Recently was "searching" for something..
(as we often prone to do in the name of "research")..
and quite by accident discovered a site of historically significant places..
curious about places in my state, Florida, ..
I spent much too much time lost/wandering enchanted..
checking out so many places of interest in the U.S.
some of which I have been fortunate enough to visit!
In Florida, I found these colorful and beautiful sites..
was very interesting reading!.
Many thanks to Scenic USA for the use of these wonderful photos and descriptions!
The Mark brothers, Mitchell and Moe, are credited for starting the world's first permanent Buffalo based movie theater in 1896. By 1914, these creative New Yorkers took a gamble and spent a million dollars on the Mark Strand Palace Theater in Times Square. In just a few years the Strand name was protected by the New York Supreme Court and a chain of theaters spread throughout the United States and Canada. While there are more than a 100 old theaters found in New York, a few are thinly sprinkled over the Florida map.
In the heart of Key West on Duval Street, the Strand's front facade has been carefully restored; and is now the unusual store front of a neighborhood Walgreens. Almost a century ago, this Strand Theater sat 800 people, offering southern Floridians a look atsilent films and the latest talking pictures of the day. Here on Duval Street, named after the first territorial governor and home to a string of famous restaurants and bars, the Strand Theatre operated into the 80's, losing out to home theaters and movies complexes. After a few businesses tried the location, Walgreens bought the property in early 2002, restoring the marquee and retaining the interior balcony. It's a novel store front and the exception for a chain of 7000 cookie-cutter drugstores that operate in every state of America.
During the mid 19th century, the town of Ocala grew around Fort King, which played a strategic role in the Seminole Indian Wars. By 1846, Ocala became the county seat for Florida's newly formed Marion County. The town was devastated during the Civil War, reducing its population to a few hundred people. After its rebound from the war years, the town's center was destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving Day, 1883. The town was rebuilt with fire resistant material; and following reconstruction, Ocala acquired the nickname of the brick city. Here on Fort King Street, the Rheinauer House occupied a half acre lot. Because of its wood frame construction and the fear of fire, the kitchen and carriage house were built in the rear of the lot. The adjacent Scott house, also built in the same period, followed a Queen Anne style of architecture. The 1888 Scott House, the other half of the Seven Sisters Inn, was judged best restoration project by the Florida Trust Historic Preservation Society. By the time that the Rheinauer and Scott houses were complete in 1890, Ocala had expanded to cover four square miles and was the fifth largest town in the state.
Predating its famous neighbor Cocoa Beach by more than 50 years, Cocoa began as sparsely settled community during the 1860's. One of a string of riverfront towns that slowly grew along the Indian River, Cocoa residents subsisted on farming, fishing, ranching and lumbering. With its close proximity to the warm Gulf Stream, and thriving on an ideal amount of rainfall and soils rich in calcium, Indian River citrus became one of the leading industries in the area. Without roads or a railroad in the area, the only way to reach Cocoa was by river. Drawn to the smell of fragrant orange blossoms, Captain Douglas Dummittwas instantly hooked, and was first to establish an orange grove along Florida's east coast in the 1820s.
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Edward Postell Porcher moved to Florida in 1884. Upon acquiring land in Courtney on Merritt Island, Porcher planted his Deerfield Citrus Grove along the Indian River. Porcher became the largest grower in Brevard County and eventually moved his business to the mainland in Cocoa, taking advantage of the freshly laid track of the Florida East Coast Railway.
Designed by his wife, Byrnina Peck, the ten bedroom Porcher House took shape in 1916. Built of native coquina rock, the interior was finished in teak, oak and cedar. The three story Porcher House is one of the finest representations of an early 20th century Federal style, embellished with classical elements and adapted to suit the tropical Florida climate. This 5000 square foot Cocoa landmark is one of the noteworthy structures in historic Cocoa Village. With assistance from state and local funds, the Porcher house received extensive restorations from its sills to the rafters. A widow's walk was added to the roofline, replicated from vintage photographs. Now placed on the National Register of Historic places, the Porcher House is open for public viewing and special social functions.
Thomas A. Edison, sometimes called the Wizard of Menlo Park, was one of the most productive inventors the world has ever seen, holding over 1,000 patents. Although it's been thought that he invented the electric light bulb, Edison and his team greatly improved the light design with a long lasting filament. Edison had also improved the fluoroscope (x-ray), greatly affecting his eyesight and fatally overdosing his assistant, Clarence Dalley, with radiation. The Wizard's phonograph was the first device ever to record and play recorded sounds. Edison was also one of the first inventors to employ the processes of mass production.
Edison's winter estate, the Seminole Lodge, was built along the Caloosahatchee River in the mid 1880s. He had visited the Fort Meyers area and quickly decided to build his home and laboratory beside the river. Today the site features nine buildings listed on the National Register as well as research and botanical gardens. Almost a quarter of a million visitors making this one of the most popular historic homes in America.
A narrow string of barrier islands outline the majority of Florida’s east coast, creating a wonderful stretch of tropical shoreline. North Florida’s A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway leads travelers along 72 miles of inviting Atlantic beaches. The byway also passes through St. Augustine, billed as the nation’s oldest city. A handful of causeways, connecting the mainland to the beach islands, climb up and over the Intracoastal Waterway. Boats seen cruising up and down the waterway are those daydreams that have turned into reality. Sailboats, catching an ever present wind, ply their artful maneuvers over the broad channel.
Heading southward, history cycles backward for 250 years at Fort Matanzas. Next stop,Anastasia State Park, one of the most popular coastal parks, offering amenities enhanced by a beautiful shoreline. Southward, the gardens at Washington Oaks State Park are the prime draw. Route A1A passes Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, as well asBulow Creek State Park. The southern end of the byway introduces visitors to the Ormond Scenic Loop and Tomoka State Park.
Pictured here is St. Augustine’s Flagler College, once the grandest hotel on the coast. Henry Flagler left active duty at Standard Oil and headed to Florida in the hope that his wife’s health would improve. St. Augustine barely survived a plague of yellow fever, and was brought back to life with Flagler’s attention. Using his vast knowledge, wealth, and power, Flagler not only turned St. Augustine around, but established a railway southward to Miami and on to Key West, putting Florida’s entire east coast in reach for all the northern states.
This old schoolhouse has defied the elements for over 300 years. With a lot of luck, coupled with decay resistant wood used in construction (red cedar and cypress), this historic building has endured harsh conditions in the seacoast town of St. Augustinefor over three centuries. Old construction techniques, including wooden peg fasteners, make it an interesting piece of Florida history. It is fitting that the oldest European city in the United States, established in 1565, holds the oldest schoolhouse.
The anchor and chain is not for display or decoration, but an attempt to secure the building during hurricanes and strong thunderstorms. Most likely severe winds would be too much for the old school and its delicate facade, but somehow the structure has been spared.
Mallory Square was once Key West's most important deep water harbor. Today, the square is a gathering place for tourists, art exhibitors and street performers, and a ritualistic sunset celebration.
Once part of a chain of remote south Florida islands, the area relied on the sea for all their imports and exports. The port saw trade ships from New York, Texas and nearby Cuba. Today, Mallory Square is a stop-off port for cruise ships headed to the Caribbean and Mexico. TheHospitality House and Museum, presents a look into the island's past, and was once a ticket office for the Mallory Steamship Company.
Crowds begin to gather about two hours before sundown to enjoy the entertainment. The street performers, chickens and visitors are all a part of the this unique Key West atmosphere.
Mellow Yellow Monday