Henry Morrison Flalfer
Florida's Pioneer Developer
t. Augustine was changed from a
!sleepy little village to an American
Riveria by the wealth and ambition of
Henry Flagler, a man of humble
beginnings who amassed one of this
country's largest fortunes.
Flagler was the son of Elizabeth Caldwell Harkness
and Isaac Flagler. He was born on January 2, 1830
in Hopewell, New York where his father was the
minister of a small Presbyterian church. Both of his
parents had been widowed twice. He was given the
name Morrison in memory of his mother's first
husband, and Henry for a Flagler uncle. A half
sister, Carrie Flagler, and a half brother, Daniel
Harkness, completed the family unit.
By the time Henry reached fourteen he was
determined that he would never live his life in the
frugal manner of his parents. His brother Daniel was
in Bellevue, Ohio working in the Harkness family
business and he wanted Henry to join him. After
many parental arguments young Flagler was
permitted to leave home.
In Ohio he clerked in the store and worked in the
grain business. By the age of twenty-two he became a
full partner in the firm and a year later married
Mary Harkness, a niece of his mother's second
The young Flaglers were very happy, the grain and
liquor distillery business was prospering and they had
two little daughters, Jennie Louise born in 1855 and
Carrie (named for Henry's sister) born in 1858. But
Flagler was restless and ambitious and he believed he
could advance quicker in a more speculative venture.
Salt wells had recently been discovered in Saginaw,
Michigan and a bounty was being offered to
producers of salt. Henry moved his family to
Michigan and invested all of his funds in the
production of salt. For several years the business
prospered but with the end of the Civil War, in 1865,
salt prices collapsed and Henry Flagler found himself
at the age of thirty-five bankrupt and deeply in debt.
After borrowing money from the Harkness family
to pay his creditors the Flagler family moved back to
Ohio, but without little Carrie who had died in 1861.
Henry went back to work in Cleveland in the family
grain business. He worked tirelessly and at the end of
two years he had repaid the loan.
Next door to the Harkness Grain Company a young
man named John D. Rockefeller had an office.
Rockefeller owned a small oil refining business and
he and Henry became friends. In 1867, backed by
capital supplied by Stephen V. Harkness, the
Rockefeller, Andrews and Flagler Oil Company was
formed with offices in New York and Cleveland.
Eventually this company was to become Standard Oil
with Henry Flagler as the business "brains" and vice
president of the Board of Directors.
A son, Harry Harkness, was born to the Flaglers in
1870 and seven years later they moved to New York
City where Henry's fortune increased steadily. But
Mary Flagler's health began to decline. Doctors
advised her to spend the winters in Florida. One trip
'was made to Jacksonville (the end of the railroad) for
several weeks during which Mary's bronchial
condition improved. Henry felt he could not stay
away from his business, and his wife, who had always
remained by his side, refused to make any more trips
to Florida without him. Mary Flagler died on May
18, 1881. Her death had a profound effect on her
husband for he realized .for the first time that money
was not the key to happiness.
Determined to spend more time with his family, he
purchased a forty room home on Long Island Sound
at Mamaroneck, New York. His sister Carrie came
from Cleveland to take charge of the household and
mother eleven-year-old Harry.
Soon Flagler renewed his friendship with a young
practical nurse who had attended Mary Flagler
during her illness. Ida Alice Shourds was thirty-five
years old, she had flaming red hair, blue eyes, was
possessed of a violent temper and not inclined to
follow intellectual pursuits. Nevertheless Henry
Flagler loved her deeply and despite the disapproval
of the Flagler and Harkness clans they were married
in June 1883. Henry gave Ida Alice access to an
unlimited bank account and within weeks of the
ceremony she had purchased an elaborate wardrobe.
It was while the newlyweds were taking a belated
honeymoon in Florida that Flagler conceived the idea
of investing in Florida's future. Charmed by St.
Augustine's climate and history and inspired by Dr.
Andrew Anderson, a long time resident, and Franklin
Smith, a noted architect who had a winter home
there (the Villa Zorayda), Flagler set about planning
what was to be one of the finest luxury hotels in the
Returning to New York, he commissioned two)
young architects, John M. Carrere and Thomas;
Hastings, to design a hotel in the Spanish manner.
Ponce de Leon Hotel and furnishings of imported rosewood, walnut and
Flagler's lavish Ponce de Leon was formally opened in mahogany. The elaborate decor and modern
January 1888. Built at a cost of $2,500,000 it had two conveniences, such as electric lights, made it an
miles of halls and corridors, 450 sleeping apartments immediate success with wealthy members of society.
After almost daily consultations with Flagler, the
young men produced the plans for the Ponce de
Leon. Two New England contractors, Joseph A.
McDonald and James McQuire, formed a partnership
and became Flagler's builders. On the morning of
December 1, 1885 with most of St. Augustine's two
thousand residents watching, excavation was begun
on the first of Flagler's Florida projects that would
eventually reach all the way to Key West.
The years in St. Augustine brought Flagler triumph
and tragedy. In February 1889 he was overjoyed to
learn that his beloved daughter Jennie, who reminded
him so much of her mother, had given birth to a
daughter. Joy turned to sorrow when the child lived
only a few hours. Fear was soon expressed for the
mother because Jennie Louise, now thirty-five years
old, was not improving as expected after the baby's
birth. Doctors recommended she recuperate in
Florida with her father. Accompanied by her
husband, Frederick Benedict, her brother Harry, and
a full complement of doctors and nurses, Jennie
departed New York on the yacht Oneida. Henry
Flagler prepared to welcome his daughter and left for
Charleston to meet the yacht. As soon as the Oneida
was sighted Flagler engaged a launch and eagerly
boarded the yacht as it came into the harbor only to
find the body of his daughter lying in the cabin.
Returning to St. Augustine after the funeral in New
York he contacted the Presbyterian Church and
offered to build them a new building if it could be
dedicated to the memory of his daughter. His offer
was accepted gratefully and Flagler, calling in his
architects and builders and using the resources of
great wealth, built in less than a year's time a
Venetian Renaissance Church to rival those of
Europe. There, in a magnificent marble mausoleum,
he placed the bodies of his wife Mary Harkness, his
daughter Jenny and his infant grandchild.
-- -L c~P~ I~L -r
Flagler Memorial Church
Built in 1889 as a memorial to Flagler's daughter
Jennie Louise, "The Cathedral of North Florida" wa
designed by Carrere and Hastings and complete
within a year's time. The copper dome rises ont
hundred and fifty feet and is topped with a twenty
foot bronze cross. Tours are conducted daily of the
Church and Flagler's tomb. Located at the corner o
Sevilla and Valencia Streets.
Grace Methodist Church
SDesigned by Carrere and Hastings and built by Henry Completed in 1893 as a home for Flagler and his
Flagler at a cost of $84,000 in exchange for the second wife Ida Alice Shourds. The 15 room house
1 original church property that occupied a corner of the was located near the Memorial Presbyterian Church
e Alcazar Hotel site. Property valued at $4,000. and was especially designed for winter living. Rooms
y Situated at the corner of Carrera and Cordova Streets, were exquisitely furnished and the salon was
e Grace Church is in daily use. reminiscent of Versailles. Kirkside was demolished in
f t --' g. the 1940's and the balustrade can be seen today in
ri O he arcade of the Kirkside Apartments.
" 't htL" c,
As Flagler's hotels made St. Augustine the most
fashionable place to spend the winter Ida Alice
Flagler, now called Alicia, tried desperately to break
into society. She entertained lavishly, trying to make
up with money what she lacked in social background.
At her "Hermitage Ball" in 1892 her gown was
described as being of white tulle, "en traine," the
front bodice embroidered in mother-of-pearl and gold
with the skirt bordered with pearl fringe half a yard
deep. The decollete neck of the bodice finished with
white ostrich feathers. She wore a necklace of many
strands of pearls and a spray of marguerites which
formed a fillet for her hair. One account stated,
"Alicia Flagler made herself the center of attraction
throughout the evening."
Alicia's lack of acceptance and her inability to bear
Flagler a child affected her mental health. Always
temperamental she gradually became more and more
irrational, spending many hours with a Ouija board
convinced among other delusions that she was a
princess engaged to the Czar of Russia. After years of
the best available treatment she was permanently
committed to a mental hospital on March 23, 1897.
Flagler was never permitted to see her again, for the
mere sight of him drove her into rages. She died in
1930 at the age of 82 leaving an estate of over fifteen
million dollars, which was divided equally between
her next of kin, two nephews and a grand niece.
Several years after Alicia's commitment Flagler
met a young woman from a distinguished North
Carolina family. Unable to obtain a divorce from
Alicia in New York, Flagler changed his residency to
Florida where the legislature enacted a bill permitting
a person to get a divorce from a spouse who had been
declared insane for four years, provided they would
be well taken care of and a guardian appointed.
Flagler's divorce was granted from Ida Alice on
August 13, 1901. Seven days later he was married to
Mary Lily Kenan at the ancestral Kenan home in
Kenansville, North Carolina. Mary Lily was
thirty-four and Henry Flagler was seventy-one. His
son Harry Harkness disapproved of his father's
marriage and never saw him again until he was on
The Flaglers spent the winters in Palm Beach
where Henry built Mary Lily a marble palace which
they called "Whitehall". One of the most elaborate
private homes in America, it's construction cost was
over two and a half million dollars, and one and a
half million dollars was spent on furnishings. Flagler
fell down the marble stairs at Whitehall in January,
1913 breaking his hip. He died in May of the same
year at the age of 83 and his body was returned to St.
Augustine to be placed in the mausoleum with his
first wife and daughter.
Mary Lily Kenan inherited the bulk of the Flagler
estate then valued at over one hunched million. She
did not live long to enjoy the money for she (lied
suddenly on July 27, 1917 after having married
Robert Worth Bingham of Louisville, Kentucky, the
preceding December. Only six weeks prior to her
death she added a codicil to her will leaving five
million dollars to her new husband.
Whitehall was converted and used for a number of
years as the entrance to the Breakers Hotel but under
the sponsorship of Flaglcr's grand-datuglhtr IJea
Flagler Matthews it was restored alnd is now ople to
the public as a museum.
Henry Flagler's daughter
Jenny Louise Benedict
Sm As :I
'WWIis .Z .
IIs p,*a . -r':
The Alcazar Hotel, from the rotunda of the Ponce
Located directly across King Street from the Ponce hotel, the Alcazar featured recreational facilities
de Leon, it was affectionately called "The Poor popular with the guests of both establishments.
Man's Ponce." Built at half the cost of it's sister Today it houses the Lightner Museum and St.
Augustine's City Hall.
* -- w aStw
hen excavation started on the Ponce
de Leon Hotel Henry Flagler did not
intend for it to lead to further
development. But Franklin Smith's
Casa Monica Hotel was under
construction on the southeast corner
opposite the "Ponce" and the San
Marco Hotel north of the City Gates was already
open for guests. Flagler realized that if he was to
compete in this market he would need another less
expensive hostelry, so he commissioned Carrere and
Hastings to design a hotel in keeping with the
The architects chose the Alcazar Palace, in Seville,
Spain for inspiration and designed a 300 room hotel,
to be known as the Alcazar, an Arabic word meaning
"royal castle." The facade of the hotel was a
reproduction of the Spanish palace.
Construction began on the site across the street
from the "Ponce" early in 1887. In order to start
building, it had been necessary to relocate the Grace
Church, fill in a large marshy area and divert the
Maria Sanchez tidal creek. Hundreds of pilings had
to be driven into the soft ground to support the
foundations and even today the tide continues to ebb
and flow under the building.
For a time, both the Ponce de Leon and the
Alcazar were being built by the same workmen.
Materials came from a common source and many of
the same ideas were used. The walls were "cast"
rather than built. Six parts of crushed coquina shell
were mixed to one part of Belgian cement and poured
in forms which covered an area one city block wide
and three blocks deep. The building was poured from
front to back in layers of 3 inches. Over 1,200
workmen were involved in the process.
The Alcazar formally opened all of the 300 rooms
to guests for the winter season of 1888. While not as
elaborate as the "Ponce" the Alcazar contained a
"Sporting Section" in the back which boasted of a
Casino, with an indoor swimming pool and ballroom
and indoor and outdoor amusement courts.
Staff for the hotel was brought by train from the
north at the beginning of the "season" which ran
generally from November 15 until May 1. These were
trained hotel workers who spent their summers in the
Catskills and White Mountain resorts and their
winters in Florida. At the Alcazar they were housed
in small rooms over the Casino section with narrow
stairs and windows too small to crawl through in case
St. Augustine's "Tatler" newspaper reported in
1893, "No hotel ever had popularity thrust upon it
more rapidly than the Alcazar. Originally intended
to be a European hotel the demand for a $4 a day
house was so great from the first that Mr. Flagler was
forced to make a change. Efforts were made to
operate it both as a European and American hotel
but although the city needed the latter it did not
succeed and it was made a regular $4. house. The
second season it's popularity was so great that at the
end of the season over forty rooms were added and
the seating of the dining room almost doubled."
During the years between 1889-96 the Alcazar was
at the peak of it's popularity. Many renovations were
made including the addition of private baths which
reduced the original 300 rooms to 175. When Flagler
carried his railroad to Palm Beach and began to
build other hotels further south, business at the
Alcazar began to decline.
At the end of the winter season in 1931, the
Alcazar, no longer showing a profit, closed it's doors.
The furnishings were either shipped to other Flagler
Hotels or sold to the general public.
The Great Hoste(ries
The Casa Monica Hotel was located on the
east side of the Alcazar. It was designed and
built by Franklin Smith, the Boston architect
whose St. Augustine home, "Villa Zorayda" was
the nation's first poured concrete structure.
Smith used this same method for his hotel and
Flagler's builders copied the technique.
The casa Monica opened for business in
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January 1888 but the competition from the
Flagler hotels was too great and in April of the
same year Franklin sold the entire structure and
contents to Henry Flagler for $325,000.
Eventually the name was changed to the
"Cordova" and a covered passageway was built
connecting it to the Alcazar.
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SUPPLIES RACKETS RESTRUNG
J. B. MAGUIRE
THE HEIGHTS CASINO. N. Y.
HOTEL ALCAZAR COURTS PHONE 780
BICYCLE RIDING ACADEMY AND ST. AUGUSTINE, CASINO TLflflIS COURTS.
L L L 1:
he Casino swimming pool was 120
Feet long and 50 feet wide and ranged
Sin depth from 3 to over 12 feet. A
constant supply of sulphur water from
an artesian well (Now under the back
parking lot) poured into the pool in those days
without filters. Visitors convinced of the healthful
properties of the mineral water ignored the smell. A
skylight overhead provided an outdoor atmosphere.
Gentlemen's dressing facilities were located at the
east end and ladies on the west. The water extended
into the rounded portions of this area and from the
men's side it was possible to dive underwater and
swim out into the main pool. The ladies side was
closed so that if they desired they could swim in
Many sporting events and aquatic shows were held
with the management permitting local youth to use
the pool in return for performing for the guests. The
most famous event held was the A.A.U. Women's
National Championships conducted in 1925. Included
among the contestants were two local swimmers Miss
Virginia DuBois (now Edwards and a Lightner
volunteer) and Miss Winna Goode who represented
the Alcazar Athletic Association. Mrs. Edwards states
that she was only half way down the pool when
Gertrude Ederle climbed out of the water at the other
The pool was permanently floored over in 1947,
and for many years it was used for the Lightner
Museum Antique Shows.
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120 feet long, 50 feet wide.
* t l
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PROGRAM OF 'WATER SPORTS
Dancing Up Stairs.
NEXT I MONDAY EVENING
Give Their Annual -
Music by the
Ancient City Cornet Band
CASINO TURKIS BATHS1-Now Open. For MeI
and Women. Scientific Massage I Ii ven.
Tennis Courts ready.
DanciHn Up Stairs.
NEXT IM3ONDAY EVENING
---- Give Their Annual -
Music by the
Ancient City Cornet Band
CASINO TURKISl BATHS--Now Open. Far Men
and Women. Scientific Massage tliven.
Tennis Courts Ready.
WATCH DAILY PROURAM."
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Virginia Whitenek Dnori s O'Mara Helen Wainwright Gettrude Ederte Adelaide Lambert Aileen Riggin
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he gallery overlooking the swimming
Pool was the scene of many social
events and entertainments. Guests
could watch the swimmers or dance to
the music of two orchestras located on
Either end of the area. During the day
it was an ideal place to meet for tea or a game of
Residents of St. Augustine as well as visitors have
fond memories of the gala events which took place in
the Casino. In later years it was the site of "the" New
Year's Eve party where it became a tradition for a
prominent St. Augustine resident to dive into the pool
from the upper balcony on the exact stroke of
midnight clad in his tuxedo.
The Casino area is now closed to the public
awaiting restoration which will enable it to be used
for museum displays, antique shows and other
worthwhile community projects.
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BALL ?QQ M
CrC/R 't ST. AUGUSTINE CASINO,
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CASINO sWIMMlIN;G POO
OPEN DAILY UNTIL DARK
MEN AND WOMEN.
ADMISSION FREE .
A. M. TAYLOR, MANAGER
S A I/fv A
MAIN ENTRANCE ST. AUCUSTINC CASINO.
. ij:LS7 I L t~li
I I I I -I - I -L
U| he "Baths" were located in a three
story section which connected the main
part of the Alcazar with the Casino
area. The first floor was occupied by
dining, kitchen and workroom space.
The second and third floors were the
"Baths" distinguished from the outside by a rounded
dome. Here were located the most advanced facilities
of the day including the first steam bath built in
Florida. Attendants were quartered on the third floor
in order to be available to guests at all times. In the
beginning it was for men only but in later years
certain days were set aside when female attendants
ministered to the needs of ladies staying at the hotels.
During the 1920's a portion was a private club
where, in true 'speakeasy' tradition, the right word or
card could get you admitted to a special section
catering to diverse amusements. Local rumor says
that there were at that time ladies of the evening in
permanent residence on the third floor to cater to the
The bath area was closed to the public from 1931
until 1974 when it was opened as part of Lightner
Museum. All of the original architectural features
have been retained.
and Russian Baths
Package Tickets (10 Baths)
Packs, Hot or Gold -
Massage at Baths -
Use of Appliances -
Season Ticket (including Locker)
Exercise and Plunge -
Steam Room.....Nicknamed, "The Senate" because
patrons were clad in white toga-like garments and
when seated on the marble tiers resembled the
ancient Roman Senate. Steam was supplied from a
central power building at the back of the Alcazar
Cold Plunge.....The pool in the center was filled with
floating chunks of ice and was part of the treatment
known as, "The Russian Plunge", %which consisted of
a prescribed time in the steam bath followed by the
ice water plunge. A test was given to see if a patron
could withstand the treatment which consisted of
using a static electricity machine to electrify metal
handles which the subject gripped. The theory being
if they could withstand the shock they were able to
take the "plunge".
3 i<' n ,f
'4E4 A f f
Reception Room.....What we of today would call a
"basket room". A place where the patron signed up
for the desired treatments and was given the proper
clothing. Note grilled windows on the left.
Massage Room.....Leather couches and woven carpet.
~-'-- -- u--
WhATE'ER MA Do, O 1AR'W OR Thsl\,OR bREAP.
OUR MoTLEY PAPER 1E!Zn FOR ITC THm'E."
VOL. XI. ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA., MARCH i,, 1902 No. 10
Ah! The glittering winter seasonI Days spent in
vigorous recreation and the night danced away at a
The comings and goings of the social season did -
not go unreported or unrecorded for in one of the
rooms off the Alcazar courtyard Anna M. Marcotte
owned, published, wrote and edited, "The Tatler."
Duly noted was the where, why, what and most A
importantly the who of any gathering of significance.
Published weekly, it was sold at all Flagler Hotels."
Volume 1, number 1 appeared on January 9, 1892,
and reported in detail on the reopening of the ' .
Alcazar after expansion, "Forty delightful rooms have -
been added, either looking into the court or with a
broad, magnificent view of bay, ocean and the --
surrounding country with it's beautiful tropical "
growth. These rooms have been fitted out with
handsome furniture, the floors covered with delicate.
colored carpets and baths attached, making them still ,
more desirable while all are home-like, bright and
Anna, as she signed herself, editorialized, "It is the
chief aim and object of the Tatler's existence to
discover something good and beautiful in everyone
visiting Florida." But it was interesting to note that
the "good and beauty" were more readily found in
Typical of the coverage of social events is the
following, "Mr. and Mrs. Louis R. McLain gave a
very elegant hearts party in the salon of the Alcazar
Wednesday evening. Several handsome prizes were
given. After the game a delicious collation of salads,
sandwiches, strawberry ice cream, cake and punch
The March 15, 1902 edition reported an event at
which a number of St. Augustine young ladies were
entertained, "Mr. Charles Deering is certainly skilled
in the science of pleasure-giving and has made
himself a number of friends among the rising
generation by his thoughtfulness for them. On
Saturday evening he invited a number of young girls
to enjoy the water sports at the Casino, afterwards
giving a supper in the Alcazar Dining Room. The
young people enjoying it were Miss Lucy Alexander,
Miss Bessie Dismukes, Miss Modina Floyd, Misses
Fannie and Margaret Hopkins, Miss Paterson, Miss
Margaret Gibbs and her sister. Miss Annie Everett
and Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miles chaperoned the
gay little party."
At the peak of it's popularity
the Alcazar Hotel was host
every winter season to over
twenty five thousand guests,
and countless visitors used the
recreational facilities in the
Casino. But as Henry Flagler
built other hotels further to the
south attendance began to
The final blow came with
the economic depression of
the late 1920's. People no
longer had the money to
spend on hotels and vacations
and the Alcazar began to
operate at a loss. At the end
of the winter season of 1931
the Florida East Coast Hotel
Company closed the doors of
the Alcazar and the "Flagler
Era" in St. Augustine became
a part o history.
F r q "'
IC r ,_
Construction was well underway on the Alcazar
Hotel on July 2, 1887 when Otto C. Lightner was
born in Norwich, Kansas. His Pennsylvania German
parents, James and Maria, had migrated west to raise
their family of 4 boys and 3 girls. Young Otto's first
job setting type and operating a hand press for the
"Norwich Herald" started him on a lifetime career in
the publishing business.
After various newspaper jobs Lightner realized that
his real talent lay in being a "newspaper doctor." He
seemed to have a genius for taking a small or nearly
bankrupt publication and building the advertising
'and circulation up until it was making a substantial
profit. In this capacity he treated a number of
"patients" with successful results.
Henrietta Dressler became his wife in 1914, two
years later they were in Crowley, Louisiana where
Lightner became the managing director of the
"Crowley Daily Signal" and editor of the "Rice
Journal and Southern Farmer." The Rice Journal
Publishing Company, Inc., was incorporated in 1916
with a capital investment of $10,000. Shareholders
were Otto C. Lightner, C. J. Freeland, T. B. Freeland
and P. O. Lawrence. Shortly after Henrietta Lightner
died of typhoid fever, the Lightner Publication
Corporation was capitalized on June 1, 1918 at
$100,000 and moved to Beaumont, Texas.
. LUs. SBI, Editor
Adhp eA l 04
By the 1920's, the Lightner Publishing Company
was in Chicago and Otto C. Lightner had conceived
the idea of combining a number of small publications
into a national magazine for collectors called
"Hobbies" of which he was the editor and Miss Pearl
Anne Reeder his assistant.
The magazine caught on with the public for these
were the years of the "Depression" and Lightner told
the nation that everyone could have a hobby and be a
collector of ''something" even though they had no
money. "Hobbies" was a success and when former
millionaires were selling apples on street corners Otto
C. Lightner was making money.
As once proud Chicago estates were put up for
auction or sold for taxes, Lightner decided he would
create a museum devoted to the "Golden Age" of
Chicago, the 1890's. Purchasing the former Brega
mansion at 2816 Michigan Avenue he set about
acquiring objects from such estates as P. D. Armour,
Potter Palmer, Kate Buckingham, Mrs. T. B.
Blackstone and Edith Rockefeller McCormick. He
bought antiques, curios, art and in some cases the
wood paneling, mantles, doors and stained glass
windows of the estates being demolished.
He stated his intention to have a hobby section in
s m u a 1" .__s .- oTT 1_1__ . s_
s ih museum and readers of Hobbies be
in contributions. Soon it became ne
/s. LOYD FI/S4. E, aM-
To Whom It May Concern:--
We wish to take this means of recomnending Mr.
Otto C. Lightner to any who may be in need of hs services, as
being what he claims for himself, a "newspaper doctor" in the
fullest sense of the word.
Mr. Lightner since coming to us has demonstrated
beyond every question o.t doubt the truly remarkably ability
he possesses of capitalizing, organizing and rebuilding a newA-
Mr. Lighiner has a truly remarkable ability at
getting down to the bottom of the trouble and in our mind is
the greatest newspaper expert in the land today.
We take the greatest pleasure in recommending him
to any who may be in need of his services.
S,L. is Son
gan to send
Otto C. Lightner, from a portrait by Vera Vimont.
This portrait hangs in the first floor hallway of the
present museum. The inscription under it is a
favorite quotation of Mr. Lightner's: "This
institution was built on hard work and sacrifice.
How firm a foundation."
Theagazine for Collectors
S **. Consolidation of
P.ost iGI' .d m,.
,o Ull etl l
,- 1e k ahl
Hit y Ave," hiatellst
Contents sUctl p e
The r No. 7
Seen and Heard at the F ar
Roaming with the Collector
enth Century Pie Bowl
Collected Rere and There
Rock and Minerals
Lr a H Nr Editor Departments: S
RDER tuStmp8 C
EdOO, Refj,. Book. P.re r,, MInimm
RaED. Asiut Aneiqe, o- tnm, Con. Er,"
rPy s published Antiques e C.ands e meee
Sb The Lightnerera and Pion. ina Early
Ong corp 2810 S. Le.
n ., Chicago,
l A page from HOBBIES MAGAZINE, September 1933.
.publications) that Lightner combined into one publication.
K a uralthe.
vou~y at c os .
A page from HOBBIES MAGAZINE, September 1933.
Shown above the table of contents is a list of all the
publications that Lightner combined into one publication.
letter of recommendation concerning the ability of Lightner to "doctor" a publication.
-, I----"s- 00~
The Lightner Publishing Company, 1006 South
Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill., home of "Hobbies" .. .
magazine and the World's Antique Mart.
.- 4- ** : '
"'1 ... .. *- ' ''" '* : s ,'
with a passageway--. The home of "America's Hobby
King" was one of the most unusual homes in
America and visitors were amazed at the scope of the
co ti. 't by Lightr ws a
.' I. . .,
The Lightner Publishing Company, 1006 South
Michigan Avenue, Chicago, lttl, home of "Hobbies"
magazine and the World's Antique Mart.
purchase the adjoining mansion which he connected
with a passageway. The home of "America's Hobby
King" was one of the most unusual homes in
America and visitors were amazed at the scope of the
collections. But by 1946 Lightner was a discouraged
The neighborhood around his museum-home had
deteriorated until it was little more than a slum. No
one wanted to visit in the area and he was unable to
make satisfactory arrangements for his collections in
another location. Recuperating in Florida from the
illness that would eventually result in his death
Liogtner Gives The A(cazar
t.i to the People of St. Augustine-
July of 1947, Mayor Frank Harrold signs the deed of conveyance accepting the Alcazar Hotel on behalf
of the City of St. Augustine as a gift from Otto C. Lightner. Witnessing the ceremony from left to
right, are Frank Howatt, acting city attorney; Miss Pauline Boyt, city auditor and clerk; Frank D.
Upchurch, Sr.; Frank J. Tart, David R. Dunham; and City 'Manager Hubert Gooch.
for renovations and at his death he promised to leave
an endowment of $250,000 to maintain the museum.
Plans were announced in "Hobbies" and the work
started. Lightner purchased his own moving van and
his collection started to arrive in St. Augustine.
Workmen swarmed over the Alcazar adapting it to
museum displays. When asked about the Casino
swimming pool Lightner stated, "It would certainly
be nothing but a pee-wee brained ignoramous who
would try to revamp that pool to today's sanitary
standards. The hotels operated it at a loss and today
operating costs are three times what they were." So it
was permanently floored over and used for antique
shows. The huge organ with 40 foot pipes intended
for the Casino was carelessly packed in Chicago and
arrived in St. Augustine damaged beyond repair.
On his "Publishers Page" in "Hobbies" Lightner
wrote of other plans for the Alcazar, "One of the two
towers will eventually contain a carillon. The other
will be given over to Moslem religious rites." He also
planned to place stained and leaded windows across
the facade of the Alcazar and asked readers to send
in $100 if they wished to purchase a memorial
window. It was Lightner's hope that his museum
would become a mecca for collectors and would
eventually grow into a teaching facility with courses
Overcoming the difficulty of running a business in
Chicago and creating a museum in Florida, Otto C.
Lightner was able to open The Lighlner Museum to
the public on January 1, 1948. Signs were placed
throughout stating that the work was not finished
and asking the public's indulgence.
WILLIAM E. HANZEI. CI1
PA I If 0 A'A
O T .. . .-
-- - 1 i -
.-'-_ ." "
Visitors to the museum are amazed that Otto C.
Lightner could have acquired his collections without
unlimited wealth. But he had the foresight to
purchase many of the things before the general public
became aware of their eventual worth. Shown is an
invoice of some of his purchases from a Chicago
company dated August 20, 1947.
Otto C. Lightner's museum-home in Chicago. The
former Brega Mansion located at 2816 South
Eightner stopped to spend the night at the Ponce de
Leon. It was then he noticed the vacant Alcazar Hotel
and his dream of a national museum was born.
Immediately he contacted the City officials and
told them of his plan. He proposed to purchase the
Alcazar (if it could be bought for a reasonable sum),
renovate it into a museum for his collection and give
the building and it's contents to the citizens of St.
Augustine. Florida East Coast Hotel Company agreed
to lower the asking price to $150,000. Lightner paid
$125,000 and the citizens of St. Augustine made up
the difference. In addition Lightner pledged $150,000
Opening day of the Lightner Museum, January 1, 1948. Shown are the original members of the Board
of Trustees appointed by Mr. Lightner. From left to right, Frank Harrold, H. E. -Wolfe, Frank
Tart, Otto C. Lightner, David Dunham and C. L. Beals.
I -L I
r Otto C.
unexpectedly, tto Lightner, "Amer-
ica's Hobby King" died of lymphatic
Cancer. According to his wishes his
body was returned to St. Augustine for
burial in the courtyard of the Lightner
Museum. Memorial services were
conducted by Reverend W. Howard Lee in the Craig
Funeral Chapel on June 13, 1950.
When Lightner's will was read the Lightner
Museum Board of Trustees was shocked to learn
that the museum was not even mentioned. In 1949
Lightner had written on the "Publisher's Page," "The
Lightner Museum is perpetually endowed by the
Lightner Foundation which provides income to assure
and guarantee it's success and perpetuity. No possible
combination of events could affect it except the utter
destruction of the American Republic." But although
the Republic remained intact it was discovered that
the Lightner Foundation was without funds to assist
Miss Pearl Anne Reeder was now in charge of the
Lightner Publishing Company and wanted very much
to help the museum but found herself fighting for
survival of the business. The building was heavily
mortgaged and "Hobbies" was faced with a libel suit
of $250,000 for remarks made by Lightner concerning '..
the honesty of an antique dealer. .
The first year Lightner Museum was opened to the \G
public it had operated at a deficit of $49,894.57, a
loss personally covered by Lightner. Although
business improved somewhat daring the next two
years, it still was losing money and the building was
badly in need of repairs. No doubt Lightner was
confident that he could put his skills to work and
I"doctor" this project but as he had once said of the
failure of Louis Tiffany's estate as a school for artists,
"Thus ended a worthy dream, well meant but poorly
St. Aulgstine Rescues
Lig tner's Dream
The trustees and the city of St. Augustine
attempted to keep the museum open but after 20
years of operating deficits, a leaky roof and
deteriorating exhibits it became clear the Lightner
collection and the Alcazar would be either destroyed
or lost unless action was taken.
In 1967 the trustees entered into a 99 year
agreement with the city of St. Augustine to maintain
the building and $100,000 was allocated to repair the
roof. This was only a stop-gap measure, and, two
years later, a proposal was made to completely
renovate the building and combine the city hall with
the Museum. The old "City Building" on Hypolita
Street was in disrepair, and its owners, Flagler
Systems, was anxious to raze it and beautify the
property as part of the historic restoration work being
done in the area.
Therefore, in May of 1969, the citizens of St.
Augustine took action-and it was decisive. They went
to the polls and approved a two million dollar bond
issue to renovate the Alcazar and transform it into
the grand Lightner Museum of which Otto C.
Lightner had dreamed.
The plans included moving the museum into the
casino area of the building, tearing out the old
kitchens and building a new entrance for the
museum, and completely renovating the front
quadrangle area as the new City Hall and Police
Station. A new fire station was planned for the south
end of the property along Bridge Street.
In August of 1971, the Lightner Museum closed its
doors in preparation for the long awaited renovations.
buried in the courtyard of
Shis wishes. The inscription
was built on hard work and
SMr Lightner's body is
the Alcazar according to
S ^ reads, "This institution
X xO', sacrifice. How firm a fo
L 1 .;
~98BR~1 r 'B" 'B~P I = I r ~g~
---1 1 I'
I I L JI ~I I In I a b L -- ,
- 0. f -
..Tireless Vol-unteers Create A Museum
ightner Museum was closed for almost three years. During that
time all of the museum collections were stored in the Casino -
portion of the Alcazar.
When the renovation was complete and all of the construction
work was finished it was the latter part of 1973. Then it was
realized that the museum had a beautifullv renovated buildings hbut
Out Of caosf
no funds with which to renovate and display the c
Some of the old museum display cabinets could b,
sadly out of place against the sparkling white colui
Museum experts said it would take two years ar
create displays on all of the three floors. But the pe
gone too far to save Lightner Museum to let a sn
Under the direction of Maurine and Joseph Bole
community and the people responded. Buckets of
furniture polish, and wax were put into willing han
could be spared from their jobs assisted with t
Engineers, accountants and teachers cleaned and sc
years. Knowledge gained from lifelong hobbies was
preparing materials for displays. Retired executive
readily adapted to the handle of a broom or a
paintings in galleries across the country developed
trays and rollers.
A teacher aid and her family cataloged over 8(
retired couple came in and worked 12 hours a day
"Otto", the Lightner Volunteers mascot, was
rescued from a forgotten pile of 19th Century
stuffed animals. With his scraggly coat and
broken tail, he typified the way some
volunteers felt after long hours of hard work
restoring the three floors of exhibits to their
Jane Cassel and Restoration Curator, Robert
Harper wipe away the grime of many years.
e adapted but most looked
mns of the former Alcazar
id thousands of dollars to
people of St. Augustine had
nall matter of money stop
es, the call went out to the
paint, gallons of cleaner,
Is. City workers when they
:he heavier construction.
raped away the grime of 20
s put to use assorting and
ves found that their skills
duster. Area artists with
new techniques with paint
)0 mineral samples, then a
arranging the exhibit. St.
Ralph Wark uses extreme care in placing porcelain on display
Augustine's City Manager designed and created the
fossil and Florida Swamp Diorama, going so far as to
tease an alligator in order to copy the color of the
inside of it's mouth, then waited up until 2 AM in
order to entice a toad to pose so he could be copied
When it was learned that it would take $300 worth
of styrofoam to construct a "tomb" for the mummy, it
was discovered that there were a number of limestone
blocks stored in the building which had once been a
wall around Mr. Lightner's Chicago house, so the
"Tomb" was built of the real thing. Flagler College
Art Department took over the plastering and
decoration and the mummy exhibit was completed.
St. Augustine merchants reduced the prices and
extended credit for the necessary materials. Carpentry
classes at the Vocational Technical Center
constructed cabinet bases with skilled precision,
delivering them with as many as four coats of paint.
Glass company employees worked nights and
weekends, often drafting their wives in order to build
the covers for the displays and cut the glass for the
One gentleman, who is a recognized expert on
Meissen porcelain, devoted 8 10 hours every day
working on displays, sometimes delving into his own
collections of a life time when he felt certain items
.were needed to complete an exhibit. Mothers with
their small children beside them worked with equal
dedication. One mother and her teen age daughter
took over the decoration of the museum shop. They
plastered painted, mounted brocade wall covering and
created a look of warmth and style. In their at home
hours they converted the damaged handmade infants'
garments from the museum collection into dresses for
the antique dolls that had been redressed in the
1950's with modern materials.
A member of the National Button Society from
another city cleaned, cataloged and carded the
extensive button display. Yellowed laces and
handwork was washed and bleached in the sun before
being sewn on cloth with invisible stitches by a lady
who contributed examples from her own collection to
complete the museum exhibit. Others worked in their
own better equipped workshops repairing and
restoring items. No task was too large or too menial
and skills were contributed that could not be bought
at any price.
When it looked as if it would be impossible to
finish, a date was set for the opening. August 9, 1974
was scheduled for the preview party with the public
opening on August 12. As the day approached
everyone shook their heads and said they would never
make it, but they kept working.
An exhibit of 8 paintings from the Metropolitan
Museum of Art was hung in the lobby. Sponsored by
Mr. Ralph Wark it was to be an opening night
feature. The time was only hours away and a
volunteer was putting a final coat of paint on the
third floor elevator wall. A typical Florida cloudburst
came at five o'clock but cleared by six-thirty, serving
only to cool the evening. The food was on the tables,
the musicians in place and the champagne on ice.
Lightner Museum was reopened to the public.
Pierre Thompson and Anne and Art Boccierri give
"Sir Richard" the clock some tender loving care.
Volunteer, Dottie Wester examines one of the
"School Loan Boxes" available to local students.
I ~rl II-LC -r I I ~ ~ r--a I~ --J~-- -ra ,,~4P~B
AYOR PMrs Lta5a donatiouo ~ -,l o a member o -
MAYO c PAY aor Arthur ase 9. Mayor rK
r' ,n's accepts. Mao' august
Mus glboard of trustees' t o>
Coulddn l Be Done,
p enA ug'2
l/.. I I I? l> Oi fno regelt ff
W |/ .L V -pubc On" oAugust 1"TO "Tors en,
S frc on dults an 75 cents of age ad-
-AD DtJhidth cb' dren u der 12 a wpanied by 8a
ewSSta done, but oe -rtted free oW1 St. Augus e
siey id tBo d, 66 st. Nal adut. ustl as a ti nte city corne
a mteespro t ed '^e. ng.o.. te ,,-,3 p col col on, s
rs ry :: ..... e n ai.. .na,.:7.=9. . r
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar
Hotel built by Henry Flagler in 1889. In 1947
Otto C. Lightner, of Chicago, owner of Lightner
Publishing Company and editor of "Hobbies"
magazine, purchased the hotel to house his vast
collections of art, antiques and artifacts. Mr.
Lightner gave the building and its contents to the
citizens of St. Augustine.
The Board of Trustees and the museum staff wish
to express their sincere appreciation to the vol-
unteer workers, the City of St. Augustine and the
local businessmen whose cooperation and help
made the reopening of the museum possible.
The Lightner Charter Volunteers
Mrs. Joan Beall
Mr. Philip Beall
Mrs. Ann Boccieri
Mr. Arthur Boccieri*
Mrs: Bertha Cahoon*
Mr. Bruce Cahoon*
Mrs. Ann Curtis
Mrs. Martha Jane Coonrod*
Mr. Ted Crom*
Mrs. Micki Duddington*
Miss Marci Duddington*
Mr. Merrill DeWhitt*
Mrs. Opal English
Mrs. Susan Graham
Mr. Ted Huffman*
Mrs. Alicia Harper
Mr. Robert Harper
Mrs. Gudrun Hall*
Mr. Robert Hall*
Mrs. Patti Hamilton
Mrs. Priscilla Johns*
Mrs. Jane lanec
Mrs. Mary lordon
Mr. Phillip Kinseyt
50 hours required
'over 100 hour,
Mrs. Jana Ledford
Mr. Tom Ledford
Mr. Fred Leeker*
Mrs. Jean Lynn
Mrs. Bernice Mahey*
Mrs. Marie Maisenhelder
Mr. Welton Maisenhelder
Mrs. Doris Oxford
Mrs. Linda Parker*
Mr. David Parker
Mrs. Lorraine Ridge*
Mrs. Jean Troemel*
Mrs. Phyllis Van Martert
Mr. William Van Martert
Mrs. Melanie Washabaugh
Dr. Richard Washabaugh
Mr. Ralph Warki
Mrs. Lucille Whitaker*
Mr. Harold Whitaker*
Mrs. Dottie Wester
Mr. Robert Wester
Mrs. Mary Kathryn Warner
Mr. Joseph Warner*
Mr. Robert Zienta
A surprised Maurine and Joe Boles accept a weekend vacation
and an assortment of wines, presented to them by Lightner
Volunteers and friends.
You are cordially invited to attend the
GALA CHAMPAGNE PREVIEW
of the newly renovated
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
featuring the Museum's permanent collection
and a special Loan Exhibition of paintings
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
S FRIDAY, AUGUST 9
EIGHT TO TWELVE P.M.
s DONATION $25 PER COUPLE DRESS OPTIONAL
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
9.d S. M d9., 4", Y f.& H
.",. --If y6a^ y. 1d/
Please present this Invitation at the door
-B he courtyard of the Alcazar Hotel
was a fairyland of twinkling lights and
champagne fountains. The original
carriage entrance in front of the
building was put into use again as the
guests arrived in horsedrawn surreys.
Lightner Volunteers were the honored guests and they
circulated among the visitors enjoying the
compliments for their labors. Many were heard to
remark that not since the "Flagler Era" had there
been such an elegant evening.
I I, I, I I
Arriving visitors prepare to "Enter
*." .1..^. .-.:
The Alcazar Courtyard Opening Night. Otto C. Lightner's Monument is located at the far left. In
the foreground is the "Bridge of Friendship", erected from stones sent to Lightner from many parts
of the nation.
It was an exciting moment for the Lightner
volunteers and staff when an express truck arrived
and began unloading wooden crates with the return
address of "The Metropolitan Museum of Art".
'One of the world's greatest museums was loaning 8
of it's finest 19th and early 20th century paintings to
Lightner Museum for the reopening.
Several months before anyone knew when or if
Lightner Museum would be able to reopen, an almost
timid request was sent to the Metropolitan Museum
concerning the possibility of obtaining a loan exhibit.
Thomas Hoving, Director of the "Met" and his
assistant John Buchanan were sympathetic to the
struggle taking place in St. Augustine and made
arrangements to provide a loan exhibit with the only
condition being that the Lightner Museum would
have to pay air freight charges to and from New
York. Mr. Ralph Wark, Lightner patron and
volunteer came forth and personally agreed to
underwrite the costs of the exhibit.
The paintings were placed in the outer lobby and
visitors could see works of art contemporary with the
Lightner building and collections.
Shown were, "The Ring", by John W. Alexander;
"Venus in Atrium", by William Dodge; "Yankee
Point, Monterey", by Howard Russell Butler;
"Monterey Cypresses", by Arthur Frank Mathews;
"A Scientific Discussion", by Louis Charles Moeller;
and "The Falls of Yosemite", by William Keith. All
of the paintings were done in oil on canvas and
remained on exhibit for 90 days.
1 I I -- -
ightner Museum can be entered from King Street through the central
courtyard or from entrances on Granada and Cordova Streets. A large
parking lot is located directly behind the building and sightseeing trains
make stops every fifteen minutes.
Today the courtyard and gardens have been restored and visitors are
free to visit them and study the architecture of the building. Offices of
StAugustine's City Government are located around the courtyard with the museum
entrance in the center.
Walking around the outside of the building the large rounded areas of the Casino can
be seen. These were the outer limits of the swimming pool. Careful observation of the
east side will reveal the outline of the passageway which once connected the Alcazar
with the Cordova Hotel.
From the estate of Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago came many things in
the Lightner Museum including this reproduction of an Italian
Renaissance style dower chest.
Museum Lobby and Entrance
This area was once part of the hotel dining room. The original architectural design
has been retained. This section is used to display some of the larger pieces of the
collection and is also used for the display of changing or loan exhibits.
Empire style marquetry desk said to have been the
property of Louis Napoleon. The desk has over 200
drawers constituting an elaborate filing cabinet. Used by
Otto C. Lightner in his private office.
Affectionately called "Sir Richard" by
museum visitors, this ornate clock was made
for the ancestral home of the Earl of Durham
in England. It tells the minute, hour, day,
month, year, moon phases and plays seven
songs; one for each day of the week. Made of
black English oad, the carving tells the story
of Dick Whittington and His Cat.
The large oval mirror depicts the creatures of the sea, the
birds of the air and the beasts of the fields. It was carved
by Grinling Gibbons, England's master wood carver,
around 1714. It is so large and heavy that it had to be
hung by cables to the steel wall reinforcements.
A replica of a commode made for the bedroom of
Louis XVI at Versailles in 1775. The oil painting of
the "Three Fates" hanging above the commode was
painted in the 19th century and is unsigned.
le~cp ~ ----le - - - ~----- -- -- rr '9 --,
C uCI--' -I-I _-I
llIr I I? -IC a III
The Natura[ Science
minerals, shells, fossils, Indian artifacts, a mounted lion that once belonged to Winston Churchill,
butterflies and shells with colors so bright they look painted and a Florida Swamp with birds and animals are
just a few of the exhibits in the Natural Science areas.Touch tables and displays that can be "felt" as well as
seen make this section popular with visitors.
n rzr .
ir A -
A young visitor finds that the carved wood bear is
really a friend.
One section of the outstanding exhibit of Plains Indian Art and Artifacts.
Also on display in this section is "Rota", the lion, which was given to Winston
Churchill in 1943 to commemorate his country's victories in North Africa.
Entrance to the "Mummy's Tomb" in which rests the 4,000 year old mummy
an Egyptian child.
residents enjoy feeling the texture
on one of the "touch" tables.
" . .
; -.1 ? ^^ '
"The Museum of Lighting"
The Clock Shop
---.' .. .
The Victorian Village is a chance to go
window shopping in a time capsule. The shops
display choice pieces of the manufacturers' and
handcrafters' arts of the late 1800's.
The Nautical Shop features a collection of
scrimshaw-- etched designs on whale bones and teeth
darkened with lamp black or India ink. Scrimshaw
is a native American art which began as the sailors
passed time for long hours at sea. of special interest
are the rare two-color pieces witn designs in red and
blue. Next door, the Tobacconist offers a varied
assortment of humidors. The cigar store Indian is a
Across the "street" is the Pink Fan, an elegant
shop for ladies. Here are exquisite satin gowns and
all the myriad underpinnings and accessories
necessary for the best-dressed list of 1890. Corsets,
for the painfully unnatural hour-glass figure,
high-buttoned shoes, beaded purses, and parasols--
all part of m'lady's toilette.
The village street leads past the Harness Shop
with its display of sleigh bells and harness brasses,
the Marshall Mercantile Co. featuring general
merchandise for the home, and the Camera Studio
where cameras and stereoscopes are exhibited.
Every one will find something amusing in the Toy
Shop. Youngsters will delight in the trains, games
and doll furniture that once delighted their
grandparents. The grandparents will enjoy seeing
their old playthings again.
Le Chapeau, across the way, displays a century of
hats. Turning the corner, the discriminating shopper
will be pleased with the array in the Jewelers'
window, be reminded at the Barber Shop that a shave
and a haircut used to be two-bits, and perhaps be
inspired to begin a collection of napkin rings after
seeing the fine examples in the Emporium.
The Haberdasher offers the dapper 19th century
gentleman the finest top hats, high collars and spats
in the village, and a wide selection of canes and
walking sticks to complete his costume. After being
outfitted head to toe, our natty gentleman might step
down the street to buy his sweetheart a valentine at
the Memories shop. Here, too, are displays of
"hairwork". These bouquets, garlands, pictures, etc.,
are prime examples of the extreme sentimentality of
the Victorians triggered by the deep mourning of
Queen Victoria for her beloved Albert.
The China Shop shows outstanding examples of
19th century ceramic art. Royal Doulton, Leeds,
Minton, Wedgwood, and Royal Worcester are a few
of the many fine pottery makers represented in the
After viewing the history of man's endeavors to
prolong the day in The Little Museum of Lighting,
the time traveller is ready to return to the 20th
century...or is he?
"The Toy Shop"
"The Pink Fan" a ladies shop.
he most popular place in the museum
could be called "Van Marter's Music
Shop," for Phyllis and William Van
Marter, Lightner Volunteers, have
completely restored all of the
instruments and keep them in constant
repair in order for today's visitors to hear the sounds
The Van Marters have donated thousands of hours S
of work, researching and repairing the complicated
mechanisms and refinishing the cases to their original
appearance. Visitors delight in the daily
demonstrations of the instruments, sometimes joining
into a "sing-along" with the Nickleodeon, or
spontaneously dancing to the tempo of the Street
'rf" ' --. ki\Ag
The early player organ [1868 to 1870] was made in the
U. S. by the Aeolian Organ Co. Pumped by two fool
pedals, its two-stage vacuum pneumatic system plays
20 reeds from a paper roll. The organ and the Violano
[below] are being restored for future display.
The Violano-Virtuoso,designated in 1901 by the U. S.
Patent Office as one of the eight wonders of the
decade, was made by the Mills Novelty Company of
This coin operated electro-mechanical instrument
uses a paper roll and features a symmetrical piano
played by means of electromagnets. This
accompanies a violin that is capable of playing all
four strings at the same time with natural vibrato. It
uses four rotary bows and 64 mechanical fingers.
The machine operates on 115 v. D. C. from a rotary
converter in the lower compartment.
Phyllis and William Van Marter are shown with the German Orchestrion and the Street Piano. Phyllis li't
top of the Orchestrion where mirrors installed by "Van" permit the visitors to watch the "action". !l.
Orchestrion was made by Imhof and Mukle in Vorenbach, Germany between 1874-76. It houses ;a -5 note pii
glockenspiel, three ranks of pipes, base drum, snare drum, and cymbal. Truly an orchestra in one c'ilinl.
Operating on a pressure pneumatic system it originally required someone to lurn a l;are hand cra nk hlut irn. o ii
electrified. A cardboard book is programmed for a particular song. As the book tracks over a kcylranc,. I'.li 'h
activates a note or instrument in the machine. Imported into New Yorek these instruments \\crc most olftt'l tl
in restaurants, beer halls and other public places.
To Phyllis's left is the Street Piano made in Philadelphia in 1894. These instruments wcre common si.oihts n
large cities at the turn of the century, where, loaded on two-wheel -ar'ts they were pushed through the streets anW
tunes were played for contributions from the crowd. It uses a large wooden cylinder which is pinned with 10 tune:,
Sometimes the Street Piano was mistakenly called a Hurdy-Gurdy.
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The Van Marters and more of their handiwork. From left, the Gem Roller
Organ, a miniature organ of 20 notes. Made by the Autophone Company of
Ithaca, New York in 1891, the organ uses a wood cylinder called a "cob"
which is pinned with the tune. Hundreds of thousands of these were sold at
$6.95 except for one year when they were featured by Sears Roebuck in their
catalog for $3.25. To Phyllis's left is the magnificent Regina Orchestral
Corona music box. Made by the Regina Music Box Company of. Rahway,
New Jersey and shipped from their factory August 28, 1903. The automatic
changing disc music box has a selection of 12 twenty-seven inch steel discs
which are stored on the "Toaster Rack". Selections are made by turning the
dial on the right. A commercial model of this instrument had a coin slot
and was the "jukebox" of it's day.
"Van" lifts the top of the cylinder Music Box, which was made in Geneva,
Switzerland by Samuel Troll about 1880. The cylinder is pinned with eight
tunes which play in succession. Over 9,723 teeth are on the cylinder powered
by two springs on the l,ft side of the box. The case is made of burl walnut, H TYPEMUSi-C BOX EVERMAUFACED.
inlaid with brass, mother of pearl and malachite.
To the far right is the Stella Grand disc music box. The "Stella" is REINA Msic B oo.. 0,1.O.
considered to be one of the finest disc music boxes. The movement was
made in Switzerland by the Mermod Brothers Company around 1900. It was
shipped into the United States and placed in the mahogany case. This
instrument plays a 17% inch tune sheet and has superb tonal quality. Jacot
Music Box Company of New York sold this instrument for around $125.00.
The Bath Area of the
Alcazar now houses the
Lightner Collections of
glass, porcelain, china,
Oriential Art and examp-
les of 19th century
decorative arts. Due to
the value and manner of
display children are not
allowed on the second or
third floor unless with an
adult or in conducted
At right is the porcelain
area where exhibits dating
from the 18th to the 20th
century are displayed.
Venetian glass chandeliers
one from the "house" of
Chicago's ill-famed Ever-
leigh sisters, flank the
goldplated center fixture
from the Buckingham
The Chickering grand
piano was made in 1873
and once belonged to
opera singer Amelita
Tbe Second floor
Porcelain ani Cbina
A portion of the Lightner stein display which includes
examples dating from the 17th to the 20th century.
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A display of Rose Medallion Porcelain made in the mid 1800's.
This set was brought from the Orient by a sea captain as a gift
to a Canadian convent. In later years the sisters sold the
porcelain to purchase something more "practical",
C4l4)and it was acquired by Lightner.
The Russian Malachite urn in the center of the picture is one of a set of four. The other
three are still in the Czar's Winter Palace in Leningrad. This urn was acquired by Mrs.
Potter Palmer at the close of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Two Russian
Porcelain urns circa 1840 can be seen in the background as well as examples of Royal
Vienna, Dresden and Meissen procelains.
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Tber Second FLoorr r
Fabulous Hall oJ Glass
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Figure of St. Augustine
executed in leaded glass.
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The leaded glass room
features examples of the
work of Louis Comfort
Tiffany. Displayed against a
black background all of the
colors and beauty can be
Portrait of a pensive young
woman done in thousands of
shaded glass fragments.
THE HALL OU ULASS
Over three hundred examples of Victorian Art Glass, Tiffany Glass and
American Brilliant Period Cut Crystal are displayed in this area.
Among the many "one of a kind" items is the cut crystal lamp in the
Flame pattern which was made for the Lightner Museum by the order
of Mr. Samuel Hawkes of the Hawkes Glass Company. It can be seen
at the far left of the photograph.
Mrs. C. M. Gazzolo of St. Augustine
stands beside the Tiffany "dragonfly"
lamp she donated to the museum in
A bronze Taoist diety of the
late Ming period, flanked by
porcelain Foo dogs and a
Japanese bronze tiger, pre-
sides over the Oriental
Collection where examples of
porcelain, ivory, bronze, cloi-
sonne, furniture and textiles
Portion of the crystal exhibit
A close-up of a portion of the crystal exhibit
7j~B~I ill I~e~i~L
The T ird Fdoor-A Collector's Deligot
The third floor of the Lightner Museum is a collector's delight. A variety .-.. i.
of exhibits are there to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Stamps, coins,
buttons, dolls, doll houses, textiles, pewter and unusual furniture to cite only
a few. Something for all interests. SI
The doll room displays dolls dating from the early 1800's to modern times.
In addition three doll houses are shown which are complete in every detail -
down to miniscule reading glasses. Also on display is the Alice Friar
Collection of characters from fairy tales, wearing elaborate hand beaded
costumes of satin and velvet. A Japanese doll that survived the atomic blast s t -- ,
and a set of miniature dolls from China are also of interest to collectors.
The Victorian parlor just like great grandma's with a potted palm, crochet table
cloth and lace doilies on the furniture. Wall paper, rug and upholstery are all in
a floral design and the room is filled with decorative items, some under glass
domes. A photograph album and a steroscope viewer provide the entertainment.
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A milliner's model from the early 1800's [on table] shares the spotlight
Charlie McCarthy, Poor Pitiful Pearl and the Dionne Quintuplets.
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If you ever wondered what the buttons were like on the uniforms of George
Washington's troops you can find the answer, for displayed on the third floor is
one of the largest collections of military buttons in the world. Another section of
the exhibit contains 19th century costume buttons in almost endless variety.
Antique bisque dolls, with human hair curls and some dressed in handtucked
garments are displayed on a red plush loveseat.
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A few examples of Rogers Statuary from the Lightner collection created in the
last half of the 19th century by John Rogers of New York. These groupings
represented history and stories from the American past. From left to right; "The
Elder's Daughter", "School Days", "The Council of War", "Taking the Oath,
and Drawing Rations" and "John Alden and Priscilla".
This textile display features handwoven coverlets,
samplers and patchwork quilts. The patchwork
quilts, an American art, include a "Flower Garden",
or "Mosaic" pattern example by Otto C. Lightner's
mother, in addition to a variety of other patterns. A
rhyme of yesterday warned young ladies, "At your
quilting maids don't delay. A maid who is quiltless
at twenty-one, never shall greet her bridal sun!"
Pattern glass compotes a "must" in every household
in the Victorian era. A epergne dated 1876 is in the
center of the exhibit flanked by two French bisque
The exhibit of fine handwork features delicate lace,
tatting, drawn thread work and crochet so perfectly
done it almost seems impossible.
The Lig tner Museum-1976
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
John D. Bailey, Chairman
David B. Parker, Vice-chairman,
Dr. Carleton I. Calkin
Arthur H. Runk
Mayor Edward Mussallem
Miss Pearl Ann Reeder
Miss Constance Wark
Mr. Ralph Wark
Mrs. C. M. Gazzolo
Joseph L. Boles, Director
Maurine M. Boles, Curator
Ralph H. Wark, Honorary Curator of Ceramics
Phyllis and William Van Marter,
Honorary Curators of
Mechanical Musical Instruments
Phyllis Van Marter, Museum Shop Chairman
Mary K. Warner
Volunteers from St. Johns County continue to work
dailyin the mueium and in their homes on special
projects. They serve regular shifts in the museum
shop and function as guides and guards on the
second and third floors. Many are also on call as
special tour guides for groups making reservations.
Lightner Volunteers can conduct tours in English,
Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Dutch, Turkish
and Russian but are only available by prior
The contributions of the volunteers have helped to
keep the admission charges, which are the museum's
sole support, at their original level. Discounts are
given to tour groups and to students.
In order to remain on the "active" list the
Volunteer must contribute a i
per year to the museum.
Mrs. Joan Beall
Mrs. Mary Lou Beverly
Mrs. Tiny Brittain
Mrs. Pat Conner
Mrs. Martha Jane Coonrod **
Mr. Ted Crom
Mrs. Sunny Dillhyon
Mrs. Miki Duddington **
Miss Marci Duddington **
Mrs. Virginia Edwards
Mrs. Eloise Faraone
Mrs. Nettie Fleming
Mrs. Susan Graham
Miss Louise Hammond
Mrs. Alice Jackson
Mrs. Priscilla Johns
Mr. Henry Johns **
Mr. Philip Kinsey **
Mrs. Chris Leeker
Mrs. Monterey Lloyd
Mrs. Marie Maisenhelder **
Mr. Welton Maisenhelder **
minimum of 60 hours'
Mr. Russell Mier **
Mr. Ronald Nutter
Mrs. Linda Parker
Mr. Bill Parrish
Mrs. Ginnie Purcell
Mrs. Jean Ramsey
Mrs. Linda Rowe
Mrs. Ann Sparks
Mrs. Emily Stringer D
Mrs. Barbro Tadlock a
Mrs. Barbara Talton
Mrs. Inge Verschuyl
Mrs. Phyllis Van Marter **
Mr. William Van Marter **
Mr. Ralph Wark **
Mrs. Mary K. Warner
Mr. Joseph Warner
Mrs. Dottie Wester **
Mr. Charles Westfall
Mrs. Lucille Whitaker ** b
Mr. Harold Whitaker
Mrs. Eleanor Yates
Lightner Volunteers, Mary K. Warner, left, and Barbro Tadlock, are shown staffing the Museum
Shop. The shop features reproductions of the museum collections and every effort is made to see that
the items offered to the public are of good quality and reasonably priced.
LIGHTNER MUSEUM BICENTENNIAL PROJECT
Lightner Museum Board of Trustee Chariman, John
D. Bailey, discusses the scrimshaw display with
exhibit designer, Joseph Boles, Jr.
lhe first anniversary ol the reopening
of the Lightner Museum was
celebrated by the opening of two new
exhibits and a preview party honoring
SI tthe Volunteers.
A special Bicentennial exhibit of drawings created
by a Kiowa Indian artist imprisoned in St. Augustine
in 1875 was presented. The exhibit designed by Dr.
Carleton Calkin contained a bust of the Indian,
Zotom, which was made for Lightner by the
Smithsonian from a life mask.
"Whalers and their Art," turned the museum
lobby into a New England whaling village as a
backdrop for one of the largest personal collections of
scrimshaw in the country, loaned to Lightner by Dr.
and Mrs. David K. Caldwell.
)r. Carleton I. Calkin, center, assisted by Maurine
nd Joseph Boles unpacks the bust of "Zotom"
rom the Smithsonian Institution.
Mrs. Eleanor Barnes
Mrs. Bette Epstein
vrs. Dorothy Blessing
Mrs. Mirielle Palmer
Mrs. Laura Swanson
**=over 1,000 hours
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This photograph shows the Casino as it looks
today. Museum materials are stored on both levels.
In the background can be seen the area in which
Lightner installed the huge pipe organ from his
Chicago home. This was to prove to be a great
disappointment for him for although the organ was in
playing condition when it left Chicago it had been so
carelessly packed that most of the lead pipes were
crushed on arrival in St. Augustine. Since Lightner
owned his own moving van and his own people did
the packing he had no recourse. Experts around the
country were consulted but all agreed that restoration
was impossible. The salvageable portions have been
placed in storage.
Renovation funds only covered the roof, sprinkler
system and emergency wiring for this portion of the
Alcazar. Plans have been made which will utilize the
upper level as additional museum display area and
the lower level will be used by the museum and the
community for antizue shows, meetings, concerts,
plays and other worthwhile community projects.
proceeds from Lightner Museum
admissions are used to provide
museum and cultural services for the
residents of St. Johns County. Adults
have enfoyed hobby shows, antique
exhibits, concerts and lectures
sponsored all or in part by Lightner Museum.
Volunteer instructors have conducted classes in the
museum on furniture refinishing, the cleaning of
paintings and antique restoration. Future plans will
include a series of, "Antique Identification Days,"
when panels of experts will be present to examine
and identify objects, a seminar on Oriental rugs and
trips to other Florida museums.
Children's programs have been most successful and
are offered free of charge so that everyone can
participate on a "first come" basis. This year's
program included a journalism class conducted by
Mrs. Mary Lou Beverly. Boys and girls ages 6-13
wrote, edited and produced their own newspaper,
"200 Years of Kids."
Over 200 children participated in the field trips to
places such as a fire tower, the Jacksonville
Children's Museum, Marineland, Fort Matanzas, the
Sheriffs Department and a look at the production of
the local newspaper, "The St. Augustine Record."
Carpentry classes proved to be a favorite of the boys
under 12 and teenagers enjoyed the class on denim
art and the night trip to the "Kosmic Koncert," in
A very successful poetry workshop was conducted
by Dr. William Howard Cohea and the children
enjoyed a class series on the growing of live plants
conducted by Mr. Bill Parrish. Fun for children and
parents were the two Saturday sessions which took
ordinary children and made them into clowns for an
afternoon. It is hoped interest will continue and
Lightner can have it's own clown unit featured in
Projected plans are for more special programs, with
workshops and field trips. In cooperation with the
Drama Department of Flagler College the museum
will sponsor a "Children's Theater," with two plays
being produced each year under the direction of
Flagler students. These plays will be presented in the
area schools and in the Government House Theater.
Stacey Barnes graces the cover of "200 Years of Kids'
the special Bicentennial project for local youngsters.
A little time, a lot of patience and globs of make-up
and ordinary boys and girls emerge from the "Clown
Bill arrish instructs his students on just what it
takes to have a "green thumb" during the live plant
Compiled and edited by
Maurine M. Boles, Linda Center and Susan Douglas
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