The Boynton Hotel’s Magical Water

When I was collecting information on Major Nathan S. Boynton’s hotel on the beach, I found many old ads  for the hotel in The Tropical Sun and the Miami Metropolis, the area’s first newspapers. One of the peculiar findings was the hotel’s seemingly “magical” water for curing all sort of ailments. The ad states that the water is “unsurpassed,” a “certain cure for all kidney troubles.” It was even analyzed by a state chemist! Of course having healthful water with curative properties was a ploy used by many hotels of the time, especially in Europe.  A.E. Parker, the hotel’s manager, was originally from England and may have gotten the idea from growing up across the pond.  Maybe Boynton Beach should be bottling its special water.


The Other Mar Lago Beach Club

Did you know Boynton Beach once boasted its own Mar Lago Beach Club? Much smaller and less opulent than the 1927 Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago Estate owned by Marjorie Meriwether Post (then Mrs. E.F. Hutton), the Boynton Beach Mar Lago Beach Club owned by Martha and Leon Robbins from Cleveland, Ohio opened in 1932. mar lago club boynton beach for blog

Situated directly south of the South Palm Beach County (Boynton) Inlet, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway (then called Lake Worth), the five-room hotel and adjacent cottage was staffed by a cook and a housekeeper.

The hotel had an upstairs lounge called the Miramar. During World War II, the Coast Guard used the second floor as a lookout point. The hotel was torn down in 1974 to build the county’s Ocean Inlet Park.

Mar Lago is Latin for “sea to lake.”

The Surveyor – Part 1

The year is 1871, and one of the most important surveyors in Florida history has a new contract from the Federal government, to survey all the land between Miami and St. Lucie

Marcellus A. Williams

Marcellus A. Williams

– that last frontier of America called South Florida. Marcellus A. Williams was born in North Carolina in 1818, and lived with his wife and nine children on Amelia Island. This story is so good that I’m going to write it as a “serial” story over the next few weeks, so that you will read glimpses from some of the first people who set eyes on this unspoiled paradise.
Stay Tuned!

Marcellus Williams' house on Amelia Island in the Fernandina Beach Historic District. Courtesy Florida Memory.

Marcellus Williams’ house on Amelia Island in the Fernandina Beach Historic District. Courtesy Florida Memory.

1912 Death Certificate - Marcellus Williams

1912 Death Certificate – Marcellus Williams

The first boom – and the first bust

This promotional post card from the 1920s advertised Boynton’s first big “boom time” development – Lake Boynton Estates. Its original plat is four pages, and the development would have spanned the area from Boynton Beach Boulevard to Woolbright, just west of the Seaboard Coastline railroad tracks. Speculators built a few houses in the 1920s, only three of which survive to this day. Only one side of the original three sets of gates survives, on the east side next to the railroad tracks. The ones depicted in the postcard were at the Boynton Beach Boulevard intersection, then called Lake Street. Later the lots were sold and houses are still being built in the area on lots that were never developed.

Lake Boynton Estates

Lake Boynton Estates


Remaining gate at Lake Boynton Estates

Remaining gate at Lake Boynton Estates



School’s out!

With today being Palm Beach County’s last day of school, we bring you this wonderful old photo of some students who attended the Boynton High School in its last year of being used as a high school. We see the shadow of the coconut palm, the great 1940s era car, and smiling students! The last day of school was as joyful then as it is now.

Who can identify the make and model of the car?

Boynton High School - 1949

Boynton High School – 1949