Tuesday – Friday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Saturdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
CURATOR Richard “Ted” Waterfall
TRUSTEES Jim Gillies, Chairman Charlie Bagg Louise Carter Melanie Blankenship Kim Nesbitt Winn
OFFICERS Timothy Totten President Bob Marks Vice-President Cindy Satur 2 Vice-President
A Monthly Publication of the Eustis Historical Museum & Preservation Society, Inc.
Volume VII, Number 11 – November 2011
Friends, Thanksgiving 2011 marks 100 years since the Clifford Family first moved into this grand house. To celebrate this grand occasion, we are hosting an Open House on Saturday, November 26th from 10am – 2pm, with refreshments and some good old-fashioned fellowship. The “First Ladies of the Eustis Historical Museum” have decorated the home for Christmas, so please come celebrate with us and enjoy the beautiful work they have done to bring some holiday cheer to the museum. Don’t forget the annual Christmas in Eustis sale which runs through December 4th at the Eustis Community Center (only closed Thanksgiving Day). Come buy great Christmas gifts from more than 35 local crafters and artisans. In this issue, we have given you a small peek into the lives of the people who have lived in our home. For a more in-depth retelling of their lives and their experiences in the Clifford House, please visit the museum during our regular hours (listed at the top of the column to the left) and enjoy a tour from our curator, Ted Waterfall. Timothy Totten, President
Danyel Moulden Recording Secretary Anita Ezelle Corresponding Secretary John Blankenship Treasurer
APPOINTED Louise Carter - Historian Regina Heffington - Website Marcia Arnold – First Ladies
EVENTS CALENDAR Nov 25 Light Up Eustis in Downtown Friday from 5pm – 9pm Ceremony at 6pm with Visit from SANTA! Nov 26 Holiday Open House – Decorated for Christmas Saturday from 10am – 2pm at The Clifford House 536 North Bay Street Tour the home and enjoy cider and homemade cookies! Dec 2
First Friday Street Party – Downtown Eustis 6:00 – 10:00 pm
CURATOR’S CORNER by Ted Waterfall I have now expanded our small gift shop a bit to include more child-friendly offerings. Most of the inquiries from visitors in the past had been from younger kids, and we really had nothing for them, so I now have a selection of gift items they might find exciting, hopefully inspired by some of our displays. These include “Indiana Jones” type bull whips, Seminole-inspired necklaces and replica arrowheads. Perhaps some music room inspired kazoos as well. You get the idea. Traditional gift shop items like refrigerator magnets of Eustis, bookmarks etc. will soon be added. The First Ladies of the Museum have been doing a marvelous job of decorating the house and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Marcia Arnold has been the coordinator for this activity and she has done a wonderful job of directing the efforts. Different sets of ladies have been assigned different rooms. The idea for the upstairs bathroom was most imaginative! More work is forthcoming, but what they have done so far is very impressive. Great job, Ladies! The article I have selected from our Jim Greenlee files was influenced by the basic theme of this newsletter. Since we are focused in this issue on the Clifford family, one of the first settlers of Eustis, I selected one of Mr. Greenlee’s articles in which he describes his first telephone, his first neighbor, etc. OK, so this is a bit of a stretch, I know, since Mr. Greenlee missed being one of Eustis’ first settlers by numerous decades, but I hope you enjoy his article anyway. Habitat-for-Humanity Stamps: Don’t forget to take the stamps you have been removing from your mail and bring them to the business meeting where I will make sure they get to Habitat-for-Humanity. (You have been removing them from your mail, right?) Be careful not to damage the stamp as you remove them from the envelope. That’s it for now, so until next month … Keep your powder dry.*
Ted *Keep your powder dry was an expression wishing good luck when black powder was the major propellant in hunting rifles. Wet or moist powder = no food.
The First Ladies of the Eustis Historical Museum cordially invite you to a Holiday Open House at the Clifford House, home to the Eustis Historical Museum & Preservation Society. The house is decorated for the holidays, with each room adopted by a local business and filled with beautiful Christmas décor. Enjoy fellowship and delicious refreshments (hot cider and homemade cookies) on Saturday, November 26th from 10am – 2pm.
Buy handmade crafts and other items at the “Christmas in Eustis” craft fair through December 4th. Open daily (except Thanksgiving Day), the Shop is located at the Eustis Community Center and includes Miss Lottie’s Tea Room, where visitors can enjoy fresh made soups, sandwiches and desserts. Mon – Sat 9am - 5pm
Sundays 1pm - 5pm
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EUSTIS HISTORICAL MUSEUM & PRESERVATION SOCIETY 536 NORTH BAY STREET, EUSTIS, FL 32726
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In 1943 ours was the only house on our side of the road on Barnes Avenue in the block between Grove and Center Streets. It had a garage out back and sported a basement, too. As I recall, the folks paid $3,000 for it. Barnes Avenue was a clay road in those days and traffic was very light. That made the road a great extension of our yard as we played various games of ball and “kick the can” on it during the evenings. Not too long after we settled in at our new place, we got a telephone. It sat proudly on top of our Philco console radio. It had a big silver button that would pop up when you picked up the receiver. A pleasant voice would inquire: “Number please?” (My Aunt Rachel was one of those pleasant voices.) Numbers in Eustis consisted of 3 numbers and a color. Ours was 32-1 Green. What a great invention! It was quite a novelty in the Greenlee household. After several years, we got our first neighbor on our side of the street. No more roaming that empty lot, setting my gopher traps. (That was okay. I never caught one anyhow.) The Driggers soon lived next door, and were fine neighbors. They and the Hammond family and Mrs. Haines, both on the other side of Barnes Avenue, comprised the population of our little road in 1945 or so. Our neighborhood furnished John, Miriam and me with a number of great playmates in the 40s and early 50s, and they often gathered at 227 Barnes Avenue. I will name some of these friends of that day, realizing that I will unintentionally omit a few. They were Tommy and Donnie Tippins, Jerry Lloyd Davis, Raymond Parrish, Dale and Janet Bartholomew, Harold Web, Alton Crawford, David Ayers, James Mackessey, Jim McWhorter, and Earla Sue and Dallas Thompson.
It was along about 1944 that daddy moved his shop from Eustis Street to the inside of the Post Office arcade. His shop would no longer be in the lineup of stores in that block between Magnolia and Orange Avenues, stores that included Brown’s Hardware, Bennett’s Grocery, Brady’s Dress Shop, Dollar’s Fish Market, Strong’s Sporting Goods, The Eustis Telephone Exchange and Coursey’s Dry Cleaners among others. But daddy’s hand-painted sign hung over the Orange Avenue entrance. It read Greenlee’s Shoe Shop, and in smaller letters beneath it boasted, “Five Generations of Shoe Repair.” (Shoe repair in our branch of the Greenlee family did not make it into the 6th generation).
The post office arcade had two entrances, one from Eustis Street and the other from Orange Avenue. Probably to the chagrin of postal employees and customers alike, we children found the arcade a great place to play. We did things like flying huge paper airplanes over customer’s heads and even riding our bikes in there. (Okay, I know we shouldn’t have…) We were still at war, and I remember the display of a miniature submarine that had been captured from our enemy. It sat on a wooden stand alongside Orange Avenue near the Post Office entrance for a short period of time. I got claustrophobic just looking at it. Well, gotta go. I’ll be back.
ABOVE: The Clifford House under construction, prior to being occupied by G.D., Unity Bell and their daughters on Thanksgiving Day, 1911.
All six of the Clifford daughters are pictured here with their mother, Unity Bell Clifford. Starting from the center, bottom row and proceeding clockwise (left-to-right): Unity Bell Clifford Kathleen Clifford Sasser Mayme Huldah Clifford Bertha Clifford Hoag Lottie Clifford Taylor Ruth Clifford Owens Gertrude Clifford Herrick.
MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOME Taken from the 2nd story balcony, this shows Wayne Matthews, Charlotteâ€™s son, with a horse carriage and chicken coup in the back yard. A dredge can be seen near the shore of Lake Eustis along with the Bassett Boat Works. Charlotte was the Cliffordâ€™s granddaughter and the last occupant of the Clifford House. She died in 1996.
BUSINESS MEMBERS Please consider supporting those businesses which support the work of your Preservation Society. Bay Pharmacy (352) 357-4341
Forever Ballroom (352)742-9461
Merry Jewelers (352) 589-4321
Bronson Ace Hardware (352) 357-2366
Harden – Pauli Funeral Home (352) 357-4126
Rick Howe’s Auto Repair (352)357-9991
Coldwell Banker Tyre & Taylor Realty, Inc. (352) 357-4100
Premier Pet Solutions by Dana Ellerby (352) 460-7409
Paulhamus Produce, Inc. (And catering service) (352)357-6284
Inspired Designs by Sue Hooper (352) 589-0867
Party Servers & Catering by Joyce 407-808-0916 Just2smurfs@earthlink.net
Steve’s Heating & A/C (352) 636-2064 www.stevetheacguy.com
Wall Street in the Dirt (352)357-5433
Jack & Andy’s Electric (352) 357-4459
Tom’s Color Bar (352)483-4247
Bills Prestige Printing (352) 589-5833
Classic Tents & Events (352) 357-7920
United Southern Bank (352) 589-2121
Party Source of Eustis (352) 357-5700
Eustis Historical Museum & Preservation Society 536 North Bay Street Eustis, Florida 32726 Phone: 352-483-0046 firstname.lastname@example.org