lifetime. De Lamar also became a magnanimous patron to some artists Benson discovered, such as Keith Ingermann, whom Mary befriended while he was a student exhibiting at one of her clotheslines shows; and the quirky Henry Faulkner, who taught Tennessee Williams how to paint. Faulkner usually created a stir when he strolled down Worth Avenue accompanied by his pet goat named Alice.
In the early 1960s, participating artists at Benson’s gallery included Theodora Tilton; Howard Silverman, a veteran of some thirty oneman New York exhibitions; Patricia Massie (Mrs. Peter Widener); and Janet Folsom, an instructor at the Norton Gallery School of Art. Benson also continued to hold sell-out exhibitions for Orville Bulman, the gallery’s most successful artist. Important patrons, including the Duchess of Windsor, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Walter Gubelmanns, J. Patrick Lannan, and LeRay Berdeau remained loyal. Jacqueline Kennedy also continued to regularly purchase art at the Worth Avenue Gallery, as did Rose Kennedy and several other family members. In fact, Mary was close friends with Rose Kennedy. The growth and success of the Worth Avenue Gallery came to a halt on March 28, 1965, when Mary Benson retired and closed the most remarkable, groundbreaking art house in Palm Beach history. The closing marked the end of the island’s “golden years of galleries.” George Vigouroux, director of the Palm Beach Galleries, organized a farewell party coinciding with Benson’s birthday, which included many of Mary’s old friends and admirers. They gave the veteran art dealer a meaningful gold bracelet with
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(Left) Jean Bulman, Mary Benson, and Orville Bulman at the Worth Avenue Gallery, ca. 1963. Photo courtesy Bert and Richard Morgan. (Center) Henry Falkner with Peter portrait by Piero Aversa, February 1960. Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives. charms including an artist’s palette, and a chest full of Kennedy half dollars, signifying her warm relationship with the renowned family. After the gathering, in which tears were mixed with laughter, columnist Emilie Keyes, who called Mary “gallant and lovely,” wrote to Alice De Lamar, “Mary’s party was sweet but sad—I hate to see the end of an era—but am glad to have been part of it.” After Benson closed her gallery, George Vigouroux helped provide a showcase for art by De Lamar’s friends, but Alice did not particularly care for Vigouroux. Nonetheless, the two sustained a working, if not overly fond, relationship. Of course, if Alice had actually owned the Worth Avenue Gallery, secretly or otherwise, she would have simply hired a new director to run it, but since it had been Mary’s, Alice had no other choice.
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In 1972, Mary Duggett Benson, the woman who started the gallery boom in Palm Beach, died in a Miami nursing home. The Palm Beach Post correctly acknowledged her as the "founder and director of the Worth Avenue Gallery." In a letter to Alice De Lamar, artist Gertrude Schweitzer wrote that Mary “was a wonderful person, loved to be surrounded by good art,” and that “the Worth Ave. Gallery with Mary Benson has not yet been topped.” While Alice De Lamar remained a quintessential supporter of the arts until she passed away in 1983, her friend, Mary Benson, should forever be remembered as the rightful owner of the iconic Worth Avenue Gallery and the woman who put Palm Beach on the art gallery map of the world.
r and Patricia Massie Widener at the Worth Avenue Gallery, December 1959. (Right) Alice De Lamar and James DeVries at the Worth Avenue Gallery in front of a
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Deborah C. Pollack, a graduate of Temple University in art history, owns a Worth Avenue gallery with her husband and has authored many books on art, including Palm Beach Visual Arts (2016) and the award-winning Laura Woodward: The Artist Behind the Innovator Who Developed Palm Beach (2009). Pollackâ€™s work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including the Tustenegee, as well as the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and a blog for the Smithsonian Institution. SPRING 2018 | 25
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It’s Your History...Come Live It at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum curiosity, discovery, engagement...a remarkable experience
Located within the 1916 Palm Beach County Court house — a symbol of the growth of our county The place to learn our rich and vibrant history, from the earliest natives through today’s influential leaders. Centrally located in downtown West Palm Beach near other cultural attractions
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300 N. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, Florida Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm | Sat, 10am-4pm (closed major holidays) 561.832.4164 | www.hspbc.org The Museum is operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County
Historical Society of Palm Beach County 2017-2018 Officers
Ex-Officio Board Members
Chairman of the Board J. Grier Pressly III
School Board of Palm Beach County
First Vice Chairman Thomas M. Kirchhoff
Danielle H. Moore
Town of Palm Beach Council Member
Palm Beach County Commissioner
Second Vice Chairman Mark Stevens Third Vice Chairman Ross W. W. Meltzer Secretary Richard S. Johnson Jr. Deputy Secretary Carey Oâ€™Donnell Treasurer David J. Thomas III Member at Large Jeffrey P. Phipps Sr. General Counsel Mariano Garcia Past Chairman Mark B. Elhilow Member Emeritus Robert W. Ganger
Board of Governors Jeffrey Alderton Margaret Cheryl Burkhardt Ann Margo Cannon Joseph Chase Kevin Clark Graham G. Davidson George Ford III Mary Freitas The Honorable Bradley Harper Joette Keen Russell P. Kelley III George Mavlios Sharon Merchant Penny Murphy Peter Nicoletti Lisa McDermott Perez Karen Swanson Kimberly Walkes
Board of Advisors Cressman D. Bronson Katharine Dickenson George T. Elmore Mr. & Mrs. William Fleming Jr. Dennis Grady William Graham Dale R. Hedrick Pat Seaton Johnson Gary S. Lesser The Honorable Karen Marcus William A. Meyer Harvey E. Oyer III Jorge Pesquera Sidney Stubbs Jr. RADM Philip A. Whitacre, USN (Ret.)
Benefactors Thomas Anderson and Marc Schappell Brenda McCampbell Bailey Margaret Cheryl Burkhardt Julie and Michael Connors Susan and Christopher Cowie Martha DeBrule Mark B. Elhilow George T. Elmore Frances and Jeffrey Fisher Anneli and Robert Ganger Lorrain and Malcolm W. Hall Melanie and Chris Hill Pat Seaton Johnson Russell P. Kelley III Carol and Thomas M. Kirchhoff Patricia Lambrecht Patricia and Howard Lester Betsy K. Matthews Sydelle Meyer Pauline Pitt J. Grier Pressly III Frances G. Scaife Sonja and Mark Stevens Annette Stubbs RADM Philip A. Whitacre, USN (Ret.) William Sterling Williams Robert Wright
Staff President and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy W. Johnson Chief Curator Debi Murray Education Coordinator Rose Guerrero Research Director Nicholas Golubov Director of Marketing & Special Events Jillian Markwith Halay Director of Advancement & Communications Holly Finch Office Administrator Sharon Poss Membership Coordinator Lise Steinhauer Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Rhonda Gordon
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Volunteer: Make a Powerful Difference to Others (and to Yourself!) by Rhonda Gordon Volunteering is an enjoyable way to explore your interests and passions and provide mental stimulation that can transfer into your personal and professional life. Volunteer work has many benefits for you and those you serve: • It enriches the lives of others. • It can help strengthen ties to the community. • It exposes you to people with common interests. • It can provide a warm environment to depart from your day-to-day routine. • It is a great way to meet new people.
Annual Salute to Volunteers Luncheon. Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives. In today’s world, our routines have become consumed by our daily schedules—the sheer thought of donating time can seem overwhelming. One of the best advantages of volunteering, however, is that YOU decide when and where to spend your helping time. Although volunteering is unpaid in financial terms, nothing about it is valueless. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training that help you build upon skills you already have, and teach how to utilize those skills to benefit the greater community.
Left to right: Archival assistant, Community Outreach, Museum greeters and docents, and Museum Store assistant. Photos courtesy HSPBC Archives.
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Annual field trips: Volunteers visit (left and center) the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden and (right) the agricultural district of Palm Beach County. Photos courtesy HSPBC Archives. Regardless of one’s age or circumstance, there are opportunities to volunteer at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. You can assist at special events, greet museum visitors, or help customers in the Museum Store. If you want to go ‘all in,’ you can study to become a museum docent or help with research and the archival collection. In whatever capacity we agree on, you can make a powerful difference! People who volunteer say the experience creates a euphoric feeling inside, noticeably improving their health and wellbeing by giving of themselves to benefit others. Our volunteers at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County are truly the best. Their diverse backgrounds in education, profession, experiences, skills, and residency make for quite an extraordinary team. Without their involvement, the HSPBC staff could not effectively further its mission. We would welcome your consideration of joining us. The difference that you will make in someone else’s life will make an even bigger difference in YOURS! Docents lead tours for all ages. Photos courtesy HSPBC Archives and Capehart Photography. To learn more, please contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561-832-4164, ext. 110 or email@example.com.
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Spring Events SUNDAY
11 19 22
Walking Tours Friday, April 6 Historical Walking Tour with Rick Gonzalez from the Johnson History Museum
Third Thursday Lecture Series Thursday, April 19 The Yamato Colony: Pioneering Japanse in Florida, presented by Tom Gregersen
Saturday, April 7 & 21 Historical Walking Tour with Rick Gonzalez from the West Palm Beach GreenMarket
Sunset History Cruise Sunday, April 22 Annual Sunset History Cruise with Palm Beach County Archaeologist Chris Davenport
Courtroom Exhibit Friday, April 6 - May 25 Picturing Nam Everglades Day Event Saturday, April 7 The Swamp: An Everglades Day Event at the Johnson History Museum Distinguished Lecture Series Wednesday, April 11 U.S. Life-Saving Service: Florida's East Coast, presented by Sandra Thurlow
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Annual Membership Meeting Tuesday, April 24 Meeting and reception open to all current members of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County The Great Give Tuesday, April 24 Join us on this annual day of online giving and help us meet our goal of $50,000! Armed Forces Day Saturday, May 19 Annual Armed Forces Day event. Help us celebrate our veterans and touch a truck!
Photographic Collection Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives.
Built in 1895 to accommodate railroad and pedestrian traffic, the F.E.C. Railroad bridge once stood to the south of what was the Royal Poinciana Hotel (left). The tracks bisected Palm Beach and terminated at the end of a steel pier, which serviced steamship travel to the Bahamas and Cuba. Upon the completion of Whitehall (right), Flaglerâ€™s wedding gift to his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, the bridge was moved to the north side of the hotel.
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The HSPBC recently collected an oral history from Jane Hadley Caruso, granddaughter to William Fremd, the landscape master for Henry Flagler at his Palm Beach properties. She remembers her grandfather well and had great memories to share about early Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. As we discussed World War II, Caruso said that she had volunteered at the V for Victory Canteen at the northwest corner of Worth Avenue and South County Road. The two girls in the photo above are (left) Jane Ann (Hadley) Caruso and best friend (right) Jean Anne Daley. Photo courtesy HSPBC Archives.
Historical Society of Palm Beach County 300 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Phone: (561) 832-4164 | Fax: (561) 832-7965
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www.hspbc.org | www.pbchistoryonline.org
Spring is here and in this issue we cover the secretive endeavors of Camp Murphy, a wild adventure in the Fakahatchee Strand and the fascina...
Published on Apr 17, 2018
Spring is here and in this issue we cover the secretive endeavors of Camp Murphy, a wild adventure in the Fakahatchee Strand and the fascina...