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.



  1. Lovely place and tour.

  2. It really was a pretty place with all the gorgeous casement windows. Hello to you and thanks for stopping by! : )