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 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

 

 

The Shopkeeper

As I was looking through the past issues of The Historian newsletter, I came across a photo that I found fascinating. Sometimes a photo can truly show us how much the world has changed. The photo depicts Terrance Ward in his small grocery store. If you look carefully, there is much detail in the picture, and a few mysteries! What is hanging on the post in the middle of the picture – bananas? On the back shelf we see some good old-fashioned galvanized wash tubs and several neat rows of canned goods. On the counter to the right we see a scale and more stacked cans, and several open bins with produce. Near Mr. Ward’s feet we see some open crates with what look like apples.

What other details do you see?

Terry Ward in his grocery store.

Terry Ward in his grocery store.