Observer YOU. YOUR NEIGHBORS. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
AUTHOR BILL RYAN 2 FEBRUARY 2017
VOLUME 1, NO. 6
YOUR TOWN RAY SMITH WATCHES OUT FOR GRAND HAVEN
Pastel Precision Jacque Estes
Cathy Dorman works on a portrait she began in class at the Flagler County Art League.
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CDD board member Ray Smith researches every topic before he makes a decision, and moving to Grand Haven in 2001 was no different. Smith and his wife, Joy, often traveled to Florida on business from their home in Pittsburgh. “We started exploring both coasts,” Smith said. “We found the West Coast to be very nice, but during season it was a parking lot. We were disenchanted with the density there.” They discovered Grand in the 1990s when there were only 250 homes here and planned to move in a couple of years. But they sold their Pittsburgh house within three weeks to Plaxico Burress, a Pittsburgh Steeler at the time, and then winter arrived. “I looked at Joy and said, ‘I don’t want to do this. Do you want to do this?’” Smith said. The couple called the builder and their Grand Haven home began to take shape. Smith was recently reelected to the CDD and also volunteers with the AARP free tax service. “I have had a very good life,” he said. “If I can help out now, it’s part of giving back.”
JACQUE ESTES COMMUNITY EDITOR
athy Dorman joked that she was “invoking the spirit” of Fernando, a turtle she had as a child, in a painting she began at a two-day workshop, presented by international artist Lian Zhen, at the Flagler County Art League earlier that week. “I got Fernando free with a pair of sneakers when I was 10 years old,” she said. “My mother never let any animal die, and he lived for 37 years.”
Prior to moving to Palm Coast in 2004, Dorman taught in elementary schools in Pennsylvania and in a woman’s prison, where she said, despite their circumstances, she met a lot of nice people. Creativity was always in her soul but not in her schedule. Moving south changed that, and in 2007 she moved into Grand Haven, which could easily be renamed “Artists Haven” for the impressive number of artists who have settled there. “It is so much more fun here in Florida. You are retired, and there are so many opportunities,”
Grand Haven artist Cathy Dorman continues to learn art techniques.
Dorman said. “I am always taking classes and trying something different.” She also attends figure drawing classes with live models at FCAL. Ann DeLucia, president of FCAL, described Dorman as a “generous” artist with her time and donations and said Dorman is a fixture on Wednesday nights during FCAL open studio night. “She is a wonderful portrait artist,” DeLucia said. Stepping back from a pastel work in process, the thumb and two fingers on her right hand smudged with dark pastel, Dorman says, almost to herself, “I want darker, darker, darker,” and her eye and hand work as one, adding shadow to give the image depth. Dorman defines herself as an artist, but not a professional, though her art does hang in local medical and realty offices, and even at the Palm Coast Observer office on Florida Park Drive. “To me, professional implies money, sales, supporting yourself and pleasing others,” she said. “I please myself.” She shared her talent last December when a model took a photo of Dorman’s painting of her to show her mom, who was being treated for cancer. Over the holidays, Dorman gave her the original drawing for her mom. While she doesn’t have a “favorite” artist, when the question came up her eyes immediately rested on a small painting above her desk by Linda Solomon who died nearly a year ago. “She was a friend,” Dorman said. “She put all of herself into her paintings.”
Woman’s club gives back, welcomes new move-ins The second largest Woman’s Federation Club in Florida is within the gates of Grand Haven. Current President Karen Finder has been a member of the 225-member club since 2005. The club’s good works helped 24 nonprofit groups in 2016, including the Family Life Center and the Flagler Education Foundation. Students gave back in January, when they came to help the members with their iPads and cell phones. A new civic outreach program has begun within the community. Members meet with new residents to help familiarize them with the county and community. The group has a calendar of upcoming events to help their
members make a difference. “MardiBra will be on Feb. 27 to support women who have been victims of domestic violence,” Finder said. “Members bring bras and other feminine items that will be donated to the women at the Family Life Center.” The annual book sale will be at the Village Center on Saturday, April 8, to raise money for scholarships for two girls graduating from each of the county high schools. All Grand Haven residents can participate in “Painting with a Twist” from 6 to 8:30 p.m., March 15, at the Village Center. Tickets are available by emailing maureenpellegrini@gmail. com. Finder is especially proud of
FPC students visited Grand Haven to provide technology training.
the group’s “Cooking Grand” cookbook, available at the Village Center for $25. A recipe a month from the book is being featured by the chef at the Grand Village Center Café. “By contributing their time, talent and treasure, our members are making a significant
impact in Flagler County by supporting the women and families who are in need,” Finder said. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with other Grand Haven news. — JACQUE ESTES
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fields as you drove down Old Kings Road at that time.” The area, as with the rest of the state, changed hands between the British and Spanish more than once. The Spanish were in St. Augustine for 200 years but never did much to settle the areas outside of the city. Ryan said that when the British took Florida, they were anxious to have it settled; they built the Old Kings Road that we all still travel. Spain fought with America in the Revolutionary War, and Spanish reclaimed Florida, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, through the Treaty of Paris.
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“They were handing out land grants like popcorn,” Ryan said. “Over 900 were given in Florida, and we know of 24 given right here in Flagler County.” “You had to hold the plantation for 10 years, you had to build buildings, you had to have laborers, and at the end of the 10 years you had to have it surveyed,” Ryan said. “Then you would find out if the title passes. You had to farm it to provide title.” Crops included sea island cotton, a very high cotton quality, and indigo, and sweet Criminal sugar Justice*cane u Legal Studies* potatoes. u Health Science* Business Administration Most of the plantations were burned during the Seminole War u Health Services that Accounting* began Christmas Eve Administration* 1835 and continued for seven years. Homeland Security* u Interdisciplinary Studies* The plantations were gone, but the copper kettles behind Also offering onlineleft Master’s Degrees in: were used to boil the ocean water Administration (MBA), downBusiness to salt during the Civil War. Next time you’re shopping at Criminal Justice and Education Island Walk you will be walking on what was once the Hernandez Plantation. “Hernandez tried to rebuild his plantation, but it never worked because the price of sugar had plummetedCalland was beingCounselor toll freesugar to speak with an Admissions made throughout the country,” Ryan said.
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Author Bill Ryan points out Florida land grants in Flagler.
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Local author Bill Ryan unrolls a map that extends not only past the table in the Flagler Historical Museum, but also into Flagler County’s past. The map came from Flagler historian Sisco Deen. The map details where plantations were and who owned them. Pinpointing where Grand Haven would have been on the map is a challenge. The map was created before the Intracoastal Waterway and and Colbert Lane; the map does show the Florida East Coast Canal and Old Kings Road, and of course Graham Swamp. “There’s a little confusion about Graham Swamp,” Ryan said. “It’s a little tiny relic of what it once was. It really ran the whole coastline.” Ryan used the map for his research for his latest book, “Search for the Lost Plantations of Flagler County, Florida.” While the gated communities were not addressed in the book, he said it appears Colbert Lane was built on top of some of the plantations from the Second Spanish period. “You’ve got to use your imagination,” he said. “These were cleared fields for the most part. They had slave labor, and you would see things growing in these
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