|Ponce de Leon Hotel
St. Augustine, FL
Sizes of Things:
350 feet on King Street and 450 feet on Cordova
Dining Room Vaulted Center 36 feet
Towers 150 feet
Tanks in towers hold 8,000 gallons of water each
Artesian Well diameter 12 inches
7,000 gallons per minute
86 degrees water temperature
Pressure 40 hp
Water went to 20 feet
Turbine water-wheel generated electricity for elevators
60,000 barrels of cement used on initial building
500 pairs lace curtains
1240 pairs blankets
1,000 large rugs
40 foot range (nine fires)
24 foot steam table
large hot closet, 12 feet in height and 24 feet in length.
4 Edison direct dynamos
Electric driven by 3 Arminston and Simms Engines
150,000 feet of wire (29 miles)
$100,000 spent on replacing wire in 1894
Grand Parlor 104 feet by 53 feet
Foundation 6 to 10 feet thick
Court yard 150 feet square
Cost of Hotel 2.5 million (1888 dollars)
400 men employed (building)
pay every two weeks $6000 (building)
grade level to 1st floor 7 feet
Elevator over 50 feet - largest of its time
1st Electric clock in a public place
Tropical garden on roof
1934 first year opened for Christmas
1894 50 rooms had private baths
80% of rooms had fireplaces
grounds cover 6 acres
building covers 4.5 acres
Grand Parlor 120 feet long
90 foot square dinning room has 75 stained glass windows
dome of rotunda rises 86 feet in the air
foundations built of 1 part sand, 2 parts coquina shell gravel, 1 part cement
fountain 150 feet square
Imported 350 tons of asphalt brought by schooner, Ida Schoolcraft for street paving in 1888.
In 1920 rooms to let 250
Dinning room vault centre measures 36 ft.
Had shops in Peacock Alley - where people watched while the rich shopped art studio, gift shop gown shop newsstand, linen shop,
1892 soft water was added to the Ponce de Leon Hotel from a water works that Flagler constructed outside of town.
Builders and Suppliers
Louis Comfort Tiffany - Interior Decorator
George W. Maynard - history panel painter
Virgilio Tojetti - painting in ballroom and grand parlor
Superintendent of Architectural Department John W. Ingle, Architect
Superintendent of Concrete Construction William Kennish
Baetjer and Meyerstein Cement (importers of Hanover Portland Cement)
Otis Brothers Elevator
Pottier and Stymus Furniture
Nelson, Matter & Company, Manufacturers of Chamber Furniture
Frank A. Hall - fine bedding, mattresses, spring beds, pillows sheets, etc.
Palmer & Embury - Manufacturers of Parlor, Library and Dinning-room furniture
Edison Electric Company
W.M. Ransom - Wrought and Cast Iron
T D Whitney - Linens
Russel and Erwin - Metal and Door Locks
Perth Amboy - Terra Cota
J. B. & J. M. Cornell - Iron work
Wm. H. Jackson & Co. open fireplaces, grates, and chimney piece novelties
W & J Sloane Artistic carpetings.
Worthing Steam Pumping Machinery
Bergmann & Co. Electrical Works
The Babcock and Wilcox Co. - boilers
Schneider, Campbell & Co. - artistic gas fixtures, marble statuary, porcelain
The Brunsiwck-Balke-Collender Co. - billiard and pool tables
Francis Morandi & Son - hotel ranges and kitchen utensils
Cook and Libby - door and window frames
Thomas Lemmis - plumber
J. L Brush - Master mason
C Grauba - Foreman of framers
Jo's Asrams - Blacksmith
F. H. Baldwin Engineer mixer
Daniel Dull of New York drilled well
James Manning, night watchman
Bien Venido - Welcome
BOOM! A loud noise shattered the quiet of a January afternoon in St. Augustine. visitors to the city looked around in alarm.
Residents checked the time--- 3 p.m. --- and nodded. The culverin had been fired; the Ponce de Leon Hotel was open for the
season. (Culverin - a heavy cannon of the 16th and 17th centuries. This was a popular newspaper expression for the cannon fired
from the hotel's west tower. It was nicknamed the booming O.D.S. for Osborn Dunlap Seavey.
The Alcazar Band, located on the hotel's west loggia, played The Star Spangled Banner as the great portcullis on the front gate
was raised. Mr. Henry Morrison Flagler (or the manager) walked outside to greet the townspeople and guests gathered for the
Hotel guests, other visitors to the city, and residents of St. Augustine all entered the giant Spanish-style palace, eager to view
changes made since the previous season. Once inside the hotel, music played by the Ponce band wafted down from the rotunda.
With some minor variations, the same ceremony continued to mark the passage of time from the first opening of the hotel in 1888.
For over twenty years the head housekeeper, Miss Anne McKay, greeted the guests. Commodore A. V. H. Leroy (a former
commander of the ship California in the Pacific Ocean, was the first guest to register each year from 1888 to at least 1894. (In
1888 while Mr. M. C. Bouviea of New York was the first guest to sign in, two spaces were left above for Commodores Leroy and
Prominent citizens of St. Augustine as well as guests at the non-Flagler hotels, all coveted invitations to the opening dinner at the
Ponce. Imagine that you, too, have an invitation to the Ponce de Leon Hotel opening night dinner. Entering the beautiful courtyard,
you pass the lion's heads guarding the entrance. Notice the electric lights (yes, electric lights in 1888!) twinkling in the tropical
foliage, spelling out Bien Venido.
Stop to admire the stunning fountain at the center of the courtyard, crowned with lion's heads and surrounded by twelve frogs and
four turtles. Did you notice that the walkway forms a Celtic cross or that the fountain is a sundial? Did you notice that the whole
fountain looks like the hilt of a sword? Be sure to admire the beautiful oculus (round glass windows) on each side of the archway.
Scallop shell decorations on the archway remind guests that the ocean is close by.
Entering the hotel, guest were in the spacious rotunda with its eighty-six foot high ceiling. Paintings of cupids and sailing ships,
beautiful maidens, names of explorers, and caryatids (The New York firm of Pottier & Stymus manufactured most of the
woodcarvings in the interior. Thomas Hastings who designed the caryatides called them dancing Spanish maidens. Sylvia Sunshine
in The Charlotte Chronicle on April 5, 1888 says they represented the maidens in the Temple of Diana. The myth is with us yet)
decorated the massive dome. Light filtered into the inner dome through the cupola or latern on the roof of the outer dome.
As you leave the rotunda, notice the stunningly beautiful matching set of Bacchus windows and the two large paints by
Castweigssinger --- "Columbus Discovering America" and "Charlemagne Converting the Huns."
Attention is also called to the poem on the mosaic-tiled floor written by William Shenstone (English poet 1713-1763) from the
windowpane of the Red Lion Inn at Henley-On-The-Thames in Great Britain:
Who'er has traveled life's dull round,
Whene'er his stages may have been,
May sight to thine he still has found
His warmest welcome at an inn.
Men could stop for a drink and a cigar in the bar; ladies could wait for their escorts in the Ladies Waiting Room to the right of the
Guests waited to enter the dining room until the headwaiter summoned their table waiter from the serving area. Once seated in the
dining room, guests could admire the art work of George Maynard on the thirty-six foot high vaulted ceiling and Louis Comfort
Tiffany's stained glass windows, in addition to enjoying world-class food while attending one of the most prestigious social functions
of the St. Augustine winter season. After dinner the orchestra played its first concert of the season, usually in the rotunda from 8 till
10 o'clock. Then opening day was over.
Henry Flagler and the St. Augustine Vision
His life in St. Augustine could partially be summed up in a newspaper article entitled "Good Work of Mr. H. M. Flagler Along the
East Coast of Florida. (From Comments of the Public Press on the Death of Henry M. Flagler) "In St. Augustine, acres and acres
of land was reclaimed, a union railway station was built, beautiful tropical gardens were created, giant hotels rose from the ground
complete with the Casino and splendid baths, streets were paved, sidewalks added, two churches were built, another church was
restored, and yet another was give land on which to build."
St. Augustine would be his vision's trail run. Could he switch from Standard Oil? Was he crazy for doing something as daring as the
expensive hotels based upon an idea that he could make St. Augustine the "Newport of the South?" This was the goal he started to
Finding a Name for the New Hotel
The first Ponce de Leon Festival was held on March 27 and 28, 1883, Henry Flagler was captivated by this event. The citizens of
the town were honoring the Spanish explorer who cam in 1512 (He actually came in 1513 but many of this historians of the day
thought that it was 1512. This discrepancy not only was built into the Ponce de Leon Hotel [date on the ceilings of the Grand Parlor
and the Dinning Room] but was also reflected in the festival programming through 1907.)
Francisco B. Genovar portrayed Juan Ponce de Leon. He had two companies dressed in antique uniforms with the flag of Spain,
marched to the Castillo where they celebrated Mass. There was a speech by George W. Fairbanks. Then a parade, including the
companies of Ponce de Leon, the battalion of the U. S. Army stationed in St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Guards, visiting military
from Jacksonville and Palatka, the Ladies' Confederate Monument Society, the Fire Department, the Catholic schools, and more
civic societies. At night there was a grand Venetian display and aquatic concert on the bay. The second day included a yacht race
and a fireworks display.
In 1885 the festival that Henry Flagler saw, Francisco Genovar again portrayed Juan Ponce de Leon. He had forty-six attendants
dressed in Spanish costume. The city was decorated with Spanish colors. Mass was again celebrated in the Castillo. General
Gibson, commandant of the port and George Fairbanks gave speeches. Ten thousand people witnessed the pageant. A fancy dress
carnival took place at the rink the first night and an evening dress ball at the St. Augustine Hotel. The following day a yacht and boat
race was held.
By 1890, the third Festival had grown into a large-scale program. There was a "landing:" by Ponce de Leon with a parade, yacht
race, canoe race, fireworks, horse racing, professional scull races, bicycle race, baseball game, and a Grand Ball in the Casino.
Seavey was a member of the celebration committee.
George W. Maynard Murals in the Rotunda (from Charles B. Reynolds "A Tribute")
Figures are Adventure, Discovery, Conquest and Civilization. Standing are the elements: earth, air, fire and water.
Adventure wears a cuirass and in her helmet an eagle's crest. She holds a drawn sword. The pose is eager and alert; the features
and the bearing denote reckless enterprise, courage, readiness to encounter peril, and the resolution that overcomes. The emblems
are arrows radiating in different directions.
Discovery is robed in drapery of the blue of the sea. In her right hand is held a globe, the other rests upon a tiller. The pose of the
head and the far-reaching gaze are as if with swelling heart she were surveying the outstanding expanse of a newly-revealed
continent. The emblems are sails.
Conquest, clad in martial red, with helmet and cuirass, firmly grasps an upright sword, significant of might and war-won supremacy.
The look in her face is of exultant mastery, grim consciousness of power, and purpose inexorable. On the background are daggers.
Civilization is clothed in white and wears a crown. In her lap is an open book, symbol of knowledge. Her face has the repose of
dignity and benevolence. The background reveals the repeated figure of the Cross, suggesting the civilizing influences of Christianity.
The symbol of the Golden Fleece here shown has reference to the Order of the Golden Fleece, of which Philip II became Grand
Master in 1555, and by virtue of the office assumed sovereignty over the Low Countries and other States.
Thomas Hasting on his creation of the women holding up the rotunda - "They have the merry, mischievous faces of Spanish
danseuses and seem to think nothing of the great load they are bearing."
Inlaid on floor at the head of the broad stairs leading to the Ponce de Leon Dinning Room:
Whoer has traveled life dull round,
Wheneer his stages may have been,
May sigh to thine he still has found
His warmest welcome at an inn.
Poem written by William Shenstare on Windowpain of the Red Lion and Inn at Henley-On-the-Thames
Twenty-Nine Miles of Wire
The only portion of the old plant that was not disturbed was the engine and dynamos. There are four Edison machines of forty-five
kilowatt each and they are driven by three Arminston & Sims engines two of sixty horse power and one of 120 horse power. The
old system of lighting was by the ordinary concealed wires, running under the floors and inside the walls, either singly or in great
masses, as the conditions chanced to make it necessary. Now the wires, which are of the okonite variety and of a particularly high
grade, made to order especially for the Ponce de Leon, are carried through the immense structure by what is known as the interior
conduit system each wire in a separate tube or pipe. These tubes have an armor of brass and are lined with a highly insulating
material, the exact composition of which is known only to the patentee and the manufacturer. The main "Feeders" have an outside
diameter of one and a quarter inches and the large cables which transmit the light from the dynamos to the smaller wires are twenty-
six in number and are all the way from 200 to 700 feet in length. There are in all over 117,000 feet of interior conduits about twenty-
two miles and 150,000 feet of wires nearly twenty-nine miles.
Electric light in Florida. The electric light installation in the Ponce de Leon Hotel, at St. Augustine, Florida, is one of the largest in
America. The plant consists of four multi-tubular boilers of 107 H. P. each, four Armington-Sims engines of 60 H.P. each, and one
of 125 H.P. Each of the smaller engines drives a No. 16 Edison dynamo. There are 5,500 incandescence lamps fitted up on the
Edison system of distribution. The Electrical review, Volume 22 , 1888
1885 December 1 Groundbreaking
1887 May 30 Completed
1888 January 6 Pullman cars leave New York containing 200 officers and help for opening the hotel plus the band.
1888 January 10 First opening
1934 First Time open for Christmas
1967 April 5 Final Dinner Dance
1967 May Hotel closes
1967 September Flagler College opens
Opening Day City Medal for Flagler
Monday afternoon, Mr. B. Genovar representing the native citizens of this city, met Mr. Flagler at the Ponce de Leon, and, in a
fitting speech presented him with a neat morocco case containing a heavy solid gold medal, on the reverse side of which was
engraved a representation of the City Gates, and on the reverse was inscribed the following:
H. M. Flagler,
From the Natives of St. Augustine,
Our gates will always be open,
And a hearty welcome extended
To the progressive spirit of the
New Ancient City.
January, 10th, 1888
Accompanying the medal was a copy of the address beautifully illuminated in scarlet and gold on a card four by nine inches on
which was a fac simile of the Spanish coat of arms, and the old Cathedral. The address was as follows.
Mr. Flagler: It fills my heart with pride and pleasure to have the honor of saying to you that as a native of the old town, I have been
delegated by my countrymen, the descendants of the first white settlers in Florida, and compatriots of him who first planted, in
1512, the banner of civilization on this continent, and whose memory you have honored in the erection of this magnificent palace to
convey to you their profound appreciation of your unwearied and constant interest in their present and future welfare, and their
kindest wishes for your future happiness and a long and happy life, and that the name of H. M. Flagler may live forever!
Accept, sir, from the native population of St. Augustine, this little token, with all its meaning.
And now, sir, accept also my sincerest individual thanks for your many personal courtesies to myself.
Quote from Thomas Hastings from original opening: "I only realized that the work of brains and hands was mine no longer,
that when I leave on the morrow I bid it goodbye, and it is saddened as though parting from a loved child."
Description of Osborn Dunlap Seavey
He has a high appreciation of the humorous, and a vein of his own which is indescribable. In height Mr. Seavey is about five feet
seven or eight inches, is of a complexion approaching the blond, has blueish-grey eyes, wears a full beard, and is a little inclined to
be stout. His address is the finest possible, and his dress is always stylish and in the very best taste. To great executive ability is
added that measure of bonhomie and companionableness which make the perfect hotel man. Under his management the Ponce de
Leon cannot fail to be a success.
January 10th Opening Dinner:
At precisely 12 minutes past 5:00 this afternoon a special train carrying the passengers of the vestibuled train from Jacksonville
arrived at St. Augustine. The thirty passengers were brought in 2 parlor cars, the "Governor Bloxham" and the "Governor Perry,
having made the run in 57 minutes. In less than 5 minutes they were rolling rapidly in carriages down Cordova Street in clouds of
dust, all eager to get a glimpse of the most wonderful inn yet built.
It was dark, and the Hotel Ponce de Leon was brilliantly lighted by electricity. As the carriages turned sharply into the private
driveway, the expressions of wonder and admiration burst involuntarily from their lips. The carriages moved slowly through the
great arched Porte cochere. The Spanish Bien Venido greeted the guests from the arched ceiling of the vestibule.
After being assigned to rooms and inspecting the rotunda and the beauty of the place, the newly arrived guests walked in to dinner.
The dining hall under the electric light bring out wonderfully the colors is undoubtedly the most beautiful ever designed.
Mr. H. M. Flagler and a small party of friends occupied a table in the western extension; the other guests were seated at tables
A party of 80 invited guests were present. At 8:00 o'clock an impromptu concert was given in the grand dining hall.
Mr. Flagler was the constant recipient of congratulations upon his wonderful achievements.
Mr. Carrere and Mr. Thomas Hastings, the architects, were also the objects of many laudatory expressions and bore their honors
modestly and benignly. Messrs. McGuire and McDonald were receiving congratulations all through the evening.
The reception closed at 10:00 o'clock, and by 11:00 the great hotel was quiet.
The Grand Ball - January 12, 1888
On Thursday evening the first grand ball of the season, properly speaking, was given at the Ponce de Leon Hotel, and was a
brilliant and magnificent affair. Rarely if ever before has any social affair in the South equaled this one in splendor. Manager O. D.
Seavey of the Ponce de Leon, was the host under whose auspices the ball was given, and about 1,000 guests responded to the
invitation extended by him.
The building and the grounds were brilliantly illuminated in honor of the occasion, and never has the Ponce de Leon shone so
resplendently. In addition to the electric lights in the court, there were hundreds of tiny globes of colored glass twinkling on the
margin of every path way and flower bed; gorgeous Chinese lanterns were swung from every arch, and the central fountain was
illuminated by colored electric lights. Over the entrance door shone an illuminated motto of welcome - Bien Venido (Good
The dining hall was used as a ball room, and not only the main apartment, but the alcoves were given up to the dancers. A raised
platform at either end of the room was furnished with luxurious seats for those who wished to view the splendid spectacle without
participating in the dancing. The arrangement of all the details of decoration and convenience was conducted by Mr. M. Joyce, who
was the master of ceremonies for the occasion. His arduous duties in this capacity were lightened by the assistance of half a dozen
young gentlemen who acted as floor managers. Everything, it is needless to say, passed off without friction and without jar.
Supper was served at 10:30 o'clock. It was a buffet lunch, prepared by Chefs Campazzi and Counetti, and was served in the two
north dining rooms. It was a perfect achievement in that branch of art, and at its conclusion dancing was resumed and was
continued until a late hour.
A multitude of attractions. Perhaps the most modern is the bridal chamber of the Ponce de Leon, occupation of which costs forty
dollars a day, and for which there is such an active demand, that one hundred brides were turned away last winter. Taggart's
Times, February 14, 1892.
Yearly Opening Ceremony:
Explosion of bomb in the west tower
Orchestra south loggia played "Star Spangled Banner"
Great Gates rose
First guest from 1888 to 1894 Captain Le Roy
Thomas Edison sent one important invention to the Ponce de Leon hotel - in 1890 he sent a Thomas Edison phonograph. It was
used at the hospital fair at the Casino with the following message: I am a cute little thing invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, but
was not born to perfection until 1888. I can talk, although not having a tongue; can hear without ears, and can think without brains.
Ha! Ha! O. D. Seavey also recorded his remarks about the 1890 Ponce de Leon celebration on a cylinder on Edison's machine.
Florida Times Union, March 11 and 18, 1890.
1888 - 1893 Osborn D. Seavey
1894 Charles W. Bixford
1895 Clarence B. Knott
Mr. Robert Murray, Steward
1897 - 1928 Robert Murray
1931 - 1941 Bernard Howe
1945 B J Kackel
1946 Gillis and Murray
1949 Paul Hassell
1950 - 1951 Edward Flather, Jr.
1959 - 1963 J Kilbourne Hyde
1967 - 1968 Jack Yates
1888 - 1889
Count Prokaski - Headwaiter
William M. Bates - Cashier
S. Sterling - Mail Clerk
Mr. Campbell - Assistant Clerk
Charles Testera - Steward
W L. Ormrod - Night Clerk
Charles B Townshend - night watchman (fell down elevator shaft and was killed)
Mr. Dale - head gardener
Mr. Sam H. Sheridan - billiard rooms
Edward Quigley - waiter (shot by night watchman - singing "Marching Through Georgia"
Captain Wm. Archer - chief of Detectives
Frank Moore - PDL Coat room
Billy McDermott - Head porter
Albert George trombone
Charles P. Love Xylophone
Walter B. Rogers - cornet
F. G. Thompson - headwaiter
Romer Gillis - cashier
Paul Morrill - billiard parlors
Signor Jovine - Italian Tenor
Annie McKay - housekeeper
N. Riggi - chef
James Nolan - wine Stewart
Michael Hellecher - head porter
Annie McKay - housekeeper
Henry Miller - parlor and lady's waiting room
E. W. McGuire Chief Engineer
John Davis Assistant Engineer
A. T. Best - Electrician
Charles Smith - Carpenter
M. McMahon - Chief of Detectives
F. Page - Detective
Dan Ryan - Detective
Frank Edwards - Detective
Jay Cosgrove - Detective
Romer Gillis - register
Knott - Cashier
J.P. Greaves - Assistant Cashier
W. R. Moses - Keys
H. L. Henry - bookkeeper
V. D. Parker - stenographer
H. W. Warner - night clerk
Charles Bickford - Steward
John Corbett - Bartender
Louis Zerega - Chief
James Noliner - Assistant Bartender
G. Butler - Assistant Bartender
John Watson - Assistant Bartender
Max Uriass - Pastry Chief
Robert Klesiling - Bread
George W. Boyken - Bell Captain
M. Kelcher - Head Porter
Annie McKay - Housekeeping
Romer Gillis, room clerk
Mr. Streeter, asst. room clerk
J. P. Greaves, cashier
George W. Gibbs assistant cashier
Miss Annie MacKay, housekeeper
Mr. Elder keys and post office
Frank R. Remlinger, stenographer
S. W. Crichlow, bookkeeper
Mr. Kechler, head porter
Wm. Lowry, head bell man
Robert Murray stewardship
Fritz Schapbach, chief
Jacob Manz, pastry cook
Frank Thompson, dining-room
James R Langster, register
George Gibbs, cashier
J R. Thurber assistant cashier
Daniel C Kenn, key desk.
Alfred Kappelan, assistant
Annie McKay, housekeeper
Hance Howard, head bellman
R Traffe, printer
James L. Duffy billiard room
Michall Kelliber, head porter
Charles Barry, wine steward
Valere Braguehai, chef
A W Hodgeon - clerk
M. C. Cleveland - assistant clerk
George W. Gibbs - cashier
Frank Wilson assistant Cashier
F. L. Castner - mail clerk
W. J. Fleming - key clerk
H. W. Warner - night clerk
Annie McKay - housekeeper
Frank Thompson - Stewart
Valere Braguehai, chef
Andrew Dellera, assistant chef
George Negri, roast cook
H. Koops, head pastry dept
Am Hodgdon, desk
M. J. Flemming assistant
George W. Gibbs cashier
John. F. Wilson assistant cashier
D. C. Flenn, mail and keys
M. Rawson, assistant mail and keys
H. W. Warner night desk
Frank Thompson, headwaiter
Orchestra August Eisner
Chas. Lauette chef
Ann McKay, housekeeper
Valere Braquehais, chef
Simeon Leland, chief clerk
W J Fleming, chief clerk
George W. Gibbs, cashier
J. F. Wilson, asst cashier
D. C. Fern, mail
O Rawson, keys
H. W. Warner, night clerk
W M Hotcheiss, private secretary and clerk
Hance Howard , head bellman
C. W. Shepard, bookkeeper
Ann McKay, housekeeper
Frank Bacon, steward
Frank Thompson, headwaiter
William Decater, hats dinning room
Valere Braquehais, chef
Max Scheider, pastry cook
Pro Baxman Orchestra
E. B. Durland, room clerk
F. W. Adams, cashier
L. G. Piper, assistant room clerk
Geo. F. Bell, front clerk
J. W. Keeland, night auditor
Chas H. Mauser, bookkeeper
Geo. M. Weaver, stenographer and secretary
Mrs. Wilson, housekeeper
Mrs. Adams, correspondent
E. W. McGuire, chief engineer
John W. Vandegrift, head electrician
Geo. Bach, chef of cuisine
Chas. P. Battelmeyer, pastry chef
M. Keller, head porter
W. T. White, head waiter
Robert White, head bellman
Hamilton O. Matt, Orchestra
O. D. Seavey brought with him to St. Augustine a passion for sports, including baseball. Frank Thompson, headwaiter at the Argyle
Hotel at Babylon Long Island, organized the team from the surrounding hotels; he became the headwaiter at the Ponce de Leon
Hotel. The Cuban Giants had their start in 1885. It is probable that they spent the winter in Cuba that gave rise to their Cuban
By the second season of the hotel they were the waiters of the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar and played ball for the hotel. The
January 17 game was advertised as the Ponce de Leon employees playing against the Alcazar employees. Both teams had
members of the Cuban Giants.
At the end of 1889 Flagler had built a baseball park. It is located near where Rick's Muffler shop is today. The grounds were 400
feet wide and 520 feet deep which was greater than the average size in the country of 300 by 400 feet. The grounds were sod with
the same good thick grass that was used on the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar grounds. The baselines were made of clay. The fence
for the outfield was 12 feet high. The grandstand could seat over 500 people and had a press and scorers balcony on line with the
pitcher. There were also two private boxes that could accommodate an additional 20 persons. Al Spaulding, of Chicago, was a
consultant on the project. On January 23 A. G. Spaulding, his wife, and Cap Anson Cap Anson (1852-1922) was the manager of
the Cubs from 1879-1898. He was regarded as the foremost figure of baseball in the 19th century. He was the first man to get
3000 hits. He was the first manager to have pre-season training. The sad irony of him playing his team in St. Augustine was that he
was also one of the persons responsible for making sure that white teams did not play black teams and keeping blacks off white
teams. were guests of the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Spalding and Anson leased the Ponce baseball fields and the Chicago baseball
team took possession of it on February 10 with the condition that the St. Augustine team had one day a week to play.
By 1892 Florida had a baseball league. Mr. W. R. Harrington who started the four companies organized this league: Tampa,
Ocala, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine. He then leased the Ponce de Leon grounds for two and three games a week. Harry Wright
was going to bring down the Philadelphias and give an exhibition game. The St. Augustine team consisted of York, Ryan, Wilbur
Gard, Andrea, Mollie Kurtz, Dolph Bennett, Dr. Foster, Hill, Healy, Adams, and Lewis.
Music at the Hotels
The central figures in hotel entertainment in the 1880s and 1890s were the hotel musicians. They were the constant entertainment of
the hotels providing both concert music and dance music. The most noted player of the orchestra was the cornet player. When the
laundry was finished it became the dorm for the musicians as well as the women who washed the hotels laundry.
Joyce's Military Band and Orchestra of twenty-five pieces opened the hotel. M. J. Joyce's bother, Thomas H., was the conductor
of the Orchestra. The band had uniforms expressly for the Ponce de Leon. They had caps and navy blue jackets trimmed with gold
tinsel. The caps had a Ponce de Leon shield on the front. Albert George played the trombone, Gus Wagner played the Bassoon,
Tomaso LuFuri, flute, Lufert the violin, Louis Pandent, French horn, Walter Rogers, the cornet, Charles P. Lowe played the
xylophone, Hagedon the harp, and Albert George, baritone singer, also played the trombone.
Albert George was the first baritone singer in 1888. In 1889 the Italian tenor Signor Jovine was part of the entertainment at both the
Hotel Cordova and the Ponce de Leon Hotel. He sang at dinner and through special programs. He had been in Campinini€™s
production of Othello at the Academy of Music in New York in 1887.
By 1892 the Brooks Orchestra was the central feature of the Ponce hotel. In 1893 members of the Brooks Orchestra included
Richard Heise on the violin and mandolin; George Hubert Clarke, cornet; Leopold Hoffman, cello; Frank Holten, trombone; Henry
Heideburg on the flute and piccolo; E. A. Wall, clarion; Charles Lowe, xylophone. In 1894 Charles Higgins was the first violinist,
Earnest Clarke, trombone; Max Adamsky, drums, symbols, and xylophone; Albert Klutt, zither and cello; Henry Heideburg was
still on the flute and piccolo, and again George Hubert Clarke, cornet. In 1894 Brooks orchestra was sixteen pieces.
In the Alcazar Ernest Slenker was the conductor. Joseph Kaprelak was the clarinetist; Frank Petit, flutist, and Leu Cordess was the
cornet. In 1893 Joseph Kaprelak was still the clarinet player, Frank Petit, flutist, and Leu Cordess was on the cornet. In 1894
Ernest Slenker's Orchestra was at the Casino. The Alcazar was rooms only that year. The orchestra featured Max Adamsky,
piccolo; Louis Egner, viola; Fernando Ford, violin; Guy Ruyarrio, 2nd violin; E. A. Walls, clarinet, Count Favelle, piccolo; A.
Laurendean, oboe; A. L. Volkman, clarinet; Harlem Cordes, cornet; Steward Ripley, flute; Kolterman piano; W. H. Smith, double
bass; and Herr Kludt cello and zither. In 1895, Slenker's Orchestra moved to the Cordova.
The 1889 Cordova orchestra while part of the Joyce's Military Band was called the Cordova Mandolin Orchestra. In 1893 the
Cordova orchestra consisted of Rudolf Von Searpar as the pianist; Mr. George Glazzman, drums; and Henry Higgins cornet. In
1894 Rudolf Von Searpa was the pianist, Mr. George Glassman was the conductor and Henry Higgins was again on the cornet.
If you looked over your head, you would see pictures of the early history of St. Augustine (painted by George W. Maynard - who
painted the Library of Congress ceilings). There were also some Spanish proverbs on the ceiling. "The ass that brays the longest,
eats the least." " Old friends, bacon and aged wine (Badajoz)" . "Good wine needs no bush." "It is not necessary to advertise
good wine (Toledo)." "From the hand to the mouth the soup is lost. (Leon)" "The one who comes first is the leader. (Zaragdza)"
"The sheep which cries, loses a mouthful. (Grandda)" "A change of pastures makes vigorous lambs. (Santander)" " He who
gathers much saves little. (Overse)" "The wisest are those who are silent. (Lenida)"
The rear of dinning room was for use of offices. On the 2nd floor there was a room for 2nd officers. Another kitchen to prepare
food for help held an additional dinning room for band. There were two downstairs dinning rooms for African-Americans 1 male
and 1 female, also two additional dinning rooms for white help.
In 1888 D. B. Usina supplied 600 quarts of milk per day.
A brief report on this artesian well by Mr. Kennish, states that the boring, below 50 feet of sand and shells, passed through about
45 feet of coquina or shell-rock, and indurated clay and sand; 7.5 of blue clay affording sulfurous water; fossiliferous limestone
affording corals, shells, etc., to 600 feet below the surface, affording 3,000,000 gallons of pure water free from sulphur at 400 to
450 feet below the surface, 7,000,000 per day, at 500 to 550. Below 770 feet to 1120 feet, hard limestone, with increase in the
amount of water; below, to 1225, sandstone with flint; below 1290 in fossiliferous limestone to 1400 feet. The supply of water
obtained is stated to be 8,000,000 gallons per day which is twenty-eight times that from the longest well at Charleston, S. C.; and
the power secured, 75 horse power. The increase of temperature downward was about one degree Fahrenheit in every 50 feet of
depth, the temperature at bottom being 86 degrees F.; but what care was used in obtaining the temperature is not stated. The well
was bored for the Ponce de Leon Hotel, under the charge of Mr. H. M. Flagler. The American Journal of Science and Arts.
At the time the well was the deepest in St. Johns County. The well was begun November 27, 1886 and drilling continued until
February 24 of 1887. The boring was finally discontinued at the depth of 1440 because of loss of the drill. McGuire and McDonald
took samples of the boring and kept a log of the well as it was drilled.
Where Did The Help Stay? Additional Areas:
150 additional rooms in a building called the barracks. (African-American Men )
There were 60 additional rooms in the laundry building. (African-American Women)
White employees stayed in the hotel above the kitchen.
Paintings in the Grand Parlor
Series of 8 figures (Ladies from Shakespeare) by Jozi Arpad Koppay (four are found in the parlor Flagler College owns all eight)
Morning on the Bosphorus - Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847-1928) purchased 1886
Lady of the Harem- Edward Dubret
Sultant - Edward Frederic Wilhelm Richter (1803-1884) purchased 1887
Mary Lily Kenan Flagler - Mariette Leslie Cotton
Where did the rooms go?
You may have noticed the declining number of rooms available over the years. Where did they go? The hotel was originally built old
style with rest rooms located on each floor. Immediately upon opening and for years afterwards rooms were converted to rest
rooms within the suites.
Plaster and Stucco
Statue of Henry Flagler:
The sculptor is unknown but it was created in 1902 in Rome and dedicated here in 1916. It originally was at the Railroad station,
later moved to the across the street, since 1972 it is located here. However, it doesn't mention his building the hotel. Its purpose is
recognition of the achievement of the railroad development in the State of Florida and the overseas extension to Key West.
This statue depicts Flagler as he was when he first came to St. Augustine in 1883. This statue was recently copied and there will be
an identical one placed at the entrance of Whitehall, his estate in Palm Beach.
1893 Opening (The Tatler)
Hotel Ponce de Leon opened for the first time this season under the management of Mr. Clarence B. Knott, who was its courteous
cashier for five seasons, managing the Cordova most successfully last year. The only change made in the hotel is enlarging the office
by adding the former private office to it, making a larger and handsomer room. The house is in the most perfect order everywhere,
every department thoroughly organized and under an efficient head, showing undoubted executive ability on the part of the new
manager. Among the old members of the staff, well-known to the regular guests, who will add to their comfort this season, are Mr.
Romer gillis, room clerk, whose unfailing courtesy and desire to secure the comfort of the guests, is remembered by every visitor.
He will be assisted by Mr. Streeter, who comes to the house this year for the first time, Mr. J. P. Greaves will as last season, fill the
important position of cashier, Mr. George W. Gibbs again assisting. Miss Annie MacKay, who has been the efficient housekeeper
since the first opening day is again in charge of that department. Mr. Elder is in charge of the keys and post office. Mr. Frank R.
Remlinger, stenographer, Mr. S. W. Crichlow, bookkeeper, Mr. Kechler, head porter, and Wm. Lowry, head bell man.
Mr. Robert Murray has assumed the stewardship for the first time, although he has catered to the wants of visitors to the city
before, having been steward of the Cordova for four years. Fritz Schapbach is chief, Jacob Manz, pastry cook. Mr. Frank
Thompson again reigns over the dining-room, an assurance that visitors will be well served. Henry again stands at the parlor door
faithfully looking after the wants of those dwelling in the house and showing strangers the beautiful rooms.
Concert Series 1891 (Times Union February 1, 1891)
Sunday's Sacred Concert Programs
Ponce de Leon Rotunda 8:20 p.m.
Grand March - Tannhauser - Wagner
Overture - Samiramide - Rossini
8th Symphony - Schubert
Song to the Evening Star - Wagner
Harp Sounds - Lanel
Monday's Concert Program
Ponce de Leon Loggia, 10:30 a.m.
March - Father of Victory - Ganne
Overture - Wm. Tell - Rossini
Selection - Lucia de Lammermoor - Delrzetti
Valse - The Ambassador - Klein
Das Seinlein, duo for cornet, Messrs Martin and Hans
Neckenfelchen - Linke
Polka - Gretchen - Schonart
The Darkie's Dream - Lansing
Ponce de Leon Rotunda, 7:30 p.m.
March - Lomax - Ryder
Overture - Hungarian - Kela Bela
Selection - Clover - Suppe
Valse - Dreams of Happiness - Tobani
Song and Dance - Forever Faithful - Boettger
Young Werner's Parting Song - Nessier
Medley - Ten Minutes with the Minstrels - Bowejoy
Evening Song - Carl
Galop - Asthetic - Fahtbach
Tuesday's Concert Program
Ponce de Leon Loggia, 10:30 a.m.
March - Col. Foote - Brooks
Overture - Morning, Noon and Night - Suppe
Selection Ernan - Verdi
Valse - Espagnole - Metra
Largo - Handel
Chinese War March - Michaelis
Galop - The Storm - Faust
Ponce de Leon Rotunda 7:30 p.m.
March - Grumbler - Brooks
Overture - Fest - Leutner
Vaise - Ruby - Gregh
Medley - Boom-Zing-Boom - Brooks
Song - Waiting - Thomas
Selection - Nanon - Genee
Patrol - Comique - Hindley
Leon du Bal Valse - Gillet
Gavotte - The Flower - White
Galop - Chinese - Metra
March 11 Ponce de Leon Sacred Music
8:30 in the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Overture - Fretechuetz - Weber
Fantastic - The Dying Poet - Gotischalk
Nazareth - Gounod
Gloria - From Bk Mass - Haydn
Secred Melodies - Bouster
Hallelajah Chorus - Handel
The Ponce de Leon Jubilee singers will give several selections during the evening.
February 11, 1900
Count Starzynski, of Russia, is among the latest arrivals at the Ponce de Leon.
March 3, 1900
The Ponce de Leon Bellman's ball and cake walk, which took place at Collie's Hall last night, was a pronounced success in every
respect. Beside the members there were over one hundred guests, who were handsomely entertained. Their next effort in this
direction will be given at the Casino, due notice of which will be given later.
March 6, 1900
The Ponce de Leon waiters will give their twelfth annual cakewalk in the Casino, on the evening of Thursday, March 15. This will
be the first big cake-walk of the year, and is sure to draw a large crowd.
March 15, 1900
Mr. H. W. Warner, the genial night clerk of the Ponce de Leon Hotel, is today celebrating his ---- first birthday. The occasion was
remembered in a handsome manner by the office force of the hotel and numerous other friends, who, after deluging him with
congratulations, unveiled a table literally groaning under a burden of birthday souvenirs and delicacies.
March 16, 1900
Ponce de Leon Garden Party.
A garden party was given by guests of Ponce de Leon yesterday afternoon in the west garden, a charming spot set with palms and
hedges. The scene was very gay with flying flags and pretty dresses, and the greensward was dotted with tables set for the
refreshment of visitors. The orchestra played sweet and unobtrusive music, until the first heavy drops of rain caused a general
scattering when every body rushed to the hotel on the broad piazzas of which the numerous tables were re-arranged and the
afternoon passed very happily.
March 20, 1900
Elaborate preparations are going forward to render the twelfth annual Charity Ball at the Ponce de Leon a brilliant affair. The walks
in the court are today being bordered with rows of tiny red, white and blue incandescent lights at least three thousand in number.
March 21, 1900
Admiral Dewey and Wife.
Their Approaching Visit to St. Augustine Discussed.
Apartments have been engaged at the Ponce de Leon by Admiral George Dewey and Mrs. Dewey, who are expected to be here
either on the evening of Saturday next or on Sunday morning. Mr. Robert Murray has caused Mr. Flagler's suite of rooms to be put
in readiness for the reception of the Admiral and his wife. This suite, which is naturally the most elaborate in the house, was used by
ex-President Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland when they visited this city several years ago.
Any projected entertainment of the distinguished couple will be deferred until a consultation as to their wishes can be had with the
Admiral and his wife; it being the wish of those desirous of entertaining them that they may be permitted to pass their time as
pleasantly and informally as they please.
It is hoped, however, that a reception may be one of the many entertainments which will be furnished.
All St. Augustine is waiting to give Admiral and Mrs. Dewey a cordial reception. Palm Beach and Miami after St. Augustine, are
the objective points of their trip.
March 22, 1900
The Charity Ball.
A Brilliant Success in All Respects Ponce de Leon Court Ablaze.
The twelfth annual charity ball for the benefit of Alicia Hospital which occurred last night at the Ponce de Leon was a brilliant
success the number in attendance being between four and five hundred.
The court was dazzling with thousands of diminutive incandescent lights in varied hues which bordered the walks and flower beds.
The great dining room cleared of all furniture except rows of chairs, was resplendent with handsomely gowned and beautiful women
and the Ponce de Leon orchestra rendered a program of superb dance music, consisting of ten numbers. An elaborate supper menu
was served in the intermission, and a delicious quality of punch was dispensed throughout the evening..
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) Comes to the Ponce de Leon Hotel (Tatler March 15, 1902)
Mr. H. H. Rogers, one of the Directors of the Standard Oil Company, arrived at the Ponce de Leon last evening with a party of
friends who will accompany him on a yachting trip through Biscayne Bay and West Indian waters. His yacht proceded them, leaving
Bruunswick yesterday for Miami, where the party has gone. Mr. rogers' guests are S. L.Clemens, the inimitable Mark Twain,
Lawrence Hutton, the author and critical writer, Doctor C. C.Rice, Mr. A. J. Paine and Mr. Wallace Foote. Last, but by no means
least, is Hon. Thomas Brackett Reed, some time Speaker of the House of Representatives, and familiarly called the Czar by
disappointed promoters of legislation. Mr. Rogers has shown great discrimination in his choice of traveling companions, and
deserves the jolyly good time he will have, while here the party saw the cake walk.
In 1909 the hotel accommodated 500 people and the rates were $6.00 and up per day.
January 5, 1910
Hotel Ponce De Leon Opens for Season
Portcullis To Great Tourist Palace Rises for Season
Big Opening Dinner to be Enjoyed Tonight
With the booming of the culvern from one of the towers, the flags fluttering to their places on the tall staffs at the blast from the
bugles and the strains of stirring music from the band, the great Ponce de Leon hotel opened for the tourist season of 1910 this
Promptly at the hour of three, the great portcullis at the main entrance was raised for the winter months. At the same moment the
culvern boomed out from one of the towers and the crowds waiting without poured in to inspect the palatial hostelry.
Manager Robert Murray has been superintending the final preparations for the opening for two weeks or more and everything was
in readiness today for the beginning of what promises to be one of the most successful seasons in the history of the hotel. The Ponce
de Leon is Florida's pride and nothing has been left undone to hold it up to just as high a standard this winter as ever.
Tonight in the spacious dinning room the opening dinner of the season will be enjoyed by many invited guests from among St.
Augustine's citizens as well as by the guests of the hotel. Every preparation has been made and the hotel service from the very start
will be second to none.
Throngs awaited the opening gun this afternoon and as soon as the portcullis shot up at the great main entrance the crowds poured
in to inspect the great hostelry. It is the custom to allow all to visit every part of the hotel and grounds on the opening day and
practically every visitor to the city takes advantage of the fact to see the Ponce de Leon and there are always not a few residents of
the city who are in the line of visitors.
A large number registered today and with the inauguration of the winter tourist service over the Florida East Coast Railway and the
opening of the Ponce de Leon the season may be said to be on in earnest. Every indication points towards the heaviest tourist
travel south this year of any previous season in the history of the East Coast and there is little doubt but that the immense hotel will
have an unusually large number of guests for the opening week of the season.
As usual Mr. Murray has spared no effort in securing the members of his staff from among the very best and most capable hotel
attachés in the country. There are a few new faces among the members of the staff this winter and all come from the best hotels of
Miss Annie McKay is again with the hotel this season. Mr. A. E. Conklin, formerly of the Hotel Champlain in New York, is the
new room clerk. The other members of the staff are Mr. L. W. Maxson, cashier; Mr. J. E. MacQuinn, bookkeeper and assistant
cashier; Mr. E. J. Morrill, night clerk; Mr. B. J. Redmond, assistant room and front clerk; Mr. Glenn A Miller, mail and front clerk;
Mr. Martin W. Brazee, stenographer; Mr. N. S. Beebe, steward; Mr. Joseph Stoltz, chief; W. T. White head waiter; Hance
Howard, head bellman.
While the sky was overcast with clouds the weather was mild and delightfully pleasant. It was a most auspicious opening for one of
the most palatial and greatest of America=s hotels.
January 6, 1910
Many Guests Enjoy Ponce de Leon Opening Dinner
The formal opening of the Hotel Ponce de Leon is the final announcement that St. Augustine's tourist season has commenced in
earnest. Yesterday with all in readiness for one of the most successful seasons in its history this palatial hotel, the pride of St.
Augustine, and of the entire East Coast, opened its doors for the season of 1910.
In the spacious dining-room last evening the opening dinner, always a brilliant social function, was enjoyed by the many guests
arriving at the hotel during the afternoon and a large number of invited guests from among St. Augustine's residents and winter
From eight until 10 o'clock the hotel orchestra played in the rotunda, and the first evening concert of the season was enjoyed. The
orchestra is composed of musicians of note and is under the leadership of Prof. B. C. Shaw.
Those present at the dinner, including those registering the first day are the following: Mr. And Mrs. H. M. Flagler and maid, city;
Miss Kenan, city; Mr. And Mrs. W. R. Kenan, Jr., Lockport, N. Y. ........
January 24, 1910
Vanderbilts Are Here.
Mr. And Mrs. Frank W. Vanderbilt were prominent New Yorkers arriving yesterday at the Hotel Ponce de Leon. They are
accompanied by Mr. W. W. Whitehouse and Mr. W. T. Hoyt, also of New York city. The party will leave tomorrow for Palm
Beach whither Mr. Vanderbilt's beautiful yacht, Warrior that has been in Jacksonville harbor for the past few days has preceded
Among the pretty social affairs given at the hotel Ponce de Leon last week was the delightful dinner at which Mr. J. H. Hewson of
New York city was the host. The table, which was in a wing of the beautiful main inning room, was centered with a mass of
exquisite pink roses and ferns. Covers were laid for eight guests. Those entertained were Mrs. Flagler, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs.
Seagears, Dr. and Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Thorne and Mr. H. S. Stewart.
January 28, 1910
Tennis will be very popular here with the visitors this winter and the courts of the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar will be in commission
daily. A fine court for the Ponce de Leon grounds is one of the improvements of this winter and the Alcazar court has been repaired
and is ready for the hotel guests.
February 16, 1910
Prominent English people who will spend some time in St. Augustine as guests of the Hotel Ponce de Leon are the Duke and
Duchess of Manchester. They are accompanied by Mr. E. Zimmerman of Detroit, father of the Duchess.
February 18, 1910
For Mrs. Booth.
Among the elaborate social affairs which the Hotel Ponce de Leon has been the scene of this week was the delightful dinner given
Wednesday evening by Mr. And Mrs. J. H. Hewson complimentary to Mrs. Fisher Booth, of New York City. Mrs. Booth is a
daughter of Mr. Thorne, who spends each winter in St. Augustine as a guest of the Ponce de Leon.
The dinner was given in one of the small private dining rooms and covers were laid for twenty guests. The table was centered with
an exquisite arrangement of pink roses, and the ladies of the party received bouquets of these beautiful blossoms as favors.
Those present were: Mr. And Mrs. Fisher Booth, Dr. and Mrs. A. Anderson, Mr. And Mrs. Albert Lewis, Admiral and Mrs.
Schley, Mr. And Mrs. Lawton, Gen. And Mrs. Hardin, Mr. And Mrs. Dickerson, Miss Bigelowe, Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. Percy Van
Ness, Mr. Norris Williams, Mr. Thorne, and Mr. And Mrs. Hewson.
Mr. George Ade, the noted poet and novelist, is among yesterday=s prominent arrivals at the Hotel Ponce de Leon. Mr. Ade,
whose home is in Brook, Ind., has been spending the past few weeks at Palm Beach and will now make a visit of some duration in
February 21, 1910
Prominent among the recent arrivals at the Hotel Ponce de Leon are the Messrs. Gene Schwartz, and Jack Welch, who have been
guests of the Hotel Breakers at Palm Beach for some little time past. Mr. Schwartz is a musical composer of note and among his
popular songs that have become most familiar are "His Belinda," "Mr. Dooley," and "My Irish Molly", "Oh Mr.. Welch" is known as
a most successful playwright and writer of short sketches. Some of his most successful plays were brought into prominence when
presented by Miss May Irwin, the Rogers Brothers, and Pete Daly.
Gen. And Mrs. M. D. Hardin, who are as usual spending the winter in St. Augustine as guests of the Hotel Ponce de Leon
entertained a number of friends Friday evening at a delightful bridge party in the upper rotunda of the hotel. The beautiful rotunda or
sun-parlor as it is called, was the scene of a very pleasant bridge party given by the management of the hotel the previous evening,
and the exquisite decorations of palms, smilax, and many varicolored electric lights arranged for that event formed the pretty setting
for Gen. And Mrs. Hardin's pleasant affair.
The bridge-players were seated at eight tables, and all enjoyed the interesting game to the utmost. There were also two tables at
which the game of hearts was played. Those winning prizes at the bridge tables during the evening were: Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. Smith,
Miss Smithhurst, Mr. Stuyvesant, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Reginald White, Gen. Wherry, and Mr. Newson. At the heart tables Miss
Dorothy Kelley and Mrs. Laimbeer were awarded prizes.
February 28, 1910
Prominent Party Here.
Mr. Frank A. Munsey, the noted author and magazine publisher of New York City has arrived in St. Augustine for his accustomed
visit here as a guest of the Hotel Ponce de Leon. Mr. Munsey is accompanied by a party of friends who are very prominent Atlanta
people. These friends are Major John F. Hanson, president of the Central of Georgia railway; Mr. and Mrs. John D. Little, Miss
Laura Payne, all of Atlanta, and Miss Sophie Meldrum, of Savannah, one of that city=s most popular girls and society belles.
March 2, 1910
Ponce de Leon Tea.
The ladies of the Hotel Ponce de Leon will give a series of delightful teas during the month of March. The first of these pretty affairs
will be given tomorrow afternoon in the beautiful drawing-room of the hotel, which has been the scene of so many charming social
March 5, 1910
Ponce de Leon Tea.
The ladies of the Hotel Ponce de Leon gave a delightful tea Thursday afternoon in the drawing-room of the hotel, and the beautiful
room was thronged with guests who enjoyed greatly the pretty affair. Mrs. M. D. Hardin, and Mrs. J. H. Hewson poured tea at the
daintily appointed table which was exquisitely decorated in yellow. Jonquils and yellow Jessamine were the flowers used, and the
dainty color motif was prettily carried out in the cakes and bonbons served. This was the first of a series of weekly teas to be given
throughout the month of March by the ladies of the Ponce de Leon.
March 17, 1910
Delightful Garden Party
Enjoyable Event Given in Ponce de Leon Palm Gardens.
The social event of yesterday was the garden party, given in the west palm gardens of the Hotel Ponce de Leon. No more attractive
spot could have been chosen for the occasion than these gardens with their stretch of velvety lawn, beautiful palms, and tropical
shrubbery which render them an ideal setting for so charming an affair. The Ponce de Leon orchestra discoursed sweet music
throughout the afternoon, and this added immeasurably to the pleasure of all those attending.
The pretty decorated tables were presided over by gracious ladies exquisitely dressed and, as during the hours designated for the
affair the garden was thronged with guests, the many lovely fancy articles displayed and the delicious refreshments served found
ready sales, a marked success was achieved financially. This is most gratifying to the ladies in charge as it supplies the King's
Daughters with a goodly sum wherewith to carry on their charitable work. Many prominent and influential ladies of the city identified
themselves with the affair and thus insured its being a social as well as financial success.
Mrs. A. Anderson, Mrs. Lawton, Mrs. E. Reynolds, Miss Gilbert, Miss Burroughs and Miss Gigelow were in charge of the fancy
work table, and disposed most successfully of the many exquisite hand-made articles alluringly displayed. Mrs. J. A. Enslow, Mrs.
L. A. Rohde, Mrs. Jarvis, and Mrs. R. J. Oliver served ice cream and cake, while the tea table was presided over by Mrs. J. E.
Ingraham, Mrs. L. J. Hopkins, Mrs. J. T. Dismukes and Miss Kellogg. The coffee table was in charge of Mrs. E. Trott, Mrs. J. F.
Dodge. And Miss Leone Rood while Mrs. A. M. Terwilligar, and Mrs. Arnold Goldy served lemonade.
The flower booth, which was especially lovely with its hundreds of beautiful spring blossoms and exquisite cut flowers artistically
arranged in vases and baskets of tinted straw, was in charge of Mrs. G. M. Fletcher and Miss Lindsley. The fruit table was most
attractive with its effective display of fruits and the quantities of pear and plum blossoms used in its decorations. This was presided
over by Mrs. Bevan, Mrs. Kirtland and Mrs. A. E. Carey. At the candy tables Mrs. Darrow, Mrs. W. W. Dewhurst, Mrs. Collins,
Miss Floyd dispensed the sweets. Mrs. H. W. Davis, Mrs. W. B. Grosh, Mrs. W. Snow and Miss Sherman sold the many dainty
aprons displayed at the apron table.
The conveners of the party were Mrs. D. L. Dunham, Mrs. Murray W. Seagears, and Mrs. F. F. DeCrano, and the entrance to the
garden were in charge of Mrs. Geo. W. Gibbs, and Mrs. Rasmussen.
The total receipts of the affair are most satisfactory, and as the exact amount cleared and the receipts of each table is not yet
known, a list of these will be published later.
April 4, 1910
Hotel Ponce de Leon Will Close Tomorrow Morning
After one of the best tourist season in many years the palatial Hotel Ponce de Leon will close for the winter of 1909-1910
tomorrow morning with breakfast. The great portcullis at the entrance will lower, the banners and flags will flutter from their places
on the flagstaffs and all will be quiet for the summertime until the next season opens in the late fall.
Mr. Robert Murray, the manager, has made the great hotel even more popular than ever this season and the magnificent hostelry
has been well filled through the busy months of the season. His own ability combined with the careful attention of his well selected
staff has made the hotel very popular with the tourist public. The members of the hotel staff soon leave and will be found at the
following places during the summer season:
Mr. L. W. Maxon, cashier; manager of the Royal Muskoka hotel at Lake Rosseau, Ontario.
Mr. A. E. Conklin, chief room clerk; at his summer home at Amenia, N. Y.
Mr. B. J. Redman, assistant room clerk; room clerk at the Mount Pleasant Hotel at Bretton Woods, N. H.
Mr. J. Edmonds MacQuinn, bookkeeper; cashier of the Equinox house at Manchester, Vermont.
Mr. Glen A. Miller, assistant clerk; cashier at the Royal Muskoka.
Mr. M. M. Brassee, secretary to Mr. Murray; secretary to Mr. Maxon at the Royal Muskoka.
W. T. White, head waiter; at Champlain, N. Y.
Messrs. E. J. Morrill, the night clerk; Joseph Stolz, the chef, and M. J. Keller, the head porter, will all return north.
Ponce de Leon under the management of Mr. Robert Murray opens Tuesday January 7, 1913 and closes Monday, April 14, 1913.
Ponce de Leon under the management of Mr. Robert Murray. Opens Tuesday, January 6, 1914; closes Monday, April 6, 1914.
Coast guard taking over Ponce - World War II (See Coast Guard alters the Ponce)
The hotels, which have just been taken over are the Ponce de Leon, the Monson, and the Bennet. The Ponce de Leon Hotel will
accommodate approximately 2,500 men, and will be used primarily for training The Coast Guard recruits were taught to regard the
hotel as a ship. The floor was "the deck," the side walls "the bulkhead," the ceiling "the overhead," the stairway, "the ladder." When
they came in the were "going aboard." When they went out they were "going ashore." The beautiful dinning room became the "mess
hall." The kitchen was "the galley."
Former Manager Bernard R. Howe Returns to the Ponce as Lieutenant Howe
The former manager of the Hotel Bernard R. Howe as a lieutenant in the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve was stationed at the hotel. He
was the assistant personnel officer and was located in the Grand Parlor west of the famous Gold Ballroom. He was a veteran of the
Army Air Corps in World War I . After receiving his present commission he underwent indoctrinational training at the local Officers
Indoctrination School and then was assigned to the hotel.
Coast Guard Wedding
The first Coast Guard Wedding in the hotel took place on January 30, 1943. The married couple was Miss Devel Maxine Baggett
of Nashville Tenn. and Coast Guardsman Frank Daniel Morrison of Clarksville, Tenn.
The Coast Guard Training Station Post Office
Mail for the Coast Guard Training Station was sent to the Post Office located in the Hotel. From there the mail was delivered twice
daily to the Monson and the Bennett. Sorted into sections it was left at the hotel desk ready to be picked up by various section
leaders whose responsibility was to deliver it to individual members of their particular section. Noon delivery was made at the mess
tables after everyone was seated.
Coast Guard Canteen
The ship's service store was located on a mezzanine deck just above the main deck of the Ponce de Leon Hotel. It had cigarettes,
candy, soft drinks, chewing gum, toilet articles and a dozen and one other articles of merchandise. The store was supervised by
Lieut. C. R. Grenger the educational officer.
It also operated a barber shop, a contract tailor shop, a contract laundry and mechanical cold drink dispenser. Profits from those
various activities were used to defray the expenses of the station's motion picture shows which were stagged six times a week, and
Part of the funds went to the Welfare Fund which was for the assistance of men in emergency financial difficulties. New arrivals are
issued coupon books which are charged off to them when their first pay arrives. The canteen also cashed checks and money orders.
Coast Guard Dinning
Chief Commissionary Steward John J. Dolan: "We give them a plate of food and if they want seconds, it's all right."
At the Ponce de Leon officers dine in a room to themselves (the former cocktail lounge) at tables laid with white cloths. Juscross
the hall (in the old Spanish Room) the SPARS have their private mess room. The former Venido Room is reserved for the chief
petty officers and the recruits mess is shifts in the main dining room. Their tables have composition tops and no white linens.
Stainless steel equipment was brought to the Ponce de Leon from New Orleans where the station used to be located supplementing
the hotel furnishings in the "galley." Chief Dolan was proud of his galley and staff that enabled him to keep hundreds of men well-fed
and within the Navy ration allowance of 70 cents per man per day. Under Dolan were three other chefs: Nicholas Borgin of
Everett Mass, Aubrey Draper of Atlanta Ga., and Frank DiPietro of Johnson City, Ill, plus seven first class, eight second class and
eleven third class ship's cooks.
Final Dinner Dance April 5, 1967
|Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey
or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number
|Ponce de Leon
|Admiral George Dewey
Hero Spanish-American War
|7 Photographs by Francis Benjamin Johnson
Library of Congress
|[The band in the loggia, St. Augustine]
Photographer: William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1880 and 1897]
|Court of the Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla.
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1900 and 1920]
|In the court of the Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla.
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: c1905.
|In the court of the Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla.
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: c1905.
|[A Parlor of the Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla.]
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1895 and 1910]
|Hotel Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Florida]
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [1887 or 1889]
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