Greetings from Hollywood in Florida 1930s Schaaf

Greetings from Hollywood in Florida 1930s. Postcard

Beginning in 1935, August 4th has been a date celebrated in Hollywood as Founder’s Day to honor the birthday of Joseph Wesley Young, Jr., founder of the city. As I have written about Founder’s Day before, this time I’ll narrow down to some of the beginnings of both Young and his city.  But before that, let me also mention Young’s beloved wife Jessie Fay Cook, who was born in July, 1877 in Wisconsin.

Joseph Young was probably born in Seattle, in 1882. As I discuss in my biography of Young,* there is no written document of his birth. Probably it was noted in a family Bible, but as Joseph was one of seven children, any such family document may have gone with one of his sisters. There is no state record for the simple reason that in 1882, Washington was not yet a state. The Territory of Washington was an incorporated territory of the U.S. from 1853 to November, 1889, when the State of Washington was admitted to the union. Joseph Young, Jr.’s presence first appears on an official record in the 1892 census, at age ten.

Among major events in Washington Territory around the time of Young’s birth was the arrival of the Northern Pacific railroad at Puget Sound in May, 1888, linking the Seattle area to the eastern U.S. Later, as a developer, Young made certain that all his properties had easy access to good transportation.

And one more event during Young’s youth in the Pacific Northwest, was the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1898 apparently Joseph Sr. and 16-year-old Jr. did give gold prospecting a try. They didn’t strike gold, and by 1900 Jr. had moved on to California.


Young Comes to Florida. Moving forward now to the Florida portion of J. W. Young’s life. He first came to Florida in January, 1920, with his wife Jessie and business partner Ed Whitson. Young was following the lead of millionaire entrepreneur showman, Carl Fisher, and others who were bitten by the urge to create beautiful tropical paradises. Looking around the Miami area, Young’s first step toward acquiring his dream site was to buy five commercial lots in Allapattah solely to develop then sell them, raising the cash he would use to buy his perfect site. In the summer of 1920 he returned alone and found his site, between two little farm towns in Broward County, Dania and Hallandale.

In 1920 Joseph W. Young bought a square mile of undeveloped Florida land, high, dry ground that was chiefly covered with palmetto and jack pines. Snapshot from the Estate of Tony Mickelson

In 1920 Joseph W. Young bought a square mile of undeveloped Florida land, high, dry ground that was chiefly covered with palmetto and jack pines.
Snapshot from the Estate of Tony Mickelson

Young envisions a city. Now I will try to show how visionary Young was in creating his beautiful city.  After seeing the undeveloped bit of scrub land, Young hurried back to his Indianapolis office with sketches he had made for the city plan.

Map detail, 1923 showing Broad Walk

Map detail, 1923 showing Broad Walk

At right is the engineer’s drawing of the beginning of Hollywood’s city plan, made from Young’s sketches, according to several who were close to Young in 1920. Quoting them in her book, Virginia TenEick says Young described his ideas: a wide boulevard extending from the ocean to the edge of the Everglades. Centrally located will be the business section. On each side of the [eventual] boulevard and opening into the canal [then the Inland Waterway] we will create two lakes, each with a turning basin for yachts. Material dredged from the lakes will be the fill to elevate the lowland then occupied by mangrove. We must plan large park areas and locations for schools and churches. A golf course, a large clubhouse or community building. This will be a city for everyone, from the opulent at the top of the industrial and society ladders to the most humble of working people.

JWY 1920 3027 Washington Blvd. Indianap.

3027 Washington Blvd. Indianapolis

Young’s own background would put him in the “working people” category.

He and Jessie moved every year from 1919 to 1925. This was their home in Indianapolis in 1920, a nice middle-class home for a family with three school boys. J. W. Young would soon thereafter become a millionaire.

To grasp the genius of Young’s vision, go back to the 1923 plat, above. The horizontal dark line near the center represents the two north-south arteries through the property, the FEC railroad and the Dixie Highway. (U.S. 1 was not in Hollywood before 1930.)  Find the golf course, the open rectangle near center right. From its bottom edge (today’s 14th Avenue) up to the top of the plat was dry ground. From today’s 14th to 11th Avenues was tidal. The rest was simply watery marsh, to the Inland Waterway, and across to the totally empty beach barrier island.

Note that Young said he would “create the two lakes.” He meant just that. No lakes existed when he bought the land. Here are some photos to try to suggest the effort it took–and the vision–for Young to create his city from the property he had acquired.

First, here is where Young had his surveyors begin to lay out his city. This is my father, Tony Mickelson, head of Young’s surveying party, standing in the underbrush where Young planned that his wide boulevard would cross the Dixie Highway and the FEC railroad tracks. Mickelson looks west (where the tracks are), with his back to the east. This photo, taken in May, 1921, was published in the August, 1922 Hollywood Reporter.

Hollywood begins. Tony Mickelson at the site of the Boulevard overlooking the Dixie Highway. Published May, 1921. Collection Joan Mickelson

Hollywood begins. Tony Mickelson at the site of the Boulevard overlooking the Dixie Highway. Published May, 1921. Collection Joan Mickelson

Below is the same site just three years later, looking to the east from the railroad tracks down the Boulevard now lined with stores.

scan 101.tif

At left, downtown Hollywood in 1925.

Now, look again at the plat for early Hollywood (drawn by engineer Frank Dickey)

My father, who knew every inch of the land in early Hollywood, described it in a later interview:  The elevation of the present Federal Highway (18th Avenue) was 10 feet, he said, with a gradual eastward slope to 14th Avenue. It was tidal from there [to 11th] and the rest was pretty much under water. The survey had to be accurate to insure proper drainage.  The highest point was at the railroad tracks, 12 feet above sea level.

Disk 6 county 2 033This aerial from April 1924 by Clyde Elliott shows what Young’s engineers were working with. Hollywood Boulevard begins just about center left and goes diagonally to the top. The dark horizontal line is the railroad and Dixie Highway. At upper right, the glare is from the watery East Marsh where the engineers were creating North and South Lake. The last road along the upper left is Johnson Street.

When Young bought the property, the future Johnson Street was a dirt track used by Dania farmers in their tomato fields. Young needed to create a road on this track to the canal (Inland Waterway) and cross from there to the beach island.

Dredge building up Johnson Street. 1922. ACM estate

Dredge building up Johnson Street. 1922. ACM estate

So by digging a channel alongside the track, his men were able to float a dredge along it, digging up rock to build up the roadbed for Johnson Street. I don’t know who the man is, standing on the dredge.

Central section, 4 24  Here is another of Clyde Elliott’s aerial views from April, 1924. This looks east from directly over Hollywood Boulevard. Along the bottom run the Dixie Highway and FEC tracks. Circle Park (today’s Young Circle) is at the center, and the still-draining Lakes section is along the top. Harrison and Tyler Streets, nearly as wide as the Boulevard, have been rock-surfaced, as have some other streets, and buildings appear.

West of the Dixie Highway. In August of 1922 my father, Tony Mickelson, who knew where the best ground was, purchased two lots in the newly-formed Little Ranches, at what would be 2301 Polk Street. I believe he said that land there is 14 feet above sea level. As each lot was a half-acre, that gave him a full acre, and that’s where I grew up,100_3452

running free over the sandspurs, also periwinkles, lantana, and other flowers that grew wild in the empty lots and sheltered little rabbits and mice, and the occasional gopher tortoise.

This image is a continuation of the above view, showing the west side of the Dixie Highway, the area Young called the Little Ranches. The Boulevard is the wide white strip at left, and the Australian pines run along the FEC tracks.  (They were apparently planted in 1915 by the Miami Woman’s Club.)

My father’s notes continue:   From the FEC tracks westward to 28th Avenue were the Little Ranches. Then from 28th Avenue to the

3rd circle, just laid out.

3rd circle, just laid out. April, 1924 Clyde Elliott

Seaboard tracks [now Tri-rail and Amtrak]  and beyond was all swamp, called the West Marsh. In the photo, left, note that the streets all end at the same place, 28th Avenue, where the marsh began. The Seaboard railroad wasn’t put in until 1926. Mickelson continued: the area was sometimes dry enough to grow tomatoes. From the present Orange Brook Golf Course north to the present Dania Cutoff Canal [C-10] was all swampy. So, to build a golf course [which later became Orange  Brook [the dark patch at center right] a canal was dug, at Young’s expense, from

C-10 Canal

C-10 Canal

there to the Cutoff Canal.Source of C-10 at OB Golf 2004

Here is the C-10 Canal today, taken from the Johnson Street bridge crossing.

Below is its source in the Orange Brook Golf Course, where a fresh-water spring rises above ground. It first created the West Marsh, and today it’s the source for the C-10 canal.

More about the Little Ranches area.

Riley Walter, another early pioneer who bought property in the Little Ranches, in a later interview described that part of Hollywood around 1922. He said that pineapples were grown in today’s City Hall Circle and surrounding area. Turpentine mangoes grew in the Polk-Taylor area, around 23rd Avenue.  The site of the Orange Brook Golf Course was an abandoned farm, with an old barn still there in the early 1920s. And at 24th Avenue and Johnson Street, south side,there was a frame house where Young Company black laborers lived in 1922-23.

Young Landscapes His City to the East. Hollywood west of the Dixie Highway was allowed to grow more or less as it pleased after some palmetto was cleared, but east of the Dixie Young had the land cleared right down to the dirt, so that he could landscape it. He hired a professional horticulturalist, Charles Olson, from Rochester, New York, to grow and design beautiful plantings.

greenhouseHere is the slat house, or greenhouse, where Olson planted seedlings and cuttings, of coconut and royal palms, pithecolobium and eucalyptus trees, hibiscus, pandanus, ixora, poinsettias, oleanders, bougainvillea, crotons, and numerous other plants, up to 100 varieties.

Young had Olson design plantings for the Circle, Golf Course, and along the sidewalks in the Central (Parkside) and Lakes Sections. Another reason for Hollywood’s lush garden look today.

More about August activities. On the beach, in the summer of 1923, Young began to extend his Broadwalk south from Johnson Street down to Washington Street. When the Broadwalk was begun, it ran north from Johnson to about today’s Sheridan Street, according to aerial views of the beach.

Tent City begins. Also in August, 1923, Young began planning Tent City, or Beach City, a “resort under canvas” to accommodate the huge throngs flocking to Hollywood, who wanted to stay on the beach before the Beach Hotel was built. IMG_0768

Young got the idea from similar tent colonies in Catalina, CA. They weren’t actually tents, but frame cabins with floors and canvas roofs, with electricity, running water, and maid service.  They varied from two to four rooms, over 100 cabins by 1925. In this view, taken from the east by Bobby Yale, South Lake can be seen in the distance (center right).

Disk 5 county one 035

The entire “city” was laid out in rows like streets. As the brochure, left, indicates, visitors were provided with a cafeteria (bottom right) and a lounge and library (bottom left).

Needless to say, Beach City did not survive the 1926 storm surge.

On August 3, 1923, President Warren Harding died during a visit to Seattle, and Calvin Coolidge became president.Reporter, Sept. 1923 p. 15

This was of special interest to Hollywood because only that previous March the president came for golf and lunch at the Hollywood/Park View Hotel, where he was apparently greeted by Young’s entire sales force. A tall man, here he is at the center of the photo. Upon his death, Young’s company changed the name of Circle Park to Harding Circle.           

FEC Station under construction, Dec. 1923

FEC Station under construction, Dec. 1923

On August 20, 1924 a train on the Florida East Coast line made its first passenger stop in Hollywood, after Young had a beautiful and expansive station built to receive passengers.

Once completed, this Mission Revival style building was considered the most beautiful railway station along Florida’s east coast.

A Visitor Describes One of Young’s Sales Methods, Excursions.

In August, 1925 a W. A. Smith of Fort Lauderdale was toured around Hollywood then wrote about it. Like many others Smith was impressed by “this mammoth development,” and the magnitude of one of Florida’s largest real estate projects. He noted that every day some 350 people were brought to Florida on Hollywood excursions, coming by boat from New York and by special trains from other sections of the country. In Hollywood, he said, they were selling not only property but Florida good will.

Feb. 1924, Reporter. Jacksonville & White bus. p. 18

Feb. 1924, Reporter. Jacksonville & White bus. p. 18

From Jacksonville, Smith went on, special buses brought people down via the Dixie Highway.  Photo at right, from Young’s Hollywood Reporter, shows passengers boarding one of Young’s 70 White buses in Jacksonville, under a sign that reads “Hollywood.”

Smith continued that once there passengers from the north were put up at the Great Southern Hotel, the Park View Hotel, and two hotels in Miami (Young couldn’t build hotels fast enough for all the visitors).Disk 5 county one 007

Here is the Park View Hotel with several tour buses lined up in front of it. It was just a short walk across Circle Park to the Great Southern Hotel.

Some were brought from Miami Beach by boat up the Inland Waterway, to be met by Canal, sightseers from Miami on Southland, May 24, 31 billsalesmen in plus-fours.

Incidentally, this is one of my favorite photos, showing well-dressed tourists arriving in what appears to be an area of near-desolation, where salesmen hope they will buy property. Of course the beach was to the left, and the growing city down the Boulevard to the left, and apparently many such visitors did make purchases.

houses under construction. Tony's picFor what they might have seen would be street scenes such as this, around Monroe Street and 16th Avenue, with rows of well-designed houses on rock-covered streets with sidewalks, and little palm trees planted in the verge.

Landmark Woman’s Club. Finally, one more August event, and a landmark today. In August, 1927 the Hollywood Woman’s Club opened its clubhouse, built on land donated by J. W. Young.

Woman's Club HHS using grey scale

Woman’s Club 1927

Club President at the time of dedication was Mrs. Oliver (Mae) Behymer. Designed by architect Frederic A. Eskridge, the clubhouse is now on the National Register of Historic Places.


Hollywood Is a “Paradise Planned.” My title this month comes from the grand thousand-page tome by Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove, Paradise Planned. The Garden Suburb and the Modern City.  To my great pleasure, Hollywood is included among beautiful cities from around the world, with a reproduction of Young’s elegant city plan, several photos, and a half-page of text.


Unless otherwise identified, all images are courtesy of the Hollywood Historical Society. If you borrow these images for your own use, please credit the Hollywood Historical Society–and any other credits seen below the image.  Thank you.

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I’ve been asked when J. W. Young started calling his city “Hollywood By-the-Sea.” The answer seems to be as soon as he began to publicize his new city. At the time of the first purchases of land in 1920, the available documents show Young named his city as “Hollywood,” which was property owned by the Hollywood Land & Water Company.

What Hollywood, FL looked like in 1920, just palmetto and pines.

What Hollywood, FL looked like in 1920, just palmetto and pines.

At that time the “city” consisted of dry scrub land on either side of the Dixie Highway/FEC railroad tracks.

Dixie Hwy and FEC tracks, looking north, 1922 before April

Dixie Hwy and FEC tracks, looking north, 1922 before April

1921 scenery 6Clearing the land continued through 1920, then the first street, Hollywood Boulevard, and the first 10-acre circle were surveyed beginning in May, 1921.

Certainly by July, 1922 Young’s company newsletter, The Hollywood Reporter, used “Hollywood by-the-Sea Florida” as its subhead. 

Reporter V. 1 No. 2 (No. 1 has not been located) April 15, 1922

Reporter V. 1 No. 2 (No. 1 has not been located) April 15, 1922

This continued throughout the life of the Reporter. Meanwhile, “Hollywood By-the-Sea” was used in the company’s extensive advertising blitz, from ads in the Tallahassee Daily Democrat of December 15, 1921, to a July, 1922 brochure “Facts about Miami and Hollywood-By-the-Sea Florida.”

The January 15, 1923 Reporter indicates that the recently-formed Chamber was named the “Hollywood-by-the-Sea Chamber of Commerce.” Later, a 1927 brochure published by JW Young Properties Inc. used the address Hollywood-by-the-Sea, Florida, with offices in New York at 535 Fifth Avenue and in Chicago at 180 North Michigan Avenue.
One possible source for this pleasing description may have been a 1920 campaign to change the name of Miami Beach to “Miami by the Sea,” according to the Miami Metropolitan Herald of November 19th. The nearby development of Fulford-by-the-sea came along after Hollywood had been well-publicized (and it wasn’t by the sea).
Perhaps both of these sobriquets were inspired by the popular song, “By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea….” published in 1914 (and later sung to me by my grandmother).
Young’s Hollywood wasn’t precisely by the sea initially, but he surely chose the property with an eye on the barrier island just to the east of his land, and very shortly he began to purchase parts of that island, beginning with the section that today is from Johnson to Washington Streets. Next he added sections to the north as far as Sheridan Street, and eventually J. W. Young’s companies owned the entire barrier island from its north tip south, only excluding Hallandale.

Beginning in 1924, residents began writing songs about their city, and all of the songs refer to “Hollywood By-the-Sea.” The first song with that title was by Phil Vitsky, who had been a song-and-dance man in vaudeville before coming to Hollywood to run the Western Union telegraph office. According to Virginia TenEick, Vitsky’s “Hollywood By-the-Sea” was widely played by dance bands and radio stations around the nation.  Just imagine, people around the US singing about Hollywood By-the-Sea since 1924!

Of course, Hollywood, Florida isn’t just a beach, it’s an entire city. To my knowledge, none of the other 16 or so Hollywoods in the USA is on the shore, so our Hollywood surely could claim the distinction of being “Hollywood By-the-Sea”!


Now I’ll return to the monthly format, which in this blog will include events in both October and November.

November 1-11, 1920. Having bought the land, Young was eager to begin developing his future city. As his business at that time was in Indianapolis, Young needed people on hand in Florida, so he sent twelve salesmen and engineers to drive down Carl Fisher’s Dixie Highway to get the ball rolling. Two of these were salesman C. W. Sammons and my father, 25-year-old World War One Navy veteran, A. C. Tony Mickelson. The drive from Indianapolis to Miami down the young Dixie Highway—it was completed only in 1915—took eleven days. Most of the next year involved clearing the land of palmetto scrub.
November, 1920. Warren G. Harding is elected US president. This involves Hollywood as he would visit the city in 1923.

November 19, 1921. According to Virginia TenEick in her History of Hollywood, the Young company’s first sales pavilion was opened on the southwest corner that would become Harrison Street and 19th Avenue. 1st sales pavilion Harrison St.

At right, cars and people surround a large tent that was Hollywood Land & Water Company’s first (of three) sales pavilions. These crowds arrived in the new little city by driving from Miami or from as far north as Palm Beach along the Dixie Highway. The tent seated 350 on built-in benches. Young also brought prospective buyers to his city by bus. All who came were served lunch consisting of an apple, a sandwich, piece of pie, and coffee. Then came the sales pitch couched as a lecture on the beauty and advantages of living in south Florida. Buyers were many and eager.

Late 1921. The first permanent building was erected in Hollywood was completed. This was the company garage, built at the city’s first street corner, 21st Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.Garage with trucks

It is described in the second issue of the Reporter: “To care for the automotive equipment the Company has built a handsome garage, 66×115 feet which is now in operation.” (April 15, 1922)

Right, Hollywood’s first permanent building, initially a maintenance garage, stands on the northwest corner of 21st Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. The photo here would have been taken from the FEC railroad tracks. Displayed here are a dozen or so of Young’s working trucks, neatly lined up, driven by a group of the black workers who built Hollywood. Photo dated October 25, 1922.

Two points here: one is to note that April , 1922 was the second issue of the Hollywood Reporter. Therefore, there was a first issue, from earlier in 1922. But no copy of this first issue, V. 1, no. 1, has yet been found.

Also, I hope these photos are getting across the fact that Hollywood was begun as part of the age of the automobile. I have yet to find any reference to horses in the earliest material on the city. Young’s company owned cars, buses, trucks, steam shovels, dredges, even boats–but no horses. 1921 hollywood blvd 4

Left: Hollywood Boulevard in 1921. Some of Young’s trucks, tractors, and rollers at work building the city’s roads.

Steam shovels RThompBelow right: two of the Company’s steam shovels excavating oolite limestone that was used to surface the roads. Photo gift to Hollywood Historical Society by Ralph Thompson.

The first impression of newcomers to the city in the early Twenties was its  bright, daytime glare. 

Houses were constructed with space for autos, not stables for horses. That was the past, and Hollywood was very much part of the Roaring Twenties, the FUTURE.  If you are watching “Miss Fisher’s Mysteries” you might get a sense of life (on a less grand scale) in Hollywood in the Twenties.

Two other buildings were begun about the same time as the garage.  These were the Hollywood Land & Water Company’s first administration building, and its neighbor, a group of stores.1st office under constr

At right, the first Administration Building under construction in 1922, on the southwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and 20th Avenue. Originally the offices were on the 2nd floor with shops below. The 2nd floor was removed in the 1920s. Today this is Morningstar’s.

Nov 18 1923 office force 10At left, the Bastian Building, also 1922, and like the Admin Building designed by Rubush & Hunter. 

1st officeBelow, both buildings. 20th Avenue runs between them, as it does today.

A sign for “Sodas” is on the east corner of the Admin building, while Black’s Drugs are advertised on the Bastian Building.

Black’s was Hollywood’s first drug store, followed on this same corner by Yaguda’s and then Iris Drugs.

In October, 1923, the Hollywood Reporter announced that “finishing touches” were being added to the new golf course.

Nov. 15 1922

Nov. 15 1922

At that time, there was really not much to see, but the Reporter wanted readers (hence, buyers) to know that Hollywood had an 18-hole golf course just a few blocks from downtown.

Left, Reporter page, indicating that the photo was by “Fishbaugh.”

Also in October, 1923, the Hollywood Land & Water Company was proud to announce that the all-black city of liberia houseLiberia was formally opened.

I’ve described Liberia extensively in previous blogs, and will note here that the Reporter states that it was developed with water and electricity, land for schools and churches (donated by Young as he did in Hollywood), and now had four homes built and ready for occupancy.

Speaking of electricity, please note that from its earliest days, Hollywood was wired for electricity, with lines underground downtown, and in the alleys in residential sections.

Elec & Water plants 1924 Leonard giftOn October 24, 1922, according the the November 15th Reporter, the city residents celebrated the start up of the big power plant, and “immediately the lights blazed up in the store and office buildings, in the public garage, in the water works, in the light plant, and in the sixteen houses that were occupied at that time.”dixie at night

The Company planned to install street light fixtures all up and down the Boulevard and around the Circle, which would be called the “White Way,” according to the 1922 Reporter. At some point handsome street lights also lined the Dixie Highway from Dania to Hollywood’s south border. As both surrounding towns, Dania and Hallandale, had large amounts of acreage given over to farming (and not requiring illumination), Hollywood all lit up must have stood out like a space ship landing.

2nd sales Pavilion, BoulevardIn November, 1922 the second sales pavilion was erected, a large, open, 2-story frame structure on Hollywood Boulevard at 16th Avenue. This was about as far east as Young could go on the Boulevard at that time while the Lakes Section was still under creation. The top story gave visitors a view of the beach and ocean.

Also in November, 1922 the future Park View Hotel was under construction, Young’s first hotel, designed by Rubush & Hunter.

Reporter Nov. 15 1922 v. 1 no. 9

Reporter Nov. 15 1922 v. 1 no. 9

Originally it was called the Hollywood Hotel, until the hotel on the beach was built, Hollywood Beach Hotel. To prevent confusion, this was changed to the Park View Hotel as it overlooked Circle Park.

In the photo at the bottom of the Reporter page of November 15, 1922, at left, the nearly-completed hotel is described as “Gracefully elongated. Facing the Circle the design is Spanish Renaissance, while toward the sea Moorish effects will add an artistic touch.”  Not visible in the photo of the west facade, the “Moorish effect” is represented by a gold dome off-center to the north.

City is incorporated November, 28, 1925.

From empty scrub land in 1920, J. W. Young had created a thriving city and was ready to hand its management over to others. The city of Hollywood was formally incorporated in November, 1925, then needed officials to run it so the first officials were appointed by the committee that had drawn up the city charter. These commissioners were Joseph W. Young, Jr., his son John “Jack” Young, Ralph Young (no relation), Paul R. John, and David Fessler. This group immediately voted for J. W. Young to be Hollywood’s first mayor.


To celebrate the 90th anniversary of Hollywood’s incorporation, a walking tour of the historic Downtown was held November 1, 2015, with visitors guided along the tour by an illustrated descriptive booklet, prepared by the Hollywood Historical Society with support from the city. I wrote the text, images were lent by the Hollywood Historical Society and HistoryMiami, and Gabriela Milner designed the handsome booklet.

Copies may still be purchased from the Hollywood Historical Society.  Call 954-923-5590 or email HollywoodFLhistory@att.net

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 COUNTERING MYTHS. From time to time I hear some truly silly myths about early Hollywood, such as the two highlighted in my header. So I will try to dispel these myths with facts. Generally, the facts can be found in my books, in particular Joseph W. Young, Jr. and the City Beautiful. A Biography of the Founder of Hollywood, Florida.*MicklelsonPCardF2

I will also answer queries, if I can.


HOW JOSEPH YOUNG DIED. First off, and most alarming is the extraordinary tale that city founder J. W. Young was shot to death in his home on Hollywood Boulevard. By who? Al Capone? But I jest. It is thoroughly documented that Young died in his home as a result of a severe heart attack. His wife Jessie was at his side, as were several friends. For the complete story please read pages 172-74 in my biography of Young, and/or page xxvi in Virginia TenEick’s History of Hollywood.** TenEick

Another common myth about Young is that he died destitute. This is hardly the case. It is true that Young lost all the properties he owned in Hollywood except for his home on Hollywood Boulevard. However, in May of 1928 Young’s new company, the Hollywood Hills Company of New York, bought 17,000 acres in the Adirondacks, where Young proceeded to plan and built a resort he called Hollywood in-the-Hills.  (I’ve written about this in previous blogs as well as in the biography).


Hollywood Hills Hotel, Old Forge NY 1940Hollywood Hills Hotel, Old Forge, NY

Built by J. W. Young; completed after his death, in 1935.

Young’s Hollywood in-the-Hills, on First Lake, in Old Forge, New York.


From 1928 to 1933 Joseph and Jessie Young lived in a suite in the new and sumptuous Roosevelt Hotel in NYC, and Young had an elegant suite of offices nearby on Fifth Avenue. There’s more to the story of Young’s last years, but the point is, he was NOT shot, and he was anything but destitute.

LIBERIA CREATED, 1923. Liberia was created from empty land by J. W. Young in 1923. For anyone who is history-challenged, that was over 50 years after slavery was legally ended in the USA. No runaway slaves involved, and yes, he paid all his workers. Segregation was still then in force, which is one reason Young planned that Liberia would be “America’s new town for African Americans.” Young was anticipating that “wealthy colored people” would share the prosperity that Hollywood then enjoyed. [Source is Hollywood Reporter, 2, no. 7 [July 1923].Disk 4 city 001

Right, workers laying rock bed for Liberia Boulevard, 1923. Pine trees indicate this is dry, solid ground. Looking west from Dixie Highway.

17MickelsonBelow, for comparison, workers laying rock bed for Hollywood Boulevard, 1921. Looking east from Dixie Highway. Also dry, solid ground.

Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society


Streets Renamed.   Speaking of Liberia, isn’t it time that the streets that were part of Young’s original plan were changed back to the names he gave them, on the plat for Liberia in the Broward County records, drawn by Frank Dickey in 1923 [See above, and illustrated in my Young biography, page 95].  Young named the streets north of Coolidge (the then current president) for US cities with large black populations. As shown on the 1923 plat, above, the streets are Chicago, Savannah, Raleigh, Louisville, Baltimore, Atlanta, Macon, and Charleston. Now, many of these streets are named for figures from the Confederacy. For example, in my Guide book, I note that Simms Street, now apparently named for a Confederate general, was originally named Chicago Street by the Young company.
I don’t know when they were changed, but I don’t think the intention was positive. Rather than try to find who was behind the name change, why not just change the names back to the original, historic names?


Mentioning Young’s death leads in to the origins of Founder’s Day, celebrated on (or about) August 4th, the date of Young’s birth. I will reprint the proclamation given by Mayor Arthur W. Kellner, dated August 1, 1935, in the August blog.

Arthur Kellner

Arthur Kellner

Here is a list of the movers and shakers:

R. B. Walker, chairman, Chamber of Commerce Committee
T. D. Ellis, Jr., President of the Chamber of Commerce
Henry Mann
T. L. Norfleet
Rev. Thomas H. Sprague
Mark Tully
C. L. Walsh
Helen Whatley
Fred Willis
Founder’s Day this year will be held at the Hollywood Historical Society, 1520 Polk Street, on August 9, 2015, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

On July 9, 1922, the Clyde Line began serving Miami, according to the Miami Times Union. Among those who traveled down in comfort by steamship instead of by flivver was my mother, Lamora Gleason. She arrived in 1925, coming down from Vermont to see what her brother John was up to.

Lamora Gleason, Beach Hotel, 1926.

Lamora Gleason, Beach Hotel, 1926.

There are wonderful photos of Clyde Line steamships on Florida Memory.

At right, Lamora Gleason, later Mickelson, on the roof of the new Beach Hotel, 1925 or 1926.

Photo collection of Joan Mickelson.

In July of 1924, Ocean Drive was begun as a real road, instead of just a track for trucks. It began at Johnson Street and would continue to Washington Street. Today of course this is part of historic A1A.

In 1925 the Tyler Building was erected, a 3-story building on the SE corner of Tyler Street and 20th Avenue. There was a series of small shops on the ground level, running along 20th Avenue. In 1925 the Masons and Eastern Star had their lodge on the second floor, until they built their own 2-story building at 19th Avenue and McKinley Street.

Taylor St. and 19th Ave.

Taylor St. and 19th Ave.

In July of 1943 the building was for sale through Charles Dagley real estate, having been purchased from the Henry A. Julius estate by Harry H. Harter.

s-t July 23 '43 Harry Harter buys Tyler Bldg. from Henry Julius

s-t July 23 ’43 Harry Harter buys Tyler Bldg. from Henry Julius

Left, Tyler Building in 1925. Photo courtesy Hollywood Historical Society Below, Tyler Building in 1943, from the  Sun-Tattler.

At some point the second story was removed; below is a photo of the 90-year-old Tyler Building in 2015

Tyler building Tyler and 20th, July 2015

Tyler building Tyler and 20th, July 2015

Small shops still line the durable building along the east side of 20th Avenue.

Am LegionIn 1925 Charles Dagley built another Hollywood landmark at 205-07 North 21st Avenue. SEE PHOTO BELOW. Constructed, like the Hollywood Beach Hotel, of poured concrete, the building like the Beach Hotel, survived the 1926 hurricane

Today this is the home of Hollywood’s American Legion Post 92.

The Legion bought the building from Tim Egan in June, 1943, and held the formal dedication on July 4, 1943.


Above left, building entrance.  Above right, view across 21st Avenue looking south. Building entrance is at left, from the parking lot.


As the 1943 Sun-Tattler article notes, Dagley put his building next to what was then Hollywood’s first City Hall

At right, looking north down 21st Avenue. Blue walls indicate the Legion building. Beyond is Hollywood’s first city hall, now a restaurant.


As the 1943 Sun-Tattler article notes, Dagley put his office building next to what was then Hollywood’s first City Hall.

first City Hall, 1926

first City Hall, 1926

Right, Hollywood’s first City Hall, built in 1924 by J. W. Young as a printing press for his many publications. When he incorporated his city in 1925 he donated the building to serve as both City Hall and Hollywood’s first Police Station.      

Circle, Park View & Great Southern, photo

Circle, Park View & Great Southern, photo


Another Dagley building from 1925 appears to be in jeopardy. This is a single-story row of stores on the SE corner of US 1 and Young Circle (18th Avenue). In the photo at right, it is the flat structure with a black roof on the south side of the circle, on the left edge of the picture. As of today, this survivor from Hollywood’s beginning years has been completely covered with graffiti/art, and is nearly reduced to insignificance by the multi-story buildings looming over it.         

Also in this 1930s aerial, starting at the bottom going clockwise are the Park View Hotel, the Kagey Mansion (now Art & Culture Center), the Dagley shops, US 1, don’t know, gas station, Great Southern Hotel, Hollywood Boulevard, empty lot with tiny Chamber of Commerce at center, and so on.
J. W. Young’s original City Beautiful, like much of south Florida, is rapidly falling victim to a form of Gigantism (also known as giantism (from Greek γίγας gigas, “giant”, plural γίγαντες gigantes), a condition characterized by excessive growth and height significantly above average. Another sorry example of this architectural gigantism is the state of the oldest surviving building on Hollywood beach, the Coral House at 324 Indiana Street. Coral-Russo 2nd on beach

Built in March, 1924 by the  Daniel Russo family as a single story dwelling, the house was enlarged to two stories, and later the rock surface was plastered over.

Thoughtless developers, indifferent to our city’s original charm, now have this 1924 coral rock structure—also Hollywood’s first hospital—in a vise-like squeeze.

Frank & Russo houses 1925This detail from a 1925 panoramic photo shows Johnson Street in the foreground. At far left is the western facade of the swimming Casino. In the center is the first house built on the beach by J.L. Frank from Buffalo NY in February, 1924, at 329 Buchanan Street (recently demolished). At center right is the Russo coral rock house, before the second story was added.  Photo Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society, gift of Sandy Deffler.

HURRICANES. In July of 1926 Hollywood residents experienced the fringes of a hurricane, which amounted to rain and wind squalls and high waves that reached the Broadwalk. This “teaser” hurricane caused Hollywood’s many newcomers to the subtropics to believe that hurricanes were exciting, but not so terrible, leaving most completely unprepared for the real storm that would devastate them two months later.

THE 40s. WARTIME.  In July of 1943 the newspapers, like their readers, were almost entirely focused on the war effort. By then there were two naval training schools in Hollywood (there would eventually be three more). The first to arrive had been the Naval Air Gunners, occupying the hotel that had become Riverside Military Academy, and soon after the Naval Air Navigators School had taken over the swank Hollywood Beach Hotel. Rear Admiral A. B. Cook, in command of Naval Air Operational Training, had high praise for Hollywood’s two schools, noting that many men trained here aided in the battles at Midway, the Coral Sea, and in the Aleutians.
Also that month our hometown paper quoted a letter from Henry “Hank” Saunders, South Broward High School class of 1938 to his parents. Saunders, who was “at sea” wrote to say he frequently met “boys who trained at the Hollywood Gunnery School” who said Hollywood was “perfect” and they hoped to return here after “the war is won.” And indeed, many of them did just that.
By this time the armed forces were recruiting women. That month the Coast Guard sent two SPARS, both seamen 2nd class as recruiters to urge young women to join their branch, so as to free able-bodied men for duty. The SPAR training station was in the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach.  The Navy’s WAVES had already been recruiting successfully in Hollywood. On page 1 of the July 23, 1943 Tattler there is a column “Miss Trine Sworn in as WAVE. First Local Girl To Sign Up During First Anniversary Recruiting Drive.” The first anniversary was for the service itself, the WAVES. Gwendolyn Trine, graduate of SBHS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Trine of Hayes Street on the beach, was off to boot camp at Hunter College in New York. The American Legion auxiliary gave her a going-away party.
In the same edition it was announced that the Army needs nurses; in other months we find the WACs and Marines also recruiting women.
And on the home front, even the children were involved in the war effort. Generally they bought 10-cent war stamps toward a bond, and collected tinfoil from cigarette wrappers, but they also took part in Bundles for Britain, a national charity organized in 1940 to send non-military aid such as food and clothes to citizens of Great Britain. The July 30, 1943 Tattler singled out one little girl for adding her doll “that cries and sleeps” with its own wardrobe, also warm pajamas for a child, and two story books. The little donor was Ann Haller, of 1501 North 16th Court. I’m sure that several of my readers will have photos of our classmate Ann Haller.

CHEETAH MISSING. Also in the July 30, 1943 was the startling announcement that “Kali, the cheetah” was missing. This beautiful animal was part of the menagerie owned by Leila Roosevelt Denis and her husband Armand Denis, at their Thunderbird Trading Post on US 1 just north of Dania. The Denises and their animals are another story, but I remember their cheetah. In fact, somewhere in my unscanned photos there is a snapshot of me at about four years old, standing beside the gentle, seated cheetah, who was considered a harmless pet. Today my hair stands on end at the thought of putting a little kid next to a wild animal, however tamed. Back then I probably wanted to bring it home. So far we haven’t found a follow-up story about the missing cheetah, and I would assume she was stolen.

FASHION NOTES. July 30, 1943, more fashions from the past.

s-t July 2 '43 adult playsuit skirt over shorts

s-t July 2 ’43 adult playsuit skirt over shorts

This interesting 2-piece garment is a ladies playsuit, It’s not described in the ad, but it appears to be a one-piece shorts-and-top (rather like our high school gym suits), with a matching skirt to button over the shorts. The shorts pictured separately cost $1.00-!.99.


*Joan Mickelson Joseph W. Young and the City Beautiful. McFarland, 2013

**Virginia TenEick History of Hollywood. 1960.

[Author’s note: Although I mention the Hollywood Historical Society, all opinions are my own and don’t reflect on the HHS.]

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Greater Hollywood Moves on Ft. Lauderdale; Golf; Casino Pool in Wartime

Fort Lauderdale as “Greater Hollywood.”
As I noted in a previous blog, Hollywood isn’t part of Fort Lauderdale, even though current advertisers for developers from out-of-town seem to think otherwise. IMHO Hollywood’s tourist board should be pointing out that the airport is “Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood” on shared land, and furthermore that Port Everglades was initially “Port Hollywood” and Hollywood still can claim the greater part of it.

A bulletin put out by Young’s companies June 1, 1925 gave some then-current statistics describing the new city’s growth in just over two years. A deep-water harbor was being created. There was hourly bus service to Miami, for fifty cents round trip. On the beach, the 30-foot wide, five and a half mile cement walk was nearing completion. Other amenities included the railroad station, Golf & Country Club, bank, light & water, fire station, hotels including a $3 million hotel being erected on the ocean, numerous parks, and, “the only city to start with a zoning system.”

As the population grew, Young’s city expanded. By January of 1926 before founder Joseph W. Young decided to have his city incorporated, the city of Dania voted to become part of Hollywood. Young’s company already owned the ocean front all the way to Lake Mabel/Port Everglades. The acquisition of Dania to the north allowed Young to increase his land holdings west of the Inland Waterway between Dania and Lake Mabel.  As Young’s ambition expanded northward and west, Fort Lauderdale was in danger of becoming part of “Greater Hollywood.”

This map, published by the “Hollywood Research Bulletin,” another of Young’s subsidies, indicates these changes.

Jan 1926

Jan 1926

The solid black line represents Hollywood’s new corporate limits as of  January, 1926. The line made of dashes indicates its former boundaries. Dania’s former boundaries are indicated by the dotted lines. Young’s publications indicate that he had big plans for the land south and west of the port, which would have included industries and businesses. Had the September 1926 hurricane not occurred, Hollywood might well have expanded along Fort Lauderdale’s west boundary as well!

Hollywood “suburbs.” More about Hollywood’s early expansion. By 1924 Young’s news magazine, the Hollywood Reporter, had become The Hollywood Magazine. A Florida Magazine with National Appeal. In the September issue the centerfold is an interesting plan of then-greater Hollywood.

Sept 1924

Sept 1924

For orientation, find North and South Lakes, bottom center, with the golf course the empty block above North Lake, then find today’s Young Circle, above it. The long horizontal line with a downward bend at the right is the FEC railroad and Dixie Highway. (Note: the lots indicated surrounding West Lake were never developed.) Hallandale is the small rectangle on the Dixie Highway at the left, and Dania is the triangular plan on both sides of the Dixie at the right.

It’s particularly noteworthy to see that Young’s companies did not develop all the land in what is today’s Hollywood. Others were jumping on the development bandwagon.

Sept 1924 with Dania

Sept 1924 with Dania

In this detail, find the Golf Course,rectangle  bottom left. The street along its north edge is Johnson Street. Follow Johnson across the heavy line that represents the railroad and Dixie, and note that the section abutting Johnson Street to the north is called “Hollywood Terrace.” North of that is “Hollywood Park.” Young didn’t own or develop these properties. And north of these, upper center, is Young’s original plan for Liberia with its central boulevard off the Dixie (then the main road), its circle park, and the land for a hotel, identical to Young’s plan for his Circle Park (Young Circle) with the island that once held the Park View Hotel. When I’m asked why Young didn’t put Liberia next to Hollywood the answer comes clear with this drawing—he didn’t own the land there.

Next is a detail of the area between Johnson Street and Dania, east of the railroad and Dixie. On this map detail, below, the bottommost road running right to left is 18th Avenue. (Bear in mind that US 1 didn’t then exist here. It was put through in the 1930s.) Johnson Street is the long vertical street at the far left.

Sept 1924 17th Ave area

Sept 1924 17th Ave area

Starting from Johnson Street and going north, here are developments labeled: Hollywood Lawns, St. James Park. F. C. Dickey subdivision, Chattanooga Park, Montery [sic] Park, Olustee Park, St. James Park North, and North Hollywood. Anything labeled “xxx Addition” indicates land bought by Young’s companies in addition to the original purchases. Woodlawn Cemetery is also indicated at center right, where it is today. Of these subdivisions, I only know the name of one developer, Frank Dickey, who was Young’s chief engineer.

This residential area, particularly “Hollywood Lawns,” off Johnson is still quite attractive today.

Johnson St. at 17th Ct. looking east June 2015

Johnson St. at 17th Ct. looking east June 2015

First, here is Johnson Street today, going east off U. S. 1, which is 18th Avenue. The Hollywood Golf & Country Club’s green sign may be seen in the middle distance at the right of the photo.

Remember, from 1922 to 1926 Johnson Street was a main throughway, and the only road in Hollywood with a crossing to the beach.

17th Court looking south to Johnson Street June 2015

17th Court looking south to Johnson Street June 2015

Here, at right, is 17th Court, at one time apparently part of “Hollywood Lawns.” We are looking south to Johnson Street in the distance.

Note that this roadway is divided, with trees and other plants down the center. No other area in early Hollywood had such a gracious layout.


Here are some of the 1920s homes along the east and west sides of the dual carriageway.IMG_1716

Most of these historic homes have been beautifully restored, some dating from the 1920s, while others represent excellent examples of Hollywood’s large inventory of 1930s International Style, or Streamline Moderne (below).

17th Ct. and Johnson St.

Garfield or Hippodrome Theatre after 26 storm HHS Robin McClellan

18th Avenue Hurricane Damage. This information about other developers in the area between Johnson Street and Dania is interesting in relation to these dramatic and often used photos of destruction following the 1926 hurricane.

E Dixie 18th Yamato Inn under trees stollberg HHS

The photographer, Higby, labeled the street where this devastation was, the Dixie, or “East Dixie.” This refers to 18th Avenue (OK, now think US 1), which had become a convenient drive from Dania to the Circle, rather than following the original or “West” Dixie.

The photo at left  is of 18th Avenue before it became US 1, looking south from about McKinley Street down to Johnson Street.

The photo above, on the right, taken near Garfield Street, shows the imposing, if damaged, Brandon’s Hippodrome, with its semicircular facade (top right).

As the plans copied above show, this area along 18th Avenue wasn’t developed by J. W. Young, whose publicists rightly bragged that Hollywood had a building code from the start. Apparently the properties on 18th didn’t follow that building code, and we know that structures there ranged from tents to tarpaper to tin roofs, quick and easy to erect, and equally quick to blow away. The rest of Hollywood experienced flooding, which receded quickly, while roofs stayed on and buildings remained standing. For proof, drive around the Central (Parkside) and Lakes Section and note the hundreds, literally, of houses built between 1922 and 1926, still standing and occupied.
Now for some other May and June news:

Young family: On June 6, 1923, the Youngs’ oldest son Jack (John) graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and went on to Indiana University.
In June, 1925, next son Tonce (Joseph Wesley, III) graduated from Culver Military Academy and
One June 1, 1931 Billy (William) graduated from Riverside Military Academy in its headquarters in Gainesville, Georgia.

On May 28, 1943 the Sun-Tattler announced that Rodney Young, grandson of Joseph and Jessie, was given a party by grandmother Jessie to honor his 15th birthday,  in the Young mansion at 1055 Hollywood Boulevard. Other guests included his sister Rene Ann, and Marjorie Croll, Mary Ann Causey, Tom Ellis, and Merle Banazak, and others.Young home for book

Earlier, the Youngs’ two younger sons had been married in the 1925 mansion, Tonce in 1927, and Bill in 1937. 21A Beach Trailer Park
Less than a month after grandson Rodney’s party, on June 4, 1943 the Tattler announced that Jessie Young had sold the mansion to Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Naus, owners of the oceanfront Hollywood Beach Trailer Park.

Golf, an ever-popular topic:

according to Virginia TenEick, in 1920 Lee Nelson was designing a golf course for Carl Fisher in Miami Beach. By 1923 Lee and his brother Erwin, or Chick, were J. W. Young’s golf pros at his Golf & Country Club.

Here is the first clubhouse on the course.

Golf couse club house, first. Jan. 1923

Golf couse club house, first. Jan. 1923

Note Jessie Young standing at the right on the ground in front of the structure. 

April 1924 Reporter

April 1924 Reporter

Photo at right, Joseph Young, center, with his pros Erwin Nelson, left and Lee at right, at his Golf & Country Club.

IMG_0704In the photo at left here, J. W. Young, President of the Hollywood Company, is making a long drive, according to the caption.

May 1924 with Sarazen

May 1924 with Sarazen

At right, with some trees now surrounding the fairways, Young’s Reporter brags about some celebrities. Left to right, James Cox, former governor of Ohio, famous golfer Gene Sarazin, Erwin Nelson, and Judge T. T. Ansberry.

Country club postcard 20s

Below, a 1925 postcard, posed for advertising the beautiful Country Club, seen here from its east facade overlooking the course. The striations along the top are postal cancellations on the card.

Servicemen's Club 1943-4

Finally, a 1942 postcard of the west facade, taken after June 13, 1942, when Oscar Johnson, manager of the Hollywood Beach Hotel, had turned the Country Club over to servicemen. Those pictured are sailors, but not officers, so very likely from the Gunners school that had been established in Riverside Military Academy’s buildings on Hollywood’s third circle.  About a year later, the Navy took over the Beach Hotel (which then owned the Country Club). The result was that the club was for officers, then in training at the Beach Hotel, and the Servicemen’s Club was moved by Hollywood citizens to locations downtown. While there were numerous service women stationed in Hollywood, their presence in the clubs isn’t mentioned.

Hollywood’s Casino Pool goes to War. The pool was originally constructed by J. W. Young, in 1925, for the benefit of the public, with its Olympic-size salt-water pool and surrounding grandstands and cabanas.  On June 20, 1928 Hollywood’s city Commission approved the purchase of Beach Casino from the Young Companies.
boat in casino

Taken from the third story diving tower, this photo is of some sort of boating entertainment, possibly each crew trying to capsize the other boat.

The site of Young’s Casino Pool is now occupied by Margaritaville.

The Casino Pool goes to war.

On July 2, 1943, the Sun-Tattler announced “Sailors to Demonstrate at City Pool.”  Forty Navigation cadets and Naval Air Gunners would take part. The program featured competitive events, demonstration of rough water strokes taught to all air crews, rescue methods, abandon ship drills, swimming in clothes, use of clothes for staying afloat, and other standard drills for air men. Officers’ families and Hollywood residents were invited to witness the demonstration.

This was serious business, a long way from the fanciful events that were put on in the pool in the 1920s, and a clear indication that the city, like the rest of the country,was at war.

On May 7, 1945, called V-E day, the Nazis surrendered. V-J Day (Victory over Japan) would follow that August.

A personal, peacetime postscript:

On May 30, 1947 my father, Anton C. Tony Mickelson, who had worked for J. W. Young beginning in 1919, and continued to work for the city after Young’s companies were defunct, was named Hollywood City Manager.

May 30 '47  ACM as City Manager

May 30 ’47 ACM as City Manager

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April in Hollywood.  Reminder, this blog is a month-by-month recollection of events in Hollywood, Florida, generally between 1920 and 1950. Idiosyncratic choice of events is strictly mine.

In April 1915 an event leading directly to the creation of Hollywood occurs when Carl Fisher’s brand new Dixie Highway passes through the newly-created Broward County, thus opening the way for auto and bus travel down from the north. Broward County cities traversed by the bumpy, muddy, at times almost impassable “highway” are Deerfield, Pompano, Fort Lauderdale, and Dania. Hallandale exists but isn’t yet a city. Adventurous drivers can now journey down from Chicago to Miami, where Fisher’s new Miami Beach lies in wait. One who was intrigued by Fisher’s Florida would be Joseph W. Young.

April, 1920. J. W. Young hires ex-Navy man Tony Mickelson as sales crew manager for his Homeseekers Realty Company, with offices in the Merchants Bank Building in Indianapolis. In interviews he gave in later years Mickelson recalled hearing Young talking about a “dream city.” By the end of 1920 Young will have bought the land on the Dixie Highway to begin Hollywood, Florida.

April 15, 1922 is the date on Volume 1, No. 2 of The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Hollywood-by-the-Sea, Florida, published by The Hollywood Land & Water Company with offices at 912-14 Merchants Bank Building, Indianapolis, Ind. To date no one I know has located Volume 1, number 1. This thoroughly informative newsletter is edited by Oliver Behymer, one of the men who works with Young from 1920 until all Young’s companies are dissolved in the 1930s.  This April issue describes Hollywood Boulevard, and Young’s plans for “uniform, harmonious, and artistic” architecture in his city-to-be.

April 1, 1923 is the date on Vol. 1 No. 13. The paper has expanded from four to eight pages. Topics covered in this issue include President Harding’s visit to Hollywood, in two Pierce-Arrow cars, where he played golf, and the news that the Broad Walk was “now completed.” Editor Behymer also writes that Hollywood is now “a real city, with suburbs.” Hwd plan 1920

In this rendering at right, of Young’s future plans for his city, the dark line between the circles represents the Dixie Highway and the FEC railroad. In 1923 actual property extends only from about today’s 28th Avenue to 14th Avenue just east of the golf course (square, center right). The Lakes section is still the East Marsh as the land and lakes were being created. The right-hand, east-west border is Johnson Street.

Behymer means that other developers were buying parcels of land next to Young’s to develop separately. One is “the new Dixie Gardens,” opposite the Little Ranches along Johnson Street. The Little Ranches are the upper section of the plan, from the Dixie to 28th Avenue, so the “Dixie Gardens” would be in the blank to their right. Another parcel, on the corner of 17th Avenue and Johnson Street near the golf course is being developed by the Santry Corporations, “owners and developers of Hollywood Lawns.” (I don’t know where Hollywood Lawns was.) Behymer continues that east of the golf links and Johnson Street the “Venetian Villa subdivision” is being laid out.

These properties are great fodder for someone to research!

April 1924. The Hollywood Reporter is now 16 pages. April 1924The cover, at right, has a photo of the open-air glass-brick dance floor of the Golf & Country Club, seen from the entrance.

One of the editorials in this issue concerns “Pre-empting the ocean” and describes Young’s intention to keep the ocean front open to the public.

The article states: “In some resort cities the wealthy have bought the shore property–how unfortunate! Hollywood By-the-Sea will have a different story to tell.  Here there will be no riparian rights along the ocean frontage to exclude the public.”

Broadwalk and Casino, 1925-26At right, Hollywood beach 1924-25, looking south from Johnson Street where the cars are parked, down the wide Broadwalk. The open beach is to the left, and the structure with small tower is the bathing Casino, the Olympic-size salt-water swimming pool Young built to entertain the visitors.  Postcard.

30A. Beach south from HarrisonThe 1924 article continues:  “For a distance of five miles one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida will be forever dedicated to the people, never to be privately owned or built upon.”

At left, aerial view of the same area in the 1950s with Johnson Street at bottom right. The pool with parking lot behind no longer has Young’s Casino surrounding it. Young’s Beach Hotel is at top left. Postcard.

There is also a description of “The City Beautiful,” which I have discussed in my biography of Young, and elsewhere.

scan 013Young had selected the California bungalow as one of the architectural styles he would accept in zoned areas of his city. These three houses from April, 1924 still stand at 1616, 1620 and 1624 Monroe Street.

Photos Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

Number 1616, at left in the photo left, was occupied by Margaret and Merrill H. Nevin.

Disk 4 city 003Here are the same three bungalows, seen from the opposite side. Number 1624, at right in the photo, right, was the home of Edwin and Edythe Whitson. Ed Whitson was one of Young’s closest associates since 1919. In her oral history, Edythe describes watching the flood waters reach the windows during the 1926 hurricane.

The middle house, number 1620, was the home of Orlando and Flora Forbes. He is credited with buying the first lot in the future city, at the Indiana State Fair.

Another piece in the April, 1924 Reporter, probably by Behymer is on “Hollywood Motor Tours.Big Factor in Promoting Sales.”

Kelly bus and White bus at Park View Hotel. Reporter April 1924 p. 14

This photo in the Reporter is an excellent shot of the Hollywood/Park View Hotel with its off-center tower on the west side (overlooking the Circle Park) and dome on the east facade, and other Mission-revival elements that pleased Young. The article says that tours came from Miami and West Palm Beach by bus and boat. All tours were timed to arrive at lunch (sandwiches, fruit and coffee and a lecture about the advantages of Florida). The Company has offices around Florida, from Jacksonville to St. Petersburg to Orlando to Miami. Transportation included the Kelly-Springfield 23-passenger buses (dark bus at left), 35 passenger Packard buses, and “de luxe White closed busses” (seen at right with individual doors for each row of seats). Young eventually owned 70 White buses.

April 1924 ReporterThe April 1924 issue also has this photo of J. W. Young (center), who clearly doesn’t like posing for the camera. With him are “Hollywood’s golf professionals” Everett Nelson (left) and Lee Nelson (right).

By April, 1925 Young’s periodical has become THE HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINE.  It also appears irregularly, unlike its predecessor,and is not entirely focused on Hollywood.

Lincoln at Sawyer Motors. Reporter April 1925 p. 1This ad, for a custom-designed Lincoln, sold in Hollywood by Sawyer Motor Company, suggests that personal incomes in Hollywood have risen.

Yachts in Biscayne Bay. Hwd Magazine April 1925, p. 9Another page, shown below, is of “REPRESENTATIVE YACHTS IN BISCAYNE BAY.” J. W. Young is for sure playing with the big boys; his new yacht, the Jessie Fay, is pictured at center.

This particularly interesting shot shows the handsome ship full-length and from the stern. According to one of my sources, the yacht Young had built for himself still exists.

The last page in this issue is an ad for the future $15 Million Deep-Water Harbor [at] Hollywood by-the-Sea, then in the planning stages. Of course, this is now Port Everglades.

By 1927, as we know,Hollywood’s initial glory was ended. According to Virginia TenEick, the census report of April 17, 1929 shows that Hollywood’s population is a mere 2,500. But Hollywood’s energetic founder Joseph W. Young, is still hard at work, in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, where he had purchased 17,000 acres on First Lake in Old Forge, NY, had a sales force busily selling lots on the north shore of the lake, while his survey crew staked them out.    Excursion boat on First Lake, Old Forge, NY, c. 1930. LGM coll.                                                                                                                           Photo from Estate of Evelyn Gleason.  Above, a tour boat plying First Lake in the Chain of Lakes, at Old Forge, New York.

Surveying toward First Lake, NY. Collection of the Estate of A C Mickelson

Surveying toward First Lake, NY. Collection of the Estate of A C Mickelson

On April 12, 1929 my parents Tony and Lamora Mickelson moved to Old Forge to work on the development of Young’s Hollywood In-the-Hills, together with H. B. Pete Wells.

They stayed there two years, until the project was called to a halt due to the national Depression.

Building NY Hollywood Hills Hotel 1934

But that didn’t end Young’s Adirondack venture, as his two older sons carried on for a time and completed the large peeled-log hotel after Young’s death.

OF HH cottages 1940 my pcIn April of 1934, after Joseph Young’s death, Tony Mickelson went back to Old Forge to help Young’s friend Ralph Young lay out a 9-hole golf course there, then returned to Hollywood, Florida.

At right, two of the log cottages built on the property around the main hotel at Hollywood in-the-Hills. Postcard, collection of the author.

Moving ahead now, to World War II, when Hollywood became a Navy town. The Hollywood Beach Hotel had been requisitioned by the Navy as a site for officer training. On April 8, 1943 a memo in the National Archives states that admission to the Naval Air Navigation School at Hollywood, Florida is open to naval officers between the ages of 22 and 35, good in math and physics. Very shortly this would apply to women officers in the WAVES as well.

Finally, April, 1947, chosen at random from the bound volumes of the Hollywood Sun-Tattler.  This is Easter month that year. Ads for Easter outfits for children included the demoralizing description of “Chubby” dresses for little girls, and “loafer suits” for boys. Was this latter the origin of men’s leisure suits of the 70s?

Sharkskin Slacks April 28 '47Men are offered “sharkskin slacks,” two of my favorite descriptions you don’t hardly hear anymore.

Your Easter bourbon  April 11 '47I’m particularly entertained by this ad, on the right, for an unusual holiday treat, your Easter Bourbon!

But more in the familiar spirit of Easter is the Sunrise Service on Hollywood beach.Sunrise Service, April 11 '47 My girlfriends and I went one year, after belatedly realizing that we would have to be up and out before sunrise. It was quite a lovely service, and as you can see, very well attended.

Finally, one of Hollywood’s celebrities of the mid-20th century, Roe Fulkerson, is memorialized by a portrait sculpture.

From Chicago, Dr.Fulkerson had his optometrist office on Hollywood Boulevard. He and his wife and daughter lived in a handsome house on Tyler Street directly behind the Hollywood Historical Society’s Hammerstein house. (Both homes were designed in 1935 by Bayard Lukens.) Fulkerson was an important figure in Kiwanis International, as chief editorial writer of Kiwanis magazine. Sculptor for the bust is Marshall Daugherty. Location of the bust today is unknown. Roe Fulkerson A pril 4 '47

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This month’s post will range from 1897 to 1968,so browse around and see what interests you.

1927 HALLANDALE BECOMES PART OF HOLLYWOOD–AND LEAVES AGAIN. That’s right. Following the 1926 hurricane, the unincorporated town of Hallandale, still a farm community, votes to become a part of Hollywood.  Then in March, 1927 Hallandale reorganizes as a separate entity and is incorporated.

1897 HALLANDALE IS A SWEDISH COLONY. In March, 1897 a flyer is sent chiefly to farmers in Sweden advertising “Halland,” a “Swedish colony in south Florida, safe from frost.” The flyer, in Swedish, described the layout of the area being sold by Luther Halland, with whites living south of N.W. 3rd Street and blacks north of it. Swedish farmers do arrive, and the colony becomes known as Hallandale.

Incidentally, the Hollywood Kennel Club, or dog racing track, has always been in Hallandale.

1906 J.W. YOUNG HAD MORE THAN A DECADE IN REAL ESTATE BEFORE HOLLYWOOD. I have been asked if Hollywood was Joseph W. Young, Jr.’s first venture in land development. Far from it. Young had moved to Long Beach, California in 1902 and married Jessie there, and a year or so later he was established in local real estate. He was also a charter member of the Long Beach Elks Lodge no. 888. On March 28, 1906 he has the lead in a musical show, “A Night in Elkdom,” having written the script. In the program for that entertainment is an ad for “Young-Parmley Investment Company Real Estate and Investments,” With offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Alamitos Bay, California. Parmley was a relative of Jessie Young. Joseph Young soon goes into real estate development by himself.

Joseph Wesley Young, Jr. at 21, Long Beach CA 1902

Joseph Wesley Young, Jr. at 21, Long Beach CA 1902

For a good deal more about Young’s early career, see my biography.Young_cover

Photo of J. W. Young at age 21, left, courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

Young pictured in the oval, at right, together with his Hollywood Beach Hotel, is in his forties.

MIAMI BEACH IS 100. Surely you have been reading about the city of Miami Beach’s centenary, incorporated in March, 1915. Congratulations to one of my favorite Florida cities.

How is this related to Hollywood? Answer: through Miami Beach founder, Carl Fisher. By 1918 Joseph Young was living in Fisher’s Indianapolis, where he chose to develop a land06Mickelson parcel adjacent to Fisher’s Speedway.

At left, Indianapolis Speedway. Young’s land development is to the right of this photo.  Photo by me.

Carl Fisher at that time was as famous as any movie star, for his wealth, his romances, his exploits racing cars, for building Miami Beach, and for creating the Dixie Highway, the first road from Chicago to Miami, to get people down to his tropical resort.

designed by Rubush & Hunter, who would soon be hired by J W Young

designed by Rubush & Hunter, who would soon be hired by J W Young

Left, Fisher’s Flamingo Hotel on Biscayne Bay, designed in 1919 by Rubush & Hunter. Postcard.

Joseph Young is one of those who follows Fisher to Miami–and in 1920 buys Florida land to build his own city.

Not only that, Young proceeds to hire Fisher’s architects, Rubush & Hunter, to design the majority of major buildings in Hollywood.

Young also hired away Fisher’s port developer, engineer Frank Dickey, who is the engineering brains behind North and South Lakes, and Port Everglades.1946 Hollywood aerialFrank Dickey, 1924

At left, aerial view of South and North Lakes, looking west, by Bill Veering, 1946. Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

At right, Frank Dickey in 1925.

For more on Miami Beach history, see the excellent PBS documentary with Miami historian Dr. Paul George, and read the detailed illustrated outline “Miami Beach a century and counting” by Andres Viglucci in the Miami Herald of March 22, 2015.

HOLLYWOOD TOPS MIAMI BEACH AS TOURIST MECCA.  Okay, so this was in March, 1968. According to the Sun-Tattler, Hollywood was in 11th place and Miami Beach was 12th as tourist Meccas. Both cities have changed considerably since then.

1918 HOLLYWOOD PIONEER SETTLERS ARRIVE. In March, 1918 Edith Cochran with her parents moves to Dania, as Hollywood doesn’t yet exist. Her father is a tomato farmer. Edith recalls watching as the engineers began surveying the empty land south of central Dania in the new city, starting in 1921. Then she began to work in Hollywood, and moved there. In 1976 as part of the Greater Hollywood Bicentennial Oral History Project, Don Cuddy interviews her. The Historical Society has the transcript of her interview and those of some 20 others. I include here a sample of the index to her interview to suggest the multitude of topics covered. Please contact the Hollywood Historical Society for more information about these oral histories.

[from the index to Edith Cochran’s oral history transcript]

Hollywood Building Supply Company, 1, 6
Hollywood Hills, 2, 7
Hollywood Beach Hotel, 6-7
Hollywood Hills Inn, 1, 5
House of Seven Gables, 2
1926, 5, 6
Kington building, 1
LaMonaca, Caesar, 4
Laubenthal, Mr., 3, 4, 7
Leach, Mrs., 9
Lindsley Lumber Company, 7
Little Ranches, 2
lot prices, 2, 3, 7
marimba band, 4

1920 ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD PIONEER, Tony Mickelson, who will join J. W. Young’s company later in 1920, is discharged from the U. S. Navy in Bremerton, Washington, on March 15, 1920. He had served throughout World War I on the battleship Wyoming.Bow of Wyoming, other ships at anchor. 1916. ACM coll.Tony's Navy tour. From the USS Wyoming, in North Sea 1917-8

At left, bow of the Wyoming as the ship enters Port au Prince, Haiti.

Photo collection of the Estate of A.C. Tony Mickelson

At right, bow of the battleship Wyoming on convoy duty, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, 1917.

Photo collection of the Estate of A.C. Tony Mickelson


1936. PRESIDENT’S (BRIEF) VISIT. On March 27, 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt comes into Port Everglades, changes ships, and leaves again.

1943 U.S. NAVY AIR NAVIGATION TRAINING SCHOOL IN HOLLYWOOD. Beginning in March, 1943 Hollywood takes an active part in World War II with training schools established in two of Young’s great hotels, the Hollywood Beach Hotel and the former Hollywood Hills Inn.Naval Air Gunners at Riverside, Mar 21 44US Navy at Beach Hotel Xmas 1943 O. Johnson card

At left, ceremony at the Naval Air Gunners School in the former Hollywood Hills Inn. The hotel looks somewhat the worse for wear, having served as a boys’ school, Riverside Military Academy for over a decade.

Photos courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

At right, one of the classes at the Naval Air Navigation School held at the Hollywood Beach Hotel, then a grand resort with quite sumptuous lodgings.

Below, top picture is the gilded dining room in the Hollywood Beach Hotel. postcard

Bottom photo of the Beach Hotel’s  dining room in 1943 as it serves as a mess hall for Naval Air Navigation trainees. Looking closely, it appears that this mess hall had waitresses.27. Beach Hotel dining room 1926 bill

US Navy at Beach Hotel  Dining Rm.(O. Johnson from M.Herald 6 43On March 9, 1943 the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics is communicating about a need for more trainers at the Air Navigation School in Hollywood, Florida, indicating that they have 36 but could use 70 to 100 more.  To fills needed positions like this, the Women’s Reserve had been created the previous year, known as the WAVES.

1917 WOMEN FIRST BECOME PART OF THE U.S. NAVY. On March 14, 1917, the then Secretary of the Navy declared that women could be Reservists, enrolled as Yeomen and working, for example, as radio electricians. Some of these Yeomen would join the WAVES in the Second World War.


Beach Hotel rooms 1930sNavigation: Burke, Withington, KrebsAt left, single and double rooms in the Hollywood Beach Hotel, late 1930s to early 1940s, from a brochure.

It would be interesting to know if the decorations were stripped and changed to Navy regulation bedding. One thing is for sure:  there were blackout curtains at the windows.

Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

Image below from Hollywood Sun-Tattler

At right, the caption reads: “Preparing to go aloft for the first time in connection with their course at the Naval Air Navigation School at Hollywood Beach. Ensigns Madeline Burke, Virginia Withington, and Katherine Krebs stow their octants aboard a training plane. They are three of the WAVES who will serve as air navigation instructors on completion of the course.

1944 NAVAL AIR NAVIGATION SCHOOL TO LEAVE HOLLYWOOD. In March, 1944 the Navy announces that the Naval Air Navigation School is to be moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma. It had been moved to Hollywood just over a year previously from the University of Miami, and graduated a large number of navigators, including a small group of WAVES.

1944 VERA HAMMERSTEIN HEADS CANNING CENTER.  During the war, Fireman’s Community Hall at 1855 Polk Street was converted into the Victory Canning Center where Hollywood women canned fresh produce. The Rec 1955 Browardier HHS(By 1945 the building had become the Teen Recreation Center, or The Rec.)

On March 10, 1944 Mrs. Hammerstein,chairman of the canning center, put out a call to vegetable and fruit growers to “register any surpluses they may have which otherwise would go to waste.” These could be salvaged for canning. In Hollywood, 48 families had processed 3,648 cans during the 19 days the center had been open so far that year. One of the canners was my mother, Lamora Mickelson. As the cans weren’t provided with paper labels, we were never sure whether we would be getting tomatoes or grapefruit in Mother’s cans.Bond drive, Hammersteins, Johnnie's joint US Navy & TenEick pht

In the photo at right, Vera Hammerstein is seated far left,with the flower in her hair.  Beside her is her husband, C. P. Hammerstein. They and others are being treated to a steak dinner to thank them for their activities during war bond drives.

Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

1968 DO YOU REMEMBER “INTERAMA”?  Big news now in 2015 is about the huge mall to be installed in Miami. But earlier, in the 60s, another grand project was announced, called “Interama.” Interama, Mar. 6 1968

This was to be “the world’s first permanent international cultural and trade center.” A story in the Sun Tattler of March 6, 1968 has a map showing the location of the 1,700 acre site between Hollywood and Miami, “created from former swampland.” This appears to be where Aventura is now.

Interama would have areas for various South American nations to have pavilions, for education, entertainment and trade centers operating on a non-profit basis.

Gov. Claude Kirk and mayors from Miami to Palm Beach, including Hollywood mayor Maynard Abrams, met March 16, 1968 to discuss methods of gaining community support. To the best of my knowledge, Interama never materialized.

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Recently I came across some advertising that stated the original Hollywood Beach Hotel was on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, this ad went on to indicate that all the beaches in Broward County are in Fort Lauderdale. This is startling news–Where was I when Broward County became “Fort Lauderdale”?Beach, Hein pc, face

On the other hand, a current poll of US beaches by Trip Advisor lists Hollywood’s beach at #20, South Beach at #21, and Fort Lauderdale not at all. Higher ranked Florida beaches were chiefly on the west coast. So why does anyone think Hollywood has to pretend it’s actually some other place?

Postcard, mid-20th century, Hollywood beach with the Sheldon Hotel.
As a Hollywood historian, I’d like to say that Hollywood’s beach was developed as an ocean resort area before Fort Lauderdale’s or any other beaches in Broward or Dade Counties. Most of the smaller towns with ocean frontage were settled by farmers who stayed inland, having no particular use for sand and salt water. Occasionally they would row across the Inland Waterway for a day of fishing and probably wading, but permanent structures on the ocean side were few, like the Coast Guard Station in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to 1920 Fort Lauderdale’s newspaper proclaimed their city to be the “Gateway to the Everglades.”    When Carl Fisher developed Miami Beach, his chief buildings faced Biscayne Bay, as shown in the postcard below.

Carl Fisher's Flamingo Hotel on the bay side of Miami Beach. Collection of Joan Mickelson

Carl Fisher’s Flamingo Hotel on the bay side of Miami Beach. Collection of Joan Mickelson

But J. W. Young had a different idea for his dream city, christening it “Hollywood By-the-Sea.”    As soon as he could get across the Inland Waterway to the barrier island, he put in the first west-east road (today, Johnson Street).

In the top photo, below, the men on the barge are identified as Connie Heath, Bill May, Tony Mickelson and Oliver 70' barge at Johnson Street crossing, Inland Waterway, 1923                                                                                                                     30Mickelson                                           Attaway.  The bottom photo is looking east to the ocean. The white strip is today’s Johnson Street, the first road put in on Hollywood’s beach barrier island.  Both photos are from 1922.

Courtesy Tony Mickelson Estate and Hollywood Historical Society.

By-the-sea photo

Broad Ocean Walk. Reporter Aug. 1924 p. 18After rocking the future Johnson Street, Young immediately began the Broadwalk. There was nothing else on Hollywood beach when Young had these advertising photos made. Shops and the swimming Casino would follow. Clearly his plan was to open the ocean front for everyone to enjoy.

The next photo, from his Hollywood Reporter, calls it the Broad Beach Walk, and adds that “electric light clusters” would soon be added along the walk.

By 1925 the Broadwalk was as busy as it is today. The view below is looking toward Johnson Street, with the swimming Casino tower at the left, and center, the Tangerine Tea Room (it was Prohibition, don’t forget!).

Panoramic postcard photo, Mickelson Collection, gift of Claudina Lopez

11. Broadwalk looking N., Casino & Tangerine tearoom 1926 lopezHwd 1922 brochure Boca giftAnd in case there are still questions about Young’s name for his city, here are several more examples of “Hollywood by-the-Sea”

Left, from an advertising flyer, c. 1922

Vitsky music, FL archive

Right, sheet music cover for song by Phil Vitsky, c. 1925



postcard of Harding Circle, now Young Circle north side facing U.S. 1, with sign reading “Hollywood by the Sea,” 1940s.


In January, 1897 Henry Flagler, who had built Florida East Coast Rail Way down to Miami, opened the Royal Palm Hotel there, at the juncture of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Royal Palm Hotel Yacht Basin & Miami River

At right, the Royal Palm Yacht Basin, with the Brickell mansion center left, on the south shore of the Miami River. The hotel would be off to the right.

The Breakers original, frame. Palm Beach

At left is the earlier hotel built by Flagler, the Royal Poinciana in Palm Beach.  Like this one, the Royal Palm was an enormous wood frame structure. Miami’s grand edifice continued to thrive until it was damaged by the hurricane of 1926.

Young on his first trip to Florida (to Miami, precisely) may have stayed there, or at the Flamingo Hotel built by Carl Fisher, seen above.
Fisher and his wife Jane first came to Miami, by train, in February, 1910. They bought a house on Brickell Avenue, which was then lined with private homes, and called “Millionaires’ Row.”

Speaking of millionaires, on January 25, 1919, Paris Singer opened his private Everglades Club in Palm Beach, in an influential building designed by Californian Addison Mizner, a structure that references the basilica-form Spanish Mission churches of old California, with its swooping parapet and bell tower, central hall area, and opposite end crowned with another tower.
On January 2, 1920 Young and his friend and business partner Edwin Whitson came by train from Indianapolis to Miami as Young was seeking land to develop somewhere on a shore. According to Myrtle Anderson Gray, later his secretary, Young came to Dania, settled by Danish-American farmers and incorporated since 1904, where he hired someone to drive him over the empty land to the south of Dania, spending about two weeks exploring the future Hollywood. During this time Young purchased five Miami subdivisions in Allapattah. Sale of this property helped fund his purchase of land for his future city.

In January 1921 Young’s first survey crew began work, having arrived in December, 1920. According to Tony Mickelson, who was part of that crew, others included Alexis Kononoff, Connie Heath, also two black men, J. Motmore and T. Major.

Young captured every facet of the building of his city in photos, and circulated these widely around the U.S. This photo appeared in his

Young captured every facet of the building of his city in photos, and circulated these widely around the U.S. Chief surveyor Tony Mickelson stands where the city would begin, where the Boulevard would cross the Dixie Highway and FEC tracks.
Joan Mickelson Collection

At right, city surveyor Mickelson stands where Young’s city began. The land Young purchased for his city doesn’t greatly resemble Miami of 1920

But by February of 1922, streets were in in the Central area (now Downtown and Parkside), and that month marked the opening of both the electric power plant and the water plant.

Power Plant at 21st & Lincolm, completed FEb. 1922

Left, Hollywood Electric Light & Power Plant, at the corner of Buchanan Street and 21st Avenue, 1922. Pioneers to Hollywood were treated to a blaze of artificial lights, with street lights, in the hotels and houses, even decorating building exteriors. No roughing it with candles in central Hollywood!

Water Plant completed Feb. 1922

Right, Hollywood Water Plant, 1922, between Taylor and Polk Streets on 18th Avenue. In its early years, Hollywood had water from its own aquifer.

Elec & Water plants 1924 Leonard giftBy 1924 Young had had to expand the electric power plant, as shown in this page from a salesman’s photo book of 1924 (left).

To keep up with demand Young hired C. B. Moody away from the Miami Electric Light and Power Company to manage his utilities. Moody later became one of Hollywood’s mayors.

On February 16, 1922 after the Harry Bastian company had erected 15 houses John Brown was hired to keep an eye on them while they were under construction. These homes, mostly still standing, may be seen in the blocks from Van Buren to Washington Streets, and from U.S. 1 to 21st Avenue. another 1st house, Central

Hollywood houses built from 1922 to about 1924 are easily recognized by their distinctive parapets, or roof lines, modeled after California Spanish Mission churches, an architectural style preferred by J. W.  Young.

At that time in 1922, Brown lived in a bunk house Young had built for workers on the south side of today’s Young Circle as they laid in the streets and sidewalks. Knowledge of this temporary workers’ quarters perhaps has given rise to the silly story that Young hired a prominent architect and built the Great Southern Hotel “for workers.” As it happened, the bunk house burned to the ground in February, 1923.
For the record, there were four families already living in the area before it became Hollywood. They were the Ben Jones family at the corner of today’s U.S. 1 and Sheridan Street (not part of Hollywood then), and the Ed Hensons who lived next door, By the FEC railroad tracks lived Walter and Lulu Altman, just north of today’s McKinley Street on 21st Avenue, probably on railroad property since Altman had been hired by the Florida East Coast railway in 1920 to operate the water pump that serviced the steam engines. Finally, there were Fred and Albertine Zirbs, who established a farm just north of today’s Johnson Street at north 17th Court in 1910.None of those houses are standing now. But one more home should be mentioned that is in Hollywood today, and this is the 1914 two-story frame house on north 58th Avenue. It was built by a member of the Bryan family and it is believed that at that time the land was an Everglades hammock, reachable by water.

In February, 1922, Young also began his newsletter, The Hollywood Reporter, a significant source today for information about Hollywood from 1922 to 1926. Our thanks to the late William Schaaf for sharing his beautiful copies of this important source with me. Reporter Nov. 1923

At left, cover of one of the Reporters with the architect’s drawing of the future Hollywood Golf & Country Club.

The architect was Martin L. Hampton.

The following year a plan dated January 29, 1923, drawn by F. C. Dickey, Engineer, is of the proposed Lake Section of Hollywood “By the Sea.” It covers Washington to Johnson Streets, and the area that would be reclaimed from marsh, east of about 12th Avenue. Hwd plan 1920

In the drawing (I don’t have a photo of that drawing) each lake has an island. Tent City is shown on the beach, but the Beach Hotel is only a sketch.
At this time, work on creating the two lagoons, North and South Lake had begun, dredging out the lakes to raise submerged land around them. It would be over a year before land had settled enough for homes to be built.

Tent city, K. LaBelle coll.

Tent City, also called Beach City, was a “resort under canvas,” frame structures with canvas tops, housing 100 or more. The camps had electricity, running water, and maid service.

Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

January 19, 1924 marked the opening of the prestigious, costly Country Club at the northeast corner of Polk Street and 17th Avenue (now gone). Hollywood Golf & Country Club, built 1924, 17th and Polk

Country Club dance floor 1925 billAs the architect Young hired Martin L. Hampton, who had worked with Addison Mizner in Palm Beach. The building was set at an angle to the street corner. Its entrance with covered porte cochere  faced southwest. Hampton followed Young’s edict that Hollywood’s buildings should recall the California Mission style–note the roofline of the porte cochere. At the same time, Young seems to have been taken with the quirky irregularities of fellow Californian Mizner’s Palm Beach buildings. For example, in the Country Club, everything is off-center, the left wing doesn’t match the right wing, and there are a number of different roof styles.

This view at right of the famous glass brick dance floor was taken from the central tower. There were colored lights under the glass brick, and overhead at night, stars and the moon.

Here is another view of the dance floor, from eye level, with a group of visitors in winter coats. Ttaken by J. L. Conrad of Beaver, PA the photo appeared in the Reporter.



And here the party is in full swing, the floor filled with elegant couples said to have come from as far as Miami and Palm Beach, the women dressed in shimmering, form-fitting beaded dresses and cloche hats, the men in black tie.  Due to Prohibition, no liquor was served, but rumor has it that there were bottles of hooch hidden under the tables…

Photo Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

Also in January, 1924, Hollywood’s third ornamental circle was laid out by surveyor Sam Whitehead, as the western terminus of Young’s city, at about 56th Avenue.3rd circle, just laid out.

The circle in the foreground became the site of a hotel, which from the 30s to the 60s was the winter quarters of Riverside Military Academy, except during World War II when it was taken over by the US Navy for an aerial gunnery training school. Today this is Presidential Circle.

Note in the far distance to the east (top of photo) the shiny effect of the water still draining from the Lake Section.

In February, 1924 Hollywood’s first bank opened, the Hollywood State Bank.bank

To start up this bank, Young had the support of Edward C. Romfh, founder and president of the 1st National Bank of Miami.

In 1926 Young demolished this structure to replace it with the grand First National Bank of Hollywood, designed by Rubush & Hunter.Disk 2 bill pcs 005

Both banks were erected on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and 20th Avenue. This bank, though unfortunately modified, still stands.

Photos courtesy of Hollywood Historical Society.

Frank house beach Buchananin February, 1924 the first permanent home was built on the beach, by J. L. Frank from Buffalo  It stood at about 325 Buchanan Street until just recently. No sooner had I located it, than it was gone before I could get a photo of it. But there is one more bit of visual proof, for this two-story CBS structure appears in a 1924 aerial photo of the beach.

And for more myth-busting: there were no rock cabins built by hermits on Hollywood beach before 1922–or after that date, either. Although I do love the mental picture of that mythical hermit rowing out to the reef day after day and bringing back a chunk of coral to eventually build his cabin!

January, 1926 Young’s major opus, the hotel on Hollywood beach, opened at the eastern end of Hollywood Boulevard. It was first called Hollywood Hotel, but soon became the Beach Hotel.  22. Beach Hotel, Boulevard side, color24. Beach Hotel entrance 1926 billHere is a splendid view of the west facade, and a closeup of the elegant entrance with grand Italian-style switchback staircse. Young succeeded in building a hotel larger than Flagler’s. Furthermore, this is made from poured cement. It has stood through hurricanes including the one in 1926, chiefly suffering only broken windows. It must have been extremely painful to watch the DOT run a bridge ramp over the gardens and across the hotel’s facade, a thumb to the nose not only to Young’s vision, but really to Hollywood in general. A textbook example of how to destroy a “City Beautiful.”IMG_0295

Here are two views of the Atlantic Ocean facade of the Hollywood Beach Hotel.

The drawing is from Young’s advertising, about 1926-27. Apparently he had decided to call this one the “Hollywood Hotel,” so the original Hollywood Hotel that overlooked Circle Park became the Park View Hotel.

23. Beach Hotel from ocean

Another hand-tinted postcard, probably based on a photo of the hotel from the ocean, c. 1926-27.

Early imaginary sketches of the beach suggest that there would be a pier in front of the hotel, but this was never constructed.

On January 4, 1926, Dania officially became part of Hollywood. (It would secede later.)

That same month, the Dania Beach Hotel opened, designed by Francis Abreu, but recently demolished.
January 8, 1927 the first passenger train on the western tracks in Hollywood, operated by the Seaboard Air Lines, made a passenger stop. Seaboard Station 40s RR mus

At that time the station, located as it still is at Hollywood Boulevard and 30th Avenue, was the only structure in a vast empty area west of 28th Avenue, with the exception of the Hollywood Hills Inn on the third circle. Trains on these tracks are now operated by Amtrak and Tri-rail.

On February 22, 1928, the port at Lake Mabel formally opened to shipping. Ft. Lauderdale Daily News, Feb. 21, 1928 HHS

At first this was called Port Hollywood or Port Florida, or as the Fort Lauderdale Daily News had it, Port Bay Mabel. Today it is Port Everglades, operated by Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale. This view looks north east.  The President who technically opened the port was President Calvin Coolidge.

1930s NEWS

In January, 1934, the seriously-ill founder of Hollywood, Joseph W. Young, returned from New York to his residence on Hollywood Boulevard, with the hope that the warmer weather would improve his health.Young's obit photo

He was gratified to see ships in the port that he had brought into being, and to enjoy his handsome home. But on February 26, 1934, at age 51, he died.

At right, Joseph W. Young, Jr., 1882-1934, Hollywood’s visionary founder.

A year later, January 1935, the city commission changed the name of the downtown circle park from Harding Circle to Joseph W. Young Circle, as it is today.

1940s NEWS

During World War II, Hollywood became a Navy town, with both of Young’s great hotels taken over by Navy units.US Navy at Beach Hotel Xmas 1943 O. Johnson card

On the ocean, the Beach Hotel seen at left, became a training site for officers including air navigators. This photo is one of the classes of graduates in 1943.

Naval Air Gunners mag. 1943On the western termination of Young’s city his original Hollywood Hills Inn, by then Riverside Military Academy, was co-opted by the Navy for training air gunners.

This copy of their newsletter, The Muzzle Blast, is in the Hollywood Historical Society’s archives.

It is dated August, 1943, and shows a shirtless young man atop the training gun (top, far left). This would soon change.

Naval Air Gunners at Riverside, Mar 21 44 V. E. TenEick coll. 001In 1942 the U.S. Navy established the WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. These women were not stenos–those already existed, as Yeomen-F. The WAVES were given basic training then became part of the Navy.  One position for which these women were trained was to take over the training of Navy air gunners.

On February 3, 1944 the first 20 trainers arrived, in the form of WAVES Specialists “G,” the G standing for Gunner. During the following year, the contingent of women gunnery trainers (WAVES) grew to more than 100.

*****I am currently working on a book about the WAVES who were stationed in Hollywood in WW II, including the women ensigns who were trained with their male fellow officers at the Beach Hotel, and the Specialists G at the Riverside campus, including the unnamed young woman in the photo above. So if you know of any women who were part of this group, PLEASE CONTACT ME! *****

Disk 6 county 2 001Following that war, the Navy decommissioned the Naval Air Station they had established on the former Merle Fogg Airport. In January, 1948 Broward County assumed control of what is today the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. This photo shows the main runway going east toward the ocean. At the far top left is Port Everglades.


Now, since I know many of you are highly interested in what happened in Hollywood after 1950, here are some gleanings from the January, 1956 issues of our Hollywood Sun-Tattler.
January 5, 1956: A charter meeting of a South Broward historical society will be held at the Chamber of Commerce. Ella Jo Stolberg Wilcox will be chairman of the meeting.  It would be another two decades before Hollywood residents formed our Hollywood Historical Society. And the Broward County Historical Commission, also founded in the 70s, was disbanded this past year

Jan. 9, 1956January 9, 1956: Pauline Watkins officiates at ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating the school bearing her name, Watkins Elementary School.

Many of us had Mrs. Watkins as a teacher first at Hollywood Central in 8th grade social studies, then at South Broward High School.

IMG_0067That same front page announced the death of former mayor Lester Boggs at only 59. Boggs was a long-time member of the city commission, and served as Hollywood’s Mayor from 1943 to 1947 and again from 1949 to 1953.

An ad in the January 12, 1956 Tattler may bring back some memories.Jan. 12, 1956

Jack Valentine’s was a Fort Lauderdale nightclub, but in the Fifties they laid down an ice sheet and  put on ice shows with professional skaters. Judging from the awkward position of the skter’s raised leg, figure skating has come a long way since 1956.

January 12 and January 23, 1956

Jan. 12, 1956The ad at left was for Hillside Park, which was “south of Hollywood Boulevard” and “East of State Road 7” [441].

Top house in the photo was selling for $15,750.

These houses were featuring “Florida rooms,” a sort of family room. They also had utility rooms. If these were special rooms set aside for doing laundry and ironing, I would certainly like one today.

Jan. 23, 1956

The house pictured at right is in Lawn Acres, with the given address of Hollywood Boulevard and 56th Avenue.

Houses in this section were selling for $14,000 to $22,000.

Those would be good buys today.

So how about this in the January 19, 1956


Jan. 19, 1956Sorry I didn’t get the price, but it would have been in four figures.

Sawyer Motors had a huge auto sales lot in Hollywood in the early 1920s. At that time they sold Fords and Lincolns.

Another long-time business was advertised in January 26, 1956Jan. 26, 1956.

Flamingo Groves had been established in Davie in January of 1927 by Floyd and Jane Wray and Frank Stirling. The Wrays had a beautiful home in Hollywood, and a weekend house on an original Everglades hammock on their grove property. The house and hammock, now part of Flamingo Gardens, may be toured today for a taste of south Florida in the Twenties.

For an interesting history of Flamingo Groves/Gardens go to http://flamingogardensblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-first-tree-was-planted-88-years-ago.html

Finally, what would our area be without young women swimming in tanks, performing as mermaids.

Jan. 23, 1956This one, Ginger Staley, was imported from Silver Springs to perform at the Hollywood Armory four times each day during the Hollywood Home and Hobby Show.

So, instead of an aquarium with tropical fish, you might have a tank in your home with a mermaid in it as your hobby.

This was January 23, 1956.

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