Monday, September 30, 2013

ECHO Ranger Triple Header Part 3

Our last stop on our ECHO Ranger tour set was to a place known as the Anderson-Price Building or the Women's Club of Ormond Beach.  This building has a very long history that began when Ormond Beach was less than 20 years old.  On January 9, 1891 a group of citizens met at the Union Church with the goal of "promoting neatness and order" in the village, as well as to provide for civic welfare.
Three years later they were able to purchase this property for $1200 with the store and attached residence on the site to serve as a community library.

Kevin and girls heading into the Women's Center to begin our tour

Coat of Arms for the Ormond Family

Initially the old store was the site of the library and later a community meeting place, until 1916 when the Women's Village Association was able to raise the funds to build a new building to serve as the new library and women's auxiliary meeting place. The building is named for the 2 main contributors of the $8000.00 needed for the new facility Mssrs. John Anderson and Joseph Price, the owners of the Ormond Hotel.

Chandelier in the main meeting  room 

Front parlor that originally served as the community library

Main meeting hall with display cases and portraits on side walls - stage area to the left

Docent in the first room (the old library) giving the earlier history of the community and building to the kids

Docent in the second room that had served as the library reading room, gave the kids the history of the community from the turn of the century to the present.
Detail of carving and beautiful locks on the front door

This building was added to the Historic Registry of Buildings in 1984 and is used as the Women's Center for social events and historical education programs.  It's an attractive building with lots of pretty details of mouldings, chandeliers, and ornate doors.  There are displays of the towns historic persons, including the Ormond's whose coat of arms is on display and had been given the first grant to the property by the King during the British rule over Florida.  Other displays are from pieces donated or found at various archaeological sites.  The ladies here wore old fashioned hats as they gave the kids a tour and history lessons.  A short film of the areas history was shown in the main hall, before we headed outside to walk to the end of the road to see the old Yacht club building that was rebuilt a few years back after years of use saw the building deteriorate to the point of being condemned.  Today it serves as a boat club and event spot and has a beautiful view of the areas water inlet.

Kids walking out front - pretty view!

Old photo in the collection of boats at the old yacht club site.  Don't think this one counts as a "yacht" though

Rebuilt yacht club

Old photo of a boat there for the racing season.

Our day in Ormond Beach concluded after this stop.  The weather had been gorgeous and we all enjoyed our tours and history lessons.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ECHO Ranger Triple Header Part 2

Our tour on Saturday of the Casements continued after a lunch break at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens.  It's only a few blocks away from the Casement House.  This 4.5 acre botanical garden was founded in 1946 as a war memorial.  The site had once been a large empty lot with sand dunes that became an eyesore as dumping took place or people just hung out and dropped trash.  So with permission the community began cleaning up and planting the property.

Art Museum Entrance

Peacock sculpture in the pond in front of the art museum with 3 turtles in residence there

One of the 3 turtles

Later an art museum was built to show the works of a popular Ormond Beach artist as a working studio and gallery.  In following years, travelling shows became the norm for the museum that features works in different genres by a wide variety of artists to keep it fresh and always have something new for people to check out.

Linda King giving her tour of the museum to our group

The craft room

Coloring their art pieces
Linda hot glued Lauren's dragonfly she decorated to a stick to fly around the garden as we toured.

Lauren and Hannah with their finished pieces

During our time there they had a history of cartoons and a large display of anime art.  The woman who acted as our tour guide is a local artist who gives classes and volunteers at the museum. She led the kids in some craft time after showing them around the museum.

Then once the crafts were done, we headed out to walk around the botanical garden area.  The trees are large and dense and this offers all kinds of micro climates within the garden that allow for tender plants to not only survive, but thrive here. 
Upper story trees
A view of the size and density.

Banana tree with fruit growing in the center of this garden

War memorial in bronze

The trails wander in and around the trees and shrubs to create garden rooms, with various art pieces, memorials, water features and pleasant places to sit and enjoy the garden.

Pretty bird of paradise flowers and plants growing throughout the garden

Hiking the trails

A nice pergola in the midst of the pathways

A stone bench and raised area along the path

Sculpture along one of the trails

A beautiful waterfall that was as pleasant to hear as it was to see.

This made for an enjoyable time between our two other historic sites we visited this day.  I'll do another post to highlight our time at the last of our "triple header" tours this time out.  For now hope you enjoy some of the photos of what we experienced at the Art Museum and Gardens.

Another view of the front pond with it's sculpture, plants and turtles

Monday, September 23, 2013

ECHO Ranger Triple Header

On Saturday the girls had another ECHO Ranger outing.  This one was a coordinated set of tours with 3 locations in Ormond Beach, that I'll present in 3 separate posts.  Our tour began in the morning at the historic winter home of John D. Rockefeller known as the Casements.

The Casements named for the large hand-cut casement windows was originally built as a retirement home by New Haven, Connecticut pastor Rev. H. Huntington for he and his wife.  The 9000 square foot home stood on 7 acres of land across the street from the well known luxury hotel of it's day the Ormond Hotel. 

Girl's at the front entrance with the windows that give the house it's name behind them.

The old Ormond Hotel in it's hey day.

The model of the hotel we saw at the Halifax Museum on our last ECHO Ranger outing

Old map that shows the Ormond Hotel on the left and the Casements house across the street.

The Casements as it was in Rockefellers day

Rockefeller with his grandkids

The Ormond Hotel was a winter retreat for years among the Eastern elite and this included the wealthy oil magnate John D. Rockefeller.  After many years of staying at the hotel it's said that Rockefeller overheard a guest being quoted their room rate while in the lobby area on one stay. The rate quoted was half of what he was paying.  When he inquired about the price disparity he was told it was because he could afford it.  As a philanthropist he responded he would much prefer to use the funds to give away rather than spend them on rooms to stay in.  So he purchased the Casements to be his winter retreat and home.

Rockefeller handing dimes out to kids

The side yard looking towards the inlet.

The side entrance that we went in through to begin our tour

The front entrance and all the beautiful casement windows.

Rockefeller spent years at this home and died in his sleep at the age of 97 on May 23, 1937.  The Rockefeller family who always considered the home not up to their standards sold the property 2 years later.  Over the next 20 years it was used as a girl's preparatory school and later an elder care home, until 1959 when the property was purchased by a development company who intended to develop the property.  It sat for years and fell into terrible shape as it deteriorated and was damaged by intruders.  In 1972 the home was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and was given a complete renovation in the 1990's as an Ormond Beach Cultural Center.

Lobby area

Front desk and gift shop in lobby

 Atrium.  This house is three stories with the stairs circling up through this center area. While we were there it was being decorated for use in a wedding that evening.

3rd floor with stained glass in the cupola at the top.
Lanterns decorating the atrium for the wedding

Ballet room added during the time this was a prep school

This large room was the dining room that  was down a couple steps off the atrium

Some of the old kitchens cabinetry that was salvaged and restored

Rockefeller's desk was one of only 3 pieces that were recovered from the original home site

One of the rooms on the second floor

A portrait of Rockefeller

Rockefeller's desk in his office that has this window overlooking the water inlet on the side.

We had a great time touring this place and seeing the historic photos and learning it's history. Then the docents had the kids do a craft with the photos they had taken of each child as we arrived.  They were also given a postcard with an old photo of Rockefeller and a child with a dime glued to the card as this had been a habit of his to hand out dimes, worth far more in his day, to kids.

The girls doing their craft

The kids in this ECHO Ranger tour

The girl's crafts and the postcard with dime

After our time at the Casements we had lunch, then headed to the second stop at the Art Museum and gardens, then the final stop of the day was the Historical Societies Women's Center.  As I stated earlier in this post I'll feature these over the next few days.  The weather was beautiful and made for perfect conditions as we toured the sites and this town with it's quaint old buildings and wonderful ocean front views.  Loved our outing here.