All know I sometimes get out of hand with the blog. Sometimes I have added music and movies for genealogy to the blogs. And sometimes I have added info about other websites and companies and places to visit and sometimes just flat out travel guide of where to stay and what to do while researching and knocking around. From the local cemeteries, if applicable, to shopping and accommodations, vacations with a mission are always wonderful.
The phrase, “its not what you know, its who you know” has, for me, had an unpleasant connotation at times, but when the who you meet and get to know, are just wonderful folks, and so many of them, we have to send a big shout out to folks in southern Florida’s Palm Beaches. All research is the same hope that you will find town offices and libraries and the people who write their history, make them operate, dress them and grace them. And, that they will have time for you and your often short and whirl-wind visit.
We have researched in multiple states and multiple countries and we know full well finding these offices and peoples over any holidays is slim to none but we were lucky. We knew some people who knew lots of great folks, more than we could fit in the two-week trip.
So this is the upbeat and truly wonderful account – the – had-the-time-of our-lives account of a great trip of taking the train to the Palm Beaches – the Lake Worth Beach of the Palm Beaches to be precise, and all around from there.
Our mission was to stand where, breathe where the relatives lived and played and also had some of the poopiest days of their lives. R Sherman Kidd and his wife Flora Lillie, known as Auntie Fola to some. Sherman and Flora arrived in the Palm Beaches in 1920 as the next big building boom was just hitting and the moneyed people wanted gilt and they had it. The disparages in life would have been daunting and being the wife of a celebrated mural artist one day, and then with the artist committed in 1937, being the maid in the home of a small family by 1940. The story is Flora’s as much as Sherman’s and she also dabbled in art although I don’t know any of her work survives. She gave talks and lectures for the art league and many women’s groups and I always credit the great great nieces of Flora’s sister(s) for great research – I have messaged – can I use your names? – initials?
Wilson Mizner is credited with saying:
“Be nice to people on the way up, you will see them on the way down.”
For goodness sake make reservations way ahead for choice places and types of accommodations. The best fill up and there is nothing worse than disappointing moves due to availability.
For the train – must do the full bedroom – at our age the roomette for our return was snug and I cannot imagine coach for the senior with some special needs. Both the bedroom and the roomette have in-room toilets but only the bedroom has the shower in-room.
The Silver Meteor – the staff are the most wonderful of anywhere for making a memorable trip – down and back everyone was just great. Lovely service for the sleeping car and dining car. Next time we must do the car train. That is what I get for booking online without their wonderful advice for help – maybe we would have taken the car train instead. The only glitch came the day of the trip when I phoned and the lady I did speak to in calling Amtrak the day of our trip when a lady on the phone didn’t know we could get Red Cap help with our luggage. We learned about them only after lugging a ton of bags from the car to the station, in two trips.
Meals are included with the rooms, and at least for this line, for the time being, the dining car has service with tablecloths. A nice menu for breakfast lunch and dinner and with desserts. Beverages are added but everyone gets soft drinks. The passengers from coach can order meals and the prices are about standard. 15 20 30.
Along the route the train passed a CSX freighter
But nothing to compare to the gilded age that brought Sherman and Flora to south Florida; even then, few would have enjoyed or even glimpsed the opulence the rich and famous of the age were living.
See the remnants of Mark Twain’s The Gilded Age in south Florida’s Lake Worth and The Palm Beaches.
But the artists, the musicians, the builders, the nannies, the support system of money and the entertainment for money flocked to the south and were counted if they survived.
In 1924, Sherman and Flora took a European tour where he spent some time in Seville, Spain – painting his wonderful Spanish Armada. This March 4th 1925 newspaper article notes how the painting finally arrived.
The stories say they were staying at a monastery overlooking Seville – this was as close to googling info I have come on seeing places – these i think are all convents – but they might know where the others are.
In 1930 Sherman’s mural The Spanish Armada was exhibited at Whitehall in the Music Room, the newspaper article reads. It adds he was on hand for talks.
The home Henry Flagler built for his 3rd ?? wife, became for a time in the mid 1920s part of a newly built hotel “high-rise” of a few stories named Whitehall. The amazing architect Addison Mizner, who our Sherman collaborated with on many occasions, was the builder for some 1925 additions. Sherman had worked on the famous Cosden house, on Mizner’s Miami Administration Building, for the Barstows, Huttons, Thomas, Austins, and Pauls for a few documented owners’ names. But the draw for everybody — whether bringing the money or wanting to make some — was the paradise of the beautiful scenery and weather.
A picture is worth a thousand words and Flagler’s private railcar hints at the experience for the very wealthy in the Gilded Age.
So by 1930 Sherman and Flora were in the Music Room of Whitehall. However that was defined at the time. If the same now as then then these photos show a music room and also Flagler’s private train car. If you want to have a quick view of just what it was all about in the 1920s, the now Flagler Museum, aka Whitehall is a must to visit.
The Music room at Flagler/Whitehall was named as the space where Sherman’s Spanish Armada was exhibited. If the same now as then you enter the space from the left side of the foyer and pass back through the music room and out the rear hallway which would have led back to the newly built hotel and the Dining Pavilion built by Mizner with his signature Spanish Tiles along the floor and the wrought iron, open decor.
The highlight of the tour list is seeing in person the R Sherman Kidd aka R Sherman Winton mural The Spanish Armada – it is five years shy of being one hundred years old, six shy of completion. And it still is enjoyed at the Lake Worth Library today.
The first night there we ate at Benny’s on the Beach, across the street from our rooms. It is right on the Atlantic, on Lake Worth Beach on South Palm Beach. This first night there was a storm that had triggered tornadoes on the west shore near Naples and brought these amazing dark storm clouds in for the waterfront view.
The food was amazing but we do not have a photo of the dishes. I had Fried Green Tomatoes with a baked cheese – oh yum – I would have liked to take an encore on our dinner.
When we can find them we like suites. A kitchen and lots of room and this time a kitchen and a room with a view.
Palm Beach Waterfront Suites – tell them Cherie Lynn sent you! (Then you will have to tell them who Cherie Lynn is…)
Almost all the tourist spots sell picture books and story books about local history but the top shopping on my list is the used book stores. I do love the new book stores and we give them business always – maps are needed and daily newspapers and now tea and coffee and wi-fi if they have it – but finding a good used book store is the dream of folks like me. There is a rare book store on Worth but they did not have any local history that I was told about – at any price.
But The Book Exchange on Northlake Blvd. has it all! Well organized and lots of stock of all things local history, biography, art, architecture, everything else and great service too – a real book store! There were the usual array of thrift stores but books are not sorted – so depending on how much time you have to find what books you want The Book Exchange And Comic Shop is the place to go.
Next stop the UPS Shipping Store on Lake Ave in Lake Worth to ship the great new-to-us books and the Carved Carabao (Kalabaw) Horns!
All the great folks at the store took very good care of us – Anthony – Marie-Claire – Jose and even names I don’t know! Flying or even driving or taking the train – the shopping can be limited because you don’t want to fuss with getting things home – but allow time to find the local shipping store and then shop for something you might love. The crew at the UPS Shipping store took great care of us and great care of our horns which arrived perfect! Thank you all!
Then must eat – we were famished and we were not disappointed in the recommended
Hachi Restaurant, (561) 582-5800 | 809 Lake Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33460, USA
delicious and nice portions
We know from several articles about Sherman and Flora they were members at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church. All of them lived through the 1928 hurricane and I don’t know but might learn how badly their street and studio was hit. I believe the addresses have probably changed since then so the address I have may not be the right house. But I still have this as an important question to answer and hope to know much more about that home.
They lived in the same place for 17 years about – and soon after his 1937 committal, an O’Neal family is living at Sherman and Flora’s old address.
But the St Andrew’s church is where it has been since it was re-built after the 1928 hurricane and as some say (WB – I hope to quote him with permission…) the interior is much like a ship. The beautiful interior of lovely wood and the exterior like the Spanish Mission style of the time.
In 1931 a special service was held at the church to dedicate the altar just painted by Sherman Winton aka Kidd after the rebuilding and the altar is in the memory of Flora’s parents from Scotland — George and Catherine Harriett Amabilino Lillie. Our trip was over Christmas so we had the wonderful time of Christmas Eve Services at St Andrews
Christmas Day the Old Key Lime House opened at 4PM It was close and fun
We had to visit the Old Key Lime House as we have a Key Lime Pie gourmet shop near us at home. The Florida pie had an exceptional crust – a different crust than Maryland’s, but for pie innards Solomon’s Island’s Kim’s Key Lime Pie has all folks beat. More on the Southern Maryland blog.
But the Old Key Lime House deserves highest marks with no one coming up near behind and the cream topping is yum. Dai must talk about his own dinner one day (he says you have to try the lime-based sauce on the Snapper) and I had the Shrimp stuffed with crabmeat. The view out on the water through the busy waterfront eatery is nice – so do this during the day when you can see it.
Asking about Sherman and enjoying the local artists at the downtown studio.
Lake Worth Art League
Lake Worth Art League | 604 Lucerne Avenue | www.lwartleague.org | Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm | Free | 561.586.8666
Flamingo Clay Studio – See the work at the Art League shop on Lucerne or go and learn your self with Joyce Greenberg Brown and the many artists at
FlamingoClayStudio.org – And – Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery
15 South J Street – Lake Worth – FL 33460 http://cgms.flamingoclaystudio.org/
Follow their page on Facebook and keep up with all that is happening.
Okeeheelee Golf Course
Why go to Palm Beach if you aren’t going to enjoy the outdoors and a bit of golf at the Okeeheelee Golf Course? As the photographer/golf cart driver, I did not hold up play on the course. The birds, iguanas and golfers kept me busy with lots to photograph.
The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in Lake Worth
601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460
Phone: (561) 471-2901 Fax: (561) 687-9484
Public Hours: Tuesday – Saturday | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday
Different and exciting artists using nature – Rene Gibson
We ate at Howley’s Diner! before we left the south beaches and the meals were wonderful exactly what it says – diner food and it was great diner food – and dishes from all over the country – everything from deviled eggs to fried Okra, Grits and everything else a 1/2 southern girl might like – need the Dai’s opinions – soonest (he says the turkey pot pie was great).
– plus on our return visit we had a wonderful time with our annual anniversary 30-second dance. Catch the silly seniors on YouTube at the Cherie Lynn Channel
4700 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405-2929 – (561) 833-5691
The Lake Worth Herald
Reading the local paper everywhere is a must and this one is very special. The Lake Worth Herald is a must to support.
Rejoice in embracing the past. To save the future in the present, support local newspapers – be part of them!
The Lake Worth Herald
South Palm Beach’s Lake Worth Beach
The Lake Worth Beach is across the street from our accommodation which is on the Inter Coastal.
We turned in the Enterprise Rental car on Belvedere Road and Max was so wonderful to help us.
The Marriott picked us up from the car dropoff and we stayed at their hotel just blocks from the West Palm Beach train station. They got us to the train on time and the staff, from Mary at the front desk to the driver who took us to the station, were all just wonderful.
The official anniversary dinner was at the Marriott; the food was wonderful and Chef Rolando added flavorful touches to old favorites
Henry Flagler built the train station in West Palm Beach that still stands today. The north-south trains still carry the people from New York City to Miami – every day. We boarded in West Palm Beach and the Silver Meteor took us home to Washington, D. C.
For the journey home I decided to try the roomette – let’s just say even two roomettes wouldn’t really do it for me. At least with the bedroom going south, the bed was wide enough for the senior to stay on it. For the smaller bed coming home I felt as if I might splat onto the floor the bed was so narrow.
A couple of these dining car photos are from the trip down – I believe the cars can vary a bit from train to train and service to service. There is also a cafe lounge car where you can purchase box lunches and spirits and snacks. You can also purchase until they run out – ear buds – for your devices otherwise they are all sound off. In the end a great Samaritan helped us out when the cafe was sold out but we were not able to make the wi-fi bring anything in to watch in the sleeping car.
Consultants: PLEASE let me proudly add YOUR full name and story to this list and not just initials – or stay anonymous, you tell me. You KNOW who you are! I want you to be part of the story, but you tell me –
The sagas of Sherman book two
Sending updates to the Library of Congress again! Let’s type an ending soon.
In between blog two see the index for more…!