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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Where to find Joan Mickelson, author, in 2019

Signing at book launch, 1920s style. June 2013 Photo by Isa

Photo by Isa

Dear Readers, sorry that I neglected the blog this past year. I’ll try to write more in 2019. If there is a Hollywood, Florida topic you would like me to cover from the years 1920-1950, please send an email.  Currently I’m researching a possible 3-person biography about 3 from Hollywood who served in World War One, an army pilot, a Navy man, and an army nurse.

Last summer I was the subject of a full-page interview by Robin Kerr Drulard, editor of the Hollywood Gazette. The story and photos are in the August 2018 issue, p. 8:  “Hollywood Historian Joan Mickelson, Ph.D. wants everyone to know the story of Joseph W. Young’s Seaside Paradise.”

On February 17, 2019 I’ve been invited to take part in a big Hollywood celebration, Vintage South Florida, held on Hollywood Boulevard, Downtown. I’ll be in the Hollywood Historical Society’s Chautauqua tent, in front of Melina’s, and will give a “soapbox” talk on J. W. Young’s original–and lasting–design for his city.  img_4996-1.jpg vintage poster

March 14 to 17, 2019, I’ll be taking part in SleuthFest 2019, sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Boca Raton, Florida.

November 3, 2019 I’ll give a PowerPoint talk on “Flight in Hollywood, 1920s to 1940s: From Bi-planes to Grumman IBF Avengers.” This Hollywood Historical Society lecture will be held at the Stirling Road Branch Library, 3151 Stirling Road, Hollywood, Florida, 1 – 3 pm. Free.

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Maryland maybe

Maryland maybe

This post will be in support of preservation efforts regarding Hollywood’s original buildings. At present, designated historic areas are Downtown and the Lakes Section. Those are certainly deserving, but surely it’s time to recognize the original Central section as well.

Vista del Colegio, Photo by Higby

Vista del Colegio, Photo by Higby

Some history facts: in 2020, Hollywood as the city created by Joseph W. Young, Jr. will reach its century mark. Young bought his first square mile in 1920; the first street, Hollywood Boulevard from the Dixie Highway to future Young Circle, was laid out in 1921. Within this first purchase were areas that the Hollywood Land & Water company called Downtown, Central, and the Little Ranches. (Much of the future Lakes section wasn’t ready for building construction before 1925 as the filled land around both Lakes had to settle.)

1921 hollywood blvd 4

Hollywood Boulevard, looking east from the Dixie Highway, Nov. 1921. Collection Hollywood Historical Society

1923 H.blvd 9

Hollywood Boulevard looking east from the FEC railroad tracks to the Parkview Hotel, January, 1923. Collection Hollywood Historical Society

From the Boulevard, streets in the Central section radiated north to Dania, south toward Hallandale, east to about future 14th Avenue, and west to future 28th Avenue.

Today Young’s Central section has become Downtown, Parkside, Royal Poinciana, and the western edge of the Lakes section. By the time Young had his city incorporated in late 1925, the Central section was filled with businesses in Downtown, and homes, apartments and small hotels chiefly in what is now Parkside, as well as Royal Poinciana.

As a Hollywood native, I would like to help preserve as much of J. W. Young’s beautiful city as we can. (We lived “out west” in the Little Ranches where my father bought an acre of land in 1922.)

Hollywood, 1940

2301 and 2303 Polk Street, 1938 Mickelson Collection

Downtown has rightly been designated “historic,” but for reasons unclear to me, Parkside, which contains Hollywood’s oldest homes, has not received that designation. I believe efforts are currently underway to correct this incomprehensible oversight. I’m not trained in historic preservation, but I am a historian and can provide data needed to support historic designations.

Hollywood had a remarkable building boom between 1922, when Young’s Hollywood Land & Water Company erected the first permanent structures in his brand-new city, and 1926, the year of the devastating September hurricane.  No doubt to get the ball of settlement rolling, in 1922 Young had his company, together with Indiana building contractor Harry K. Bastian, erect the first permanent homes in Hollywood, in today’s Parkside. In order to maintain a certain look for his city Young hired the architectural firm of Rubush & Hunter to design a series of suggested houses, chiefly in the California Mission Revival style to which Young was partial.

Rubush & Hunter sample drawing of possible house for Hwd. Land & Water.

Rubush & Hunter, Sample house design for Hollywood By-the-Sea. City of Hollywood Archives.

These first houses were built along 19th and 20th Avenues, between Van Buren and Washington Streets. The first house to be occupied was at 1901 Madison Street, now gone, owned by Canadians Charles and Emma Roden.

Roden home

Also significant in this historic group of Hollywood’s first homes, dating from 1922 is the one at 1855-57 Monroe Street, below, which became the home of Virginia Elliott TenEick in 1923. She was, of course, Hollywood’s first published historian. Surely this house deserves historical landmark designation.

Elliott 1855 Monroe HHS

1855 Monroe Street, 1922. Virginia Elliott TenEick’s home in 1923. Collection Hollywood Historical Society









Information about all Hollywood’s historic sites can be found in the Hollywood Historical Society’s archives. Handy sources are TenEick’s History of Hollywood, and my Guide to Historic Hollywood and the 2015 booklet The Hollywood Historical Society Historic Downtown Walking Tour. All of these are available at the Hollywood Historical Society; my Guide is also available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  TenEickMickelson.Guide cover


Notable among the early buildings in today’s Parkside are a sizeable group of small apartment buildings.  They proliferated at that time because the hundreds of people flocking to Young’s thriving new city needed somewhere to live as they made land purchases then built homes. Remember, as late as 1922 there were only a handful of permanent buildings in Hollywood which was essentially flat, cleared ground. When my father was sent by Young to Hollywood in 1920 to start surveying the newly purchased land there was nowhere for him to live–at least in Hollywood. Bloom's Hotel, Dania 1920

Mrs. Bloom’s boarding house, Dania, Florida, 1921.                                                              Collection of the Estate of Tony Mickelson.

So he went to the settled farm community just to the north, Dania, and had his rooms and meals in Mrs. Bloom’s boarding house, pictured above. People in my father’s snapshot aren’t identified.  (He soon bought the acre of land in the Little Ranches.)

The Hollywood Land and Water Company didn’t build apartment buildings, but many others did, and today many of those that were built according to Young’s building codes between 1923 and 1927 still stand, particularly in Hollywood’s first  residential areas now known as Parkside and Royal Poinciana.

Recently I made a list of pre-1926 apartments in Hollywood that were designed in the California Mission, or Spanish Mission, or Spanish-Moorish style. We use those terms because that is what they were called at the time that they were built (“Mediterranean Revival” is a misnomer since there was no reference to the Mediterranean intended). Hollywood’s founder in 1920 had lived in California from 1902 to 1916 when the Mission Revival movement was at its height, and this was the architectural style that he decreed should be used in buildings in his city (also the California adobe, and the bungalow).

So here is my list of Hollywood apartment buildings designed with reference to the California Mission, or Spanish Mission, with addresses and date built, if known:

Alva Apts., 1926, 1940 Fillmore Street (at right)Alva

Boulevard Apts., 1014 Hollywood Blvd., 1925-26 (gone)

Casa El Jeanne Apts., 1924-25, 2000 Jefferson Street

Cavanaugh Apts., 1925, 309 Arizona Street

Chelsea Apts., 1924, 2021 Pierce St., designed by Jack Davidon  Chelsea 1924 2021 Pierce Street

Coronado and Castillian Apts., 1852 & 1856 Washington St.

Cropper Apts., 1926, 1512 Harrison St.

Eby Apts., 1926, 1621 Van Buren St.

Flora Apts., 1924, 1656 Polk St. designed by Martin L. Hampton Flora, Yale Studio

Yale Studio photo. Collection Hollywood Historical Society

(at right)

Fountain Court Apts., 1924, 817 Tyler Street Fountain Court

         at right, Photo by Sellard.

       Collection Hollywood Historical Society

Gallager Apts., 1401 Madison St.

Garfield-Tubbs Apts., 1926, 1639 Madison St.

Glenmore and Canterbury Apts., 1925, 1641 Tyler St.

Hollywood Beach Apts., 1926, 322 Monroe St.

Hutchinson Hotel & Apartments, later Golfview Hotel, 1924, 404 N. 17th Avenue (possibly by Rubush & Hunter) Postcard (below)Hutchinson Golf View

Josephine Apts., 1928-29, 1947 Lincoln St. (gone)

LeRoy Apts., 1836 Dewey St.

Lorraine Hotel, 1924, 1704 Polk St. (gone)

Maryland Apts., 1926, 1857 Jackson St.Maryland maybe

Collection Hollywood Historical Society

         (at right)

Merithew Apts., 1925, 1350 Tyler StreetMerithew

at left Collection Hollywood Historical Society

Norma & Mantua Apts., 1926, 221 and 223 S. 17th Ave.Norma and Mantua maybe, later Hurd

later named Hurd Apartments.

Collection Hollywood Historical Society

Ruthlyn Apts., 1720 Fillmore St., 1924  Ruthlyn

Photo collection Hollywood Historical


Trianon Hotel, 1924, 1957 Monroe St. (gone)TrianonTrianon Hotel, 1924, 1955 Monroe St. Helen Whatley.

Photo at left shows this large, upscale hotel apartment building under construction. At right, the finished product complete with urns, awnings and balconies.  Photo collection Hollywood Historical Society.

1442 Tyler St., 1925 (gone)

1536 Tyler St., 1926

Villa Hermosa Hotel, 1925, 1908 Jackson St. (gone)  Villa Hermosa

Villa Hermosa Jupiter Apts, 1926, 1909 Jackson St. (gone)

Vista del Colegio, 1652-56 Madison St., 1924-25Vista del Colegio, Photo by Higby

The only Hollywood building I know that was built to resemble a California adobe. Sadly it has since been remodeled. The name means “View of the School,” referring to Hollywood Central School.

Photo by Higby. Collection Hollywood Historical Society.

Washington Apts., 2020 Washington St., 1926

2137 Washington St.

Nearly all of those listed above are also listed in the State’s compendium of buildings erected in Hollywood before c. 1932, and therefore considered historic. Those not listed by the State in their 1980s study had already been demolished. These site files are available in the Hollywood Historical Society’s Research Center.

Also, in her 1960 History of Hollywood, Virginia TenEick listed all the apartments built before 1926 that she could locate by name, whether they were still there in 1960 or not, and often with no further information available. For those of you interested in historic preservation in Hollywood, here are the apartments TenEick names, showing the pages in her book where they are found.  If you would like more information about a building(s), please contact me and I will look into it.   Email  joanmickelsonphd76@gmail.com

Apartments named by Virginia TenEick with page number where mentioned, list created by me:

apartments, 127-132, 228, 266  All built between 1923 and 1925

Adelen, 129
Aldene, 308
Alva, 129   (photo in first list, above)
Avery, 129
Aylesworth, 121
Bennett, 129, 229 (ill.)
Berner, 129        (  photo at right)Berner
Betty-Bryan, 129
Bevan, 129
Boulevard, 129, 272
Cambridge, 129
Canterbury, 129
Casa El Jeanne, 129
Castilian, 129
Cavanaugh, 129-130
Chandler, 121
Chelsea Apartments, 132 (ill.)   (photo in first list, above)
Clara, 130
Coral Rock, 85, 89, 200
Coronado, 130
Country Club Villas, 405
Cropper, 130
Drurie, 130
Duling, 130
Eby, 130
Edgar, 130
Eisenberger, 128
Elaine, 130
Elizabeth, 130   (photo at right)Elizabeth
Elkins, 130
El Mirador, 130
Fields, 229 (ill.)
Flickenger, 265
Flora Apartments, 66, 67 (ill.), 69, 126 (ill.), 128-129, 131 (ill.), 282 (ill.)   (photo in first list, above)
Fountain Court, 130  (photo in first list, above)
Frank Apartments, 89 (ill.), 90 (ill.)J. L. Frank house, 1st home on beach, Feb. 1924 probably at 325 Buchanan
     This was the first house on Hollywood beach, built in February 1924 by J. L. Frank of Buffalo NY. As the demand for housing on the beach was enormous, Frank very quickly converted the building into apartments. It was torn down within the past decade.
garage apartments, 127
Garfield-Tubbs, 130
George Young Apartments, 69, 128, 288 (ill.)Young
        These apartments were erected by George Young who was not related to J. W. Young or to Young’s close friend Ralph Young. The building appears to have been well-constructed, but it was left in shambles by the September 1926 hurricane, and demolished.  Photo Hollywood Historical Society.
Glenmore, 130
Goodbread, 130
Harrison Arms, 130
Hazel, 130
Hendrick Hudson, 130
Hollywood, 130
Hollywood Beach, 130
Hutchins, 120
Indiana, 130, 322-23Indiana
       This building seems quite plain for 1924-26 but as this is a later photo, perhaps it was remodeled.
Irma, 130
Jefferson, 130
Johnson St. on beach, 87
Josephine, 130
Jupiter, 130
Kington Building, 119-20kington apts
     Now the Broward Building, this building was planned and constructed with stores on the ground floor and large apartments above.   It is part of Hollywood’s Historic Downtown district.     Photo collection Hollywood Historical Society
Knapp, 130
Leroy, 130
Lillian, 130
Lingerlong, 23, 66, 127-128, 153
Lorraine, 282 (ill.)
Mantua, 130  (photo in first list, above)
Maryland, 130, 274    (photo in first list, above)
McCray, 130
Merithew, 130   (photo in first list, above)
Monterey, 130
Neff, 130
Norma, 130   (photo in first list, above)
Ocean View, North & South, 130
Olive, 130, 226
O’Sullivan, 129
Owens-Nims, 130
Phyllis, 130
Phyl Mar, 130
Relda, 130
Ruthlyn, 130    (photo in first list, above)
Semmel, 130
South Lake, 130
Symmes, 87
Vaden Apartments, 69
Virginia-Lee, 130
Vista Del Collegio, 130   (photo in first list, above)
Warren, 130
Washington, 130, 274
Waverly, 130
Wellinger, 130, 229 (ill.)

I hope this was of interest. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact me at joanmickelsonphd76@gmail.com or the Hollywood Historical Society, http://www.Hollywoodhistoricalsociety.org  and hollywoodflhistory@att.net




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Correcting Fake News about Hollywood, Florida


It’s been brought to my attention that at least one website that offers “historical” information about Hollywood, Florida, states that J. W. Young created Hollywood “as a suburb of Miami” “in hopes of building a motion picture colony.”  Wrong, wrong, wrong.


First off, Young didn’t put all his time, effort and funds into building a “suburb.”  He was building a CITY. He founded it in 1920, and had Hollywood incorporated in 1925.

Next, I can only assume that the belief that Young was trying to create a movie colony is solely based on the name Young gave to his city.  In numerous previous blogs, and my books, I have explained that Young didn’t choose the name “Hollywood” due to a fascination with movies made there. He simply liked the name. There are some 18 Hollywoods in the US, some dating to the 19th century. Most were named for the holly bush.

If Young had been influenced by motion pictures in his choice of name, he more likely would have chosen “Long Beach,” where he lived for about 15 years. During his time there, 1902 to 1916, Long Beach CA was indeed the major west coast motion picture setting as it was the home of SILENT movie-making including a company called Balboa Films. See the excellent book on this topic by Jean-Jacques Jura and Rodney Bardin II, Balboa Films, 1999.

When Young named Hollywood, Florida, late in 1920 or January of 1921, the California place of that name was still a private housing development off in the eastern hills of Los Angeles; Young’s interest was in waterfront land. So Hollywood, Florida was not a spin-off of a Los Angeles development.

NOT A MOVIE BUFF. Actually, I’ve never come across anything that suggests that Young was a movie buff. Clearly he supported live entertainment, chiefly music-related, bands, parades, concerts, dancing. From the start of Hollywood, he included musical entertainment in his hotels.


J. W. Young’s “Hollywood Marimba Orchestra” playing in his Hollywood Park View Hotel, 1923.

Image from Young’s Hollywood Reporter.

Young also provided outdoor entertainment for all his visitors, setting up bandstands in his sales pavilions and on Hollywood beach.

Below is a temporary bandstand at Johnson Street and the Broadwalk, about 1925.

Beach theater 25-26 crop Boca gift HHS

Young went so far as to have an excellent concert and marching band on his Hollywood Land & Water Company payroll. These two photos show bandleader Caesar LaMonaca in his white suit (above) and his Hollywood band in all their finery (below).Disk 5 county one 005.jpg

By 1926 Young was able to bring the nation’s top dance orchestra leader, Paul Whiteman, to play for the grand opening of his Hollywood Beach Hotel.

NEVER BUILT A THEATER. But note: as far as movies went, Young never built so much as a single movie theater. Yes, there was a theater on Hollywood Boulevard by 1923.

Ritz TheatrePhoto courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.
But it was strictly a stage theater. And Young didn’t build it. The builder/owner was Arthur Enos. Only in the 1930s after Young was gone, did a movie distributing chain rename that building the Ritz Theatre and set it up to show movies.

J. W. YOUNG NEVER BUILT OR EVEN PLANNED SOUND STAGES. Although Young documented everything built by his company, from hotels, to office buildings, to a publishing house, to a bank, there is no record of Young and his company building even one movie set/sound stage. Young knew about sound stages as there were several in Long Beach, spread over several city blocks, while Young lived nearby.

Moreover, there are no movie sets/sound stages on the various city plans drawn by Young’s engineers. Nor does anything resembling sound stages appear on the 1926 Sanborn Map of Hollywood, which carefully documents even small structures such as garages and sheds, for the benefit of the fire department. (Young had established a fire department in 1923.)

DID NOT ADVERTISE A “MOVIE COLONY.” His vast advertising campaigns don’t mention “home of” or “future home of” a movie colony.

DID MAKE A DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT HOW HE BUILT HOLLYWOOD. As he lived in Long Beach in a time when movies were being made there in large sound stages and even on the city streets, the process of movie-making wasn’t lost on Young. As he built his city, Young documented every step, in newsletters and in still photography. So it isn’t surprising that he turned to another medium and had a documentary film made of his burgeoning new city as it appeared in 1925. Still photos of that year, especially around the Fourth of July, show a movie cameraman on a raised stand filming all around the city,

Park View & Great Southern, 4th July parade 1925

Park View & Great Southern Hotels, 4th July parade 1925 on Hollywood Boulevard. Photo courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

in particular the parades on the Broadwalk and marching bands on Hollywood Boulevard. scan 128.tif

Photo left: same cameraman filming baby parade on the Broadwalk, July 4, 1925.

But Young didn’t own the film company. Instead he seems to have hired a firm from Miami (where there was a “movie colony”) to make this documentary movie. There’s no evidence that Young was ever interested in “story” movies such as were made in Long Beach and later in Hollywood CA.

NO EVIDENCE OF A “MOVIE COLONY.” So much for Young trying to create a film colony. It’s to be hoped that the misinformed website will remove this false information about Hollywood, Florida.

Instead, they might mention that J. W. Young’s interests were more business-oriented as he created a “City Beautiful” and an international port, now Port Everglades.



Did the convicted criminal Al Capone live in Hollywood?

NO, AL CAPONE DID NOT LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD.  He had a large, well-guarded mansion on Palm Island in Miami Beach, which still stands and is known to have been Capone’s. He never owned property in Hollywood (you can check this out). When he bought his Palm Island place he added protective walls, and kept it fully guarded. Then he was sent first to jail in Pennsylvania, then on to Alcatraz. Eventually he returned to Palm Island, a sick old man, and died there. Read the biographies of Capone—they don’t mention Hollywood. Capone’s bases were Chicago, of course, then Miami Beach.

Hollywood eventually had other mobsters, like Giancana, Jimmy Blue Eyes Alo, Potatoes Kauffman. We know where some of their houses are. But NOT AL CAPONE!

Here’s a screwy legend: someone on Facebook thinks prostitution was legal in “early” Hollywood.

PROSTITUTION WAS NEVER LEGAL IN HOLLYWOOD, or anywhere else in Florida that I’m aware of. Why do people want to turn Hollywood into a den of iniquity? J. W. Young created the city in 1920 as a City Beautiful, a town consciously designed to be a fine place to live and raise a family. There wasn’t any crime in Hollywood in the 20s (well, besides bootlegging) and even into the 50s people weren’t locking their doors, or cars. Open gambling sprang up in the mid-30s when Prohibition ended (cutting off that illegal source of income), but the city’s tiny population (under 4,000) didn’t like that, tried to crack down on the gambling sites, and kept legal betting at the race tracks out of Hollywood. The Hollywood Kennel Club was and always has been in Hallandale. Likewise Gulfstream Park. In 1950 the Kefauver Commission came to South Florida and shut down all the gambling (which just moved elsewhere), but this is beyond my area of research. Easy to look up yourself if you want to know more about it.

But back to the suggestion there was prostitution in downtown Hollywood in olden times. (Hollywood came into existence in 1920, so “olden times” would be the 20s and 30s, I guess.) This I think is just gossip, people making up stories for their entertainment value. One example is the claim that there was a sort of brothel upstairs in the former publishing company building of the Hollywood Land & Water Company, which still stands on 21st Avenue.Disk 5 county one 008.jpg

The first floor of the original building is chiefly two or three large spaces, while the second floor front contains a row of small rooms, with doors, and windows overlooking 21st Avenue. Because these rooms seem small today, the myth has arisen that they contained beds and served prostitutes. Oh, come on. They were offices. Window offices, overlooking the street. Disk 6 county 2 032.jpgPRINTING PRESSES

Downstairs was a printing plant filed with great big, very noisy presses, so the editors and sales managers and bookkeepers had their offices upstairs.

At right, printers and presses on the ground floor of the Hollywood Publishing Company in 1925.

Why were the offices upstairs so small?  Actually, most of the houses and rooms in Hollywood buildings were smaller in the 1920s and 1930s than those we are used to now that were built after World War II.

Another putative brothel about which I’ve heard gossip, is right on Hollywood Boulevard. On an upstairs floor it has a row of small rooms with a single bath at one end of a hall. I’ve never seen this one, but suspect that if it was built in the 20s, the rooms were used by men who came to work in Hollywood as the city was being built. A bath down the hall for roomers, or boarders, was extremely common, much more so than private baths, and early Hollywood was really short on inexpensive places for workmen to stay. Young even built temporary dorms around the new city where men were working, then tore these down when the land was sold to new buyers. So a private individual providing tiny rooms for workers isn’t surprising.

However, if you can document the presence of an actual brothel in downtown Hollywood, I would be very interested in your documentation.

FACTUAL DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE AT THE HOLLYWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.  So, before jumping to conclusions and jumping onto the Internet with them, a little research is in order. A large amount of information about Joseph Young and Hollywood, Florida in general can be found in the Research Center of the Hollywood Historical Society.IMG_0603.JPG


At 1520 Polk Street, is the historic 1935 Vera and Clarence Hammerstein house.

The Hollywood Historical Society’s Research Center is behind the house, which you reach by following a sidewalk along the west side of the house. HHS Research Center & Marion 2014

It’s open every Friday morning year round, 10 to 11:30,  and by appointment.

Research Center 2014At left, Hollywood Historical Society’s RESEARCH CENTER.

The volunteer archivists there will be happy to help you.






Mary Beth & Jean  2016.jpg

Just call 954-923-5590 or email HollywoodFLhistory@att.net.

Posted in City Beautiful, Florida history, Uncategorized | 1 Comment


BOOK SIGNING DECEMBER 3, 2017.  I’m delighted to announce that the Friends of the Broward West Regional Library in Plantation have offered me a booth during their Holiday Shopping Bazaar this coming Sunday.  I will be there selling/signing copies of my biography Joseph W. Young, Jr. and the City Beautiful. A Biography of the Founder of Hollywood, Florida, so if you don’t have a copy yet, please stop by between noon and 5:00 pm Sunday. MickelsonPCardBackFinal

Signing at book launch, 1920s style. June 2013 Photo by Isa



I’ll be delighted to sign your copy! Photo by Isa

How I came to write the biography of Joseph W. Young: besides being a published biographer, I was born in Hollywood to parents who worked for J. W. Young in the 1920s. Growing up in Hollywood, I was familiar with the generation who worked with Young as he created his city. but by 2000 I realized that the story of Hollywood’s origins was no longer very well known. Someone should write Young’s biography, I thought, then realized that writer could be me. After five years of research, in Long Beach CA, Indianapolis, Hollywood, the Adirondacks, even Vineland NJ, steps along Young’s career, I’ve covered Young’s life from 1882 to his death in 1934, fully documenting it with 100 illustrations, index and bibliography.  If you are interested in Florida history, why not give it a try? For more about this book see my website:  http://www.joanmickelson.com

But there’s more!

As Michal Sherring, I’ll also be selling/signing copies of my murder mystery Done For at the Danford. An Art Museum Mystery. This novel is set in fictitious Edgell, Massachusetts, where deaths seem to happen in the (also fictitious) old museum there called the Danford Cabinet of Curiosities and Art. JMickelsonDanfordFCdWebBlogTweet

The story:  As people connected to the collection of still life paintings she is preparing to exhibit start to die, newly-hired Curator Robin Grinling fears for her own safety. A stranger in Edgell, she has no close allies until a moody Boston art dealer and a local Marxist art critic begin to offer clues. Using her training in connoisseurship and iconography Robin sets about to identify the murderer quickly before others are done for at the Danford.


As I spent 30+ years as a museum curator and director, I write about museums from the inside, and suggest that given our training, museum curators make great sleuths!

For more about Michal Sherring and Done For, follow these websites: amazon.com/author/michalsherring        and  http://doneforatthedanford.com

So, please come meet biographer and mystery writer Joan Mickelson aka Michal Sherring, at the West Regional Library on Broward Boulevard at 84th, in Plantation, Sunday December 3, 2017 between noon and 5 p.m. I look forward to meeting you.


My next event:  as part of the Lecture Series put on by the Hollywood Historical Society, I will be speaking on April 15, 2018 at the Stirling Road Branch Library, 3151 Stirling Road, Hollywood 33312.  My topic is:  Bare Dunes, Broadwalk, Beach Hotel, Tent City, Monster Hurricane. J. W. Young’s Hollywood beach, rebuilt in the 30s and 40s.

For more on the lecture series see http://hollywoodhistoricalsociety.org

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Listen to my WLRN interview; also read What Makes Hollywood FL special

RADIO INTERVIEW ABOUT MY J. W. YOUNG BIOGRAPHY ON STATION WLRN.  On August 1st, 2017 I had the pleasure of being interviewed on radio station WLRN Topical Currents by Bonnie Berman and Joseph Cooper. We discussed my biography of Hollywood’s founder, Joseph W. Young, Jr.  They are wonderful interviewers, asked helpful leading questions, making the whole experience quite enjoyable. If you would like to listen in, here is the link:  http://wlrn.org/post/city-hollywood-founder-joseph-young.

Just a reminder: the book is still available. You should be able to order it from your


bookstore. The Hollywood Historical Society also sells my books. Call 954-923-5590 or email HollywoodFLhistory@att.net.

Here’s a plug: Published by

McFarland, my book has footnotes, bibliography, and an Index, as well as about 90 images.








Map II

J. W. Young’s plan for his city, Hollywood By-the-Sea, 1930s version expanded from the 1921 original.      

That’s right, it’s Young’s overall plan for his city that follows Chicago architect Daniel Burnham’s recommendations for creating a City Beautiful.  Hollywood is not a simple grid around a central circle, nor is it just a city with a beach, those those are all part of it. Young’s plan is rectangular, with its central spine, 100-foot wide Hollywood Boulevard running east and west. On either end of his boulevard Young established a terminating vista, one handsome hotel on the ocean and the other hotel (now gone) on what was then the edge of the Everglades.

To create elements of interest along this spine Young inserted three ornamental circles, one a park, the next the site for the city hall, and the western termination. Please note, these were not intended as traffic circles, a means for slowing north-south traffic (and yes, the city was planned for automobiles not horses). The ONLY north-south road through Hollywood when the city was planned, was the Dixie Highway, just to the west of Flagler’s railroad tracks. The Federal Highway (U.S. 1) was not put through until the 1930s. If Young had wanted to use a circle to slow traffic in the 1920s, he would have put one on the Dixie Highway.

From 1923-25 Young had his engineers create two lakes, North and South Lakes, from what was originally the East Marsh. These added to the geometrical symmetry of his entire plan, with the circular lake heads repeating the circle theme, while framing the vista of the Beach Hotel on the Atlantic. At the west end the circle is banded by four arcing roads that lead the driver back to the center of town.

Young’s handsome, geometrical plan, which still may be seen from the air, has been praised by city planners. This plan encompassed all the area then owned by Young’s companies, ending at the west at about 56th Avenue. But reading from Young’s newsletters it seems clear that he envisioned extended his properties west farther est, but his plans were halted by the economic Depression and then by his too-early death in 1934 at the age of 51.

22A. Boulevard from beach

Hollywood Boulevard looking west from Beach Hotel to Young Circle, City Hall Circle, with Riverside circle at top center. Postcard.

aerial of blvd looking west. detail

Detail of previous pic, Boulevard looking west. From center, Young Circle, City Hall Circle, (cloud shadow), Riverside Circle at center top

Here are two of the scenic vistas Young created along his Boulevard:


View east down Hollywood Boulevard through the Lakes Section terminating at the grand, expansive Beach Hotel. postcard, perhaps 1950s.

Photo by G. W. Romer  postcard

Looking west from Young Circle along Hollywood Boulevard downtown, to City Hall on its own circle. Photo by G. W. Romer. 1940s? postcard









Today there are North-South roads in Hollywood that Young never anticipated, and the city extends almost twice as far to the west as his original plan. Nevertheless, Young’s 100-foot wide Boulevard with its three ornamental circles remain the center of Hollywood, Florida.


Posted in City Beautiful, Florida history, Planned City, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

U.S. Navy WAVES in Hollywood in World War II



Waves at Beach Hotel:1943

 Who are these women?

Dear loyal blog followers,

Sorry to have abandoned you for so long. I’ve been traveling, and working on up to three books, leaving little time for research and writing this blog.

One of the topics I’ve been researching is about the WAVES in Hollywood in World War II. This was the Woman’s Navy Reserve, which existed from 1942 to 1946. During that time, not only did young women FROM Hollywood join the WAVES, there were also WAVES stationed in Hollywood, together with the much greater number of Navy men that many of us remembered.

Picture Navy women stationed in the Hollywood Beach Hotel in training as air navigation instructors (together with male ensigns), taking old school buses to Opa Locka air field for their flight training.

Picture Navy women stationed out west at the Riverside Military Academy campus (the third circle), already trained to use weapons from handguns to machine guns, in turn training the young sailors who would be Naval air gunners.

These are my topics.

If you live near Hollywood, come hear me speak about these Navy women on Saturday, December 3, 2016.  In this PowerPoint talk I’ll tell what I have learned so far about Hollywood’s connection to the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service in the U.S. Navy.

It surprised even the admirals that women fit into the Navy so quickly. Quoting from the news of Aug. 6 1943, what was originally planned to be mostly an office force expanded into gunnery and blind flying instruction, aerology, aviation ground crew work, and navigation, as well as communications.

My talk is the 4th in the Hollywood Historical Society’s 2016 Lecture Series, held at the meeting room of the Broward County Library, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, City Hall Circle, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  All the talks are free, and refreshments are served.

So remember:

Dec. 3, 2016, 1:00 p.m., Broward County Library, Hollywood, City Hall Circle

To hear Joan Mickelson speak on

U.S. Navy WAVES in Hollywood during World War II




Posted in book signing, Florida history, US Navy, women in WW II | 1 Comment


In the last post I wrote about all the various travel routes through the land that is now Hollywood, Florida. So now I’ll show you the various VEHICLES other than feet that traveled these routes.

THE HORSE.  In the 19th century the soldiers on the military trails between Fort Lauderdale and Fort Dallas in Miami, rode horses. And coaches on the Bay Biscayne Stage Coach Line were, of course, pulled by horses.  Another pair returning

But, please note: THIS IS THE LAST YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT HORSES USED IN HOLLYWOOD. In fact, they were NOT used in actual Hollywood, as you will see.

  THE TRAIN. The first motorized transport to pass through future Hollywood was the train. By the turn of the 20th century, Henry Flagler had run his Florida East Coast Rail Way tracks through Broward County and down to Miami. This almost immediately put the horse as transportation out of business.    Red Cross train Sep 1926

In fact, it seems that FEC trains actually stopped in Hollywood before J. W. Young bought the land, for those early trains were pulled by steam engines, which of course required water to produce the steam. So the Flagler company installed a water pump at about future McKinley Street and 21st Avenue, which was operated by Walter Altman. What I recall of this contraption from my childhood was a structure with an arm that swung out over the engine, presumably with a hose to fill a tank.

The news photo, above, is the Red Cross train heading to Miami following the 1926 hurricane. It’s the best example of a 1920s pufferbelly steam train that I could find.

Below, flyer from the FEC showing a 19th century train and a 30s Streamliner.             

Folder The Story of a Pioneer  HHS

Folder The Story of a Pioneer HHS

.  After Young built Hollywood’s beautiful station in 1924, passenger trains were the preferred long-distance vehicle in Hollywood.

THE TRUCK.   Young himself took the FEC to Miami at first, then drove to Hollywood on the new Dixie Highway. But before he could drive around his planned city, he had to build the streets, so he invested in a fleet of small, nimble trucks.truck, c. 1922 At first these carried workers who cleared the land, then came the surveyors to lay out the streets in the underbrush, then all the workers in general.

Hollywood Land & Water Company’s first building, just across the FEC tracks from the busy Dixie Highway, was a garage for servicing the truck fleet. Or as I. L. Sherron, who worked there, told it in an August 1976 oral history transcript in the Hollywood Historical Society], he was brought to the start-up city “to keep the trucks rolling.” When he came up from Miami, “the only place you could go was across the railroad crossing on the old Dixie Highway, and there was a building that had about forty Model-T Ford trucks hauling rock and at times dumping rock from a wooden handmade body.”   Garage with trucks

Trucks at Kington Building, Reporter May 1924, p. 18

Trucks at Kington Building, Reporter May 1924

(Above left, trucks “bought from Sawyer Motor Company,” lined up on Hollywood’s bare boulevard in front of the new Kington building, erected 1923 by W. Ward Kington (now the Broward Building). At right, above, trucks with dressed-up drivers pose in front of the garage at 21st and Hollywood Boulevard, the city’s first permanent building, built 1922. These sites are Nos. 30 and 34 in the 2015 HOLLYWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S HISTORICAL DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR.)

According to William Osment, in an interview with Don Cuddy in August, 1976, the trucks were started by means of hand-cranking. To quote Osment:

“I was a mechanic in the garage. My first job in the morning was to see that all the trucks were out on the road. In those days you had to crank the Model T Ford by hand. We had more than a dozen men with broken arms hanging around there. We used to push one truck up against the other in the morning to get them all started. We would get them all gassed up. We started them by pushing them rather than using the crank. On cool mornings they are hard to start.” [from an oral history transcript in the Hollywood Historical Society]JWY 2nd garage, Yale at HHS

While Sherron was working in the first garage, he said there were some 40 trucks; two years later when Osment worked on the trucks, he said there were one hundred.   By then Young had moved the garage across the Dixie to an open-air shed.

By 1925 trucks were everywhere in Hollywood, particularly delivery trucks, for ice, milk, luggage from the train, etc.

Hollywood Transport Co.   Baggage Express

Above, sign on truck reads “Hollywood Transport Co. Baggage Express”

Beach City by Yale       At left, truck delivering supplies like ice, milk, food, to the cafe at Tent City. Yale Studio photo, about 1926.

70 buses and 100 trucks

Panoramic photos posed to advertise Young’s Hollywood Land & Water Company. The building in both is the Hollywood/Park View Hotel, built 1922 just to the east of the Circle. Top row is “A part of the Hollywood White bus fleet,” said to number over 70 in all. Bottom row is “A portion of the Hollywood street construction fleet.”

BUSESIn those early years of Hollywood’s development, buses were key as they could carry the most people, and unlike trains, could move over the most basic of roads.  Some buses commuted to Miami and back. These were used in particular by workers in the new city before there was enough housing. 28Mickelson-001

  (At left, tour buses on Hollywood Blvd., c. 1923)

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

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

But perhaps of greater impact were the tour buses owned by the Hollywood Land & Water Company. Young began with Green company buses, the dark ones in the photos, which brought visitors (read: sales prospects) up from Miami. By 1924 Young had invested in top of the line White company buses, with leather seats (on the right in photo above.). With these he brought tourists from all over the eastern US.  Young’s approach to selling his city was to take passengers around the developments in Miami and Miami Beach (and Miami Springs, Miami Shores, Opa-Locka, and so on), then bring them to Hollywood.

AUTOMOBILES.  Young built his city with the automobile in mind. Hollywood Boulevard was created to provide a pleasant drive through the city, around ornamental circles, reaching a beautiful sight at either end, an expansive, well-designed and well-lit hotel. Homes could be provided with garages and porte cocheres (or car ports). Young, of course, could not foresee that personal autos would grow to be almost the size of his buses. car in porte cochere, Dixie and Van Buren

at right, the Ward and Minnie Kington house was situated right on the Dixie Highway at Van Buren Street. (Street, lower left, runs into the Highway along the bottom of the photo.)  The house has a handsome porte cochere, shown here with auto inside, and behind the house a detached garage, with living quarters above for perhaps the chauffeur. Home built in 1923; demolished to make way for “Hollywood Station.” Photo courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

Some of the brands of autos that rolled through Hollywood in the mid-1920s were: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Hupmobile, Jordan, Lincoln, Pierce Arrow, Rolls-Royce, Stearns-Knight touring car, and Stanley Steamer. By 1925 Hollywood was jammed with autos. Below are samples:

At left, Hollywood Boulevard, 1924. At right, Harrison Street, 1922.kington apts1st sales pavilion Harrison St.

And by 1924 there was at least one thriving car dealership, Sawyer Motor Company, which sold Fords and Lincolns from an expansive lot and garage at the northeast corner of 18th Avenue and the Circle.

New Fords and Kriekhaus building. Reporter July 1924 p. 20Lincoln at Sawyer Motors. Reporter April 1925 p. 1

Above, Sawyer Motor Company receives new shipment of Fords, July 1924. In background, Kriekhaus Building.

At right, ad in the April 1925 Hollywood Reporter for the new Lincoln

DREDGES AND BARGES. Since a good part of the development of Hollywood involved water, dredges were to the lakes—and later to the port—as trucks were to the land. Young owned maybe a dozen of these expensive machines and even devoted a page in his sales books to dredges. dredges in Hollywood sales book.jpg

Barges made it easier to move heavy materials such as rock, particularly rock dug out of the lake bottoms and later used by enterprising builders to create coral-rock houses. Once the shape of a lake had been created, then rock was laid in to create seawalls.

barge carrying rock for Port ACM  Barge #1at 1025 Tyler St., Skogland's, VET 284


The barge that served as the bridge crossing at Johnson Street from the mainland to the beach island, was torn from its moorings by the 10-foot deep tidal surge of the 1926 hurricane and carried as far inland as 16th Avenue between the Boulevard and Tyler Street.

BOATS. Boats naturally played a good part in Hollywood transportation. Naturally because Hollywood fronted both the Inland Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, and also because Joseph W. Young loved boats. In the beginning, when there were no residential structures in his city, Young solved this problem by means of an enormous houseboat.

Young's houseboat, May 24.jpgWith this he could move back and forth from Miami (where sales were made) along the Inland Waterway to oversee the work in Hollywood. Crew on this floating apartment included a cook as Young entertained sales prospects on board—there are at least 10 people visible in the photo, and all those portholes surely indicate some cabins.

This photo of Young’s boatyard in the Miami River shows both barges (built there) and a fancy tour boat. boat works

Here is that boat, the “Southland,” at the beginning of its trip, at a dock Young owned in Miami beach, Canal tour boat Southlandand here is the “Southland” arriving in Hollywood By-the-Sea, the City Beautiful, greeted by salesmen in their plus-fours.May 1924  Young eventually built his yacht, the “Jessie Faye,” but that was more recreation than transportation.

Others sailed by on the Atlantic, or raced state-of-the-art speedboats on the Inland Waterway,  EJ 1 Beach.tifGar Wood-type boats on canal Yale HHSor simply got to work by rowboat.

Taking the ferry to work, Port Everglades. HHS

Taking the ferry to work, Port Everglades. HHS


OTHER VEHICLES.  One of these was the Tally-ho bus, part of Young’s advertising, serving a useful purpose and at the same time entertaining his visitors. William Osment, quoted earlier, was one of the drivers. He said he wore “red britches” and had a long horn Talley-hothat would go “da dee da dee.” This was an English hunting horn, hence the name “Tally-ho.” The bus (for that’s what it was) would go down and bring the people from the Beach Hotel down the Boulevard and “turn them loose,” then go to the golf course and leave the rest of them over there.

Finally I’ll mention motorcycles and bicycles.

And of course, Hollywood’s own FIRE TRUCKS. Young invested in fire-fighting equipment and built a fire station early on, before the city was incorporated. Clarence Moody organized the fire department for Young, about 1923. Then to his chagrin, the first fire they had to deal with was a grass fire set by his own (very young) son. One of Hollywood’s original fire trucks still belongs to the city Fire Department, and is carefully preserved in one of the fire stations.

Hollywood’s first fire station, below, built by J. W. Young in 1923, was at the corner of Polk Street and 19th Avenue. Photo by Higby, from the collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.HwoodFireStation1925-BCHC-JosephMackayCollection


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The land before 1920. Today I will go backwards. I’ve been describing Hollywood’s development from 1920 forward. Now I realize people don’t know much about the land before J. W. Young acquired it, or about our Florida in general. Born and raised here, I learned the basics in school, but of course half my readers went to school somewhere else. So here is some basic Florida history, with a bias toward Hollywood.

Florida is a comparatively old state, having entered the union in 1845. But it was only settled about halfway down, to the top of Lake Okeechobee, until the railroad men, Henry Flagler, Henry Plant, and others began to open up the wilderness along both coasts. That didn’t happen until the end of the 19th century. Before the railroads there were other trailbreakers. I’ll list these trails chronologically, again as a very general overview.

This might also answer another question I’m often asked: who owned the land that became Hollywood before J. W. Young? Quick answer: local farmers. How did they get here? That is also in my highly selective chronology.

Please note: much of this info is found in my Guide to Historic Hollywood, pp. 139-59

Mickelson.Guide cover  My book is available at the Hollywood Historical Society at the newly reduced price of $15.  Also in bookstores.


Let it be noted that there were no east-west passages through Florida below Lake Okeechobee in the 19th century—with an important exception. The Seminoles, who generally inhabited high ground, islands and hammocks, to the west of future Hollywood, would have made their way from the Pine Island area east to the ocean, hunting and fishing.

Tony Mickelson, surveyor of Hollywood.

Tony Mickelson, age 26, began surveying Hollywood in 1921

At right, Tony Mickelson and his surveyor’s transit are working in the East Marsh, which became part of the Lakes Section.

Photo collection of Joan Mickelson

My father, Tony Mickelson, recalled seeing one poling his dugout through the coastal marshes in about 1921.

I have no maps to show you where these earliest north-south passages were, in the then empty land between Fort Lauderdale on the New River, and Miami and the small settlements just to the north of it.

So just think of the land between today’s Florida’s Turnpike and U. S. 1 as bare and empty (in future Hollywood), but nevertheless transversed by intrepid pioneers.

Here are the north-south routes through future Hollywood currently identified:

MILITARY TRAIL, 1838     route of Major William Lauderdale and his Tennessee Volunteers, and Company D, 3rd US Artillery, in 1838, a pine ridge route down to New River from the north, according to historian Susan Gillis

DOUBLEDAY’S ROAD, 1850s        Surely the soldiers in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Dallas in Miami in the 1830s occasionally rode between these encampments.  In the 1850s Captain Abner Doubleday oversaw construction of a road from Arch Creek in North Miami to the Fort Lauderdale area (Gillis).

BEACH SHORELINE      1885-1892        route of the “Barefoot Mailman.” In the 1890s it was possible to walk from Palm Beach to Miami along the beach barrier islands in the company of the Barefoot Mailman.

beach for Barefoot Mailman    Next time you are on the beach, picture a solitary man with a mail sack striding along toward Miami. Or perhaps he has a companion who pays a small fee to walk to Miami with the mailman as guide.

BAY BISCAYNE STAGE LINE route       Beginning 1892 this stage coach line (also Bay Stage Line) operated over a shell-rock road between Hypoluxo at the south end of Lake Worth and Lemon City, now part of Miami. Passengers on the two-day trip stopped overnight at New River. (Gillis and Bill McGoun)

OLD SIGNPOST.  Proof that at least one of these trails–Doubleday’s road or the stage coach line–went through the future Hollywood was an old signpost for a north-south route that still existed at 26th Avenue and Johnson Street in the 1920s, according to Virginia TenEick in her History of Hollywood, Florida.


Johnson Street looking west, crossed by 26th Avenue, where the signpost was      At left, Johnson Street heading west, crossed by 26th Avenue, site of a 19th century north-south route signpost.

26th Avenue looking north, from Johnson Street. 2016

At right, 26th Avenue looking north from

Johnson Street.   Picture if you can, a stagecoach

and four to six horses rumbling along here, headed to Miami.

26th Avenue at Johnson St., looking south   Now look south on 26th Avenue, toward today’s City Hall Circle, and see the dust kicked up by the retreating coach!

The stage coach was soon replaced by:

FEC RAIL ROAD     1896-1912       Henry M. Flagler had brought his Florida East Coast Rail Road south along the Atlantic coast to Palm Beach, then on to Fort Lauderdale by February, 1896, then on to reach Miami by 1912 (thus passing through future Hollywood).IMG_2550

This photo, above,  jumps the gun by about a decade, but gives a good idea of how the land looked when J. W. Young chose it for his new city. Looking straight ahead we are on the Dixie Highway looking north. The FEC railroad tracks run along to the right of the road and were laid there around 1900, followed in 1915 by the Dixie. The Australian pine trees were planted by the Miami Woman’s Club before Young arrived.

(Further quoting Bill McGoun) “Besides making it possible for more settlers to reach Broward, the railroad also made it necessary. If Flagler were to reap any return on the state and private lands which he had been given in return for laying the rails, it was absolutely necessary that he find prospective buyers. His land companies sought immigrants both in the North and in the South.”  These prospective farmers were given land that became Dania, Pompano, Deerfield, and Hallandale, joining Fort Lauderdale which existed on the banks of the New River.

That should explain how there came to be towns on either side of future Hollywood. Incidentally, as a Norwegian, I’ve always been interested to know that Hollywood’s first neighbors were Scandinavians, Dania settled by Danes from the Midwest, while Hallandale pioneers were Swedes brought from Sweden by Luther Halland, a connection of Flagler’s.

Note to TV announcers:  It’s not “Hollandale.” Nothing to do with the Dutch Netherlands.


DIXIE HIGHWAY      1915. This important road was created by Carl Fisher of Indianapolis, to bring people from Chicago and Indiana down to his new resort city, Miami Beach. Fisher and his entourage were the first to drive down the route, passing through Dania in 1915 on the way to huge celebrations in Miami.  08Mickelson

 At left, Fisher’s entourage heading south through Dania toward future Hollywood on the brand-new Dixie Highway

As there was no Hollywood at the time, hence no roads, Fisher’s engineers cut west at the then Dania border to cross the FEC tracks and continue this highway south along the west side of Flagler’s railroad, where the Dixie is in Hollywood today.IMG_3712                                                                                                  At left, the Dixie looking north from Hollywood Boulevard. The FEC tracks at at right behind the shrubs.

At right, the FEC tracks looking north from Hollywood Boulevard, with the Dixie beyond the embankment to the left.


INLAND WATERWAY           In 1920 when Young first set foot in his city, this waterway was privately owned, by the Florida East Coast Canal Company. Also called the Intracoastal Waterway, it was generally navigable, with toll-takers at various sites including Dania. Young made much use of it in the 1920s.


Map detail, 1923 showing Broad Walk

This is the initial city plan, before Young bought more land to the west, north and south. He had already purchased the beach island, seen at the bottom of the plan. The heavy line between the 2 circles represents the FEC railroad tracks and just above them, the Dixie Highway. The Inland Waterway would be between the beach island and the land. And that was all Young had to start with.

“Old Dixie” or “West Dixie”   and “East Dixie” 1923

Once J. W. Young had put in his roads, his 4th Avenue (changed to 18th Avenue) went north to Dania on the east side of the FEC railroad. This was a straight shot south from Dania to the Circle.(See city plan, above. The line going right from the Circle out of the plan is 18th Avenue.)  Locals began to refer to that stretch of road as the “East Dixie,” while the original Dixie highway that continued on to Miami became somewhat confusingly the “West Dixie.”

BROADWALK            Begun March 1923 at Johnson Street, by J. W. Young, who called it the Broad Walk from the beginning. At the same time, Young’s engineers were laying in the north-west avenues in the city; the Broad Walk was the first N-W passageway on the beach. Or at least the first PAVED passageway, since it very likely was along the same route walked by the Barefoot Mailman.

Broad Walk. Reporter July 1924. p. 17

Broad Walk. Reporter July 1924. p. 17

Broadwalk looking north  Same scene some 92 years later.Hollywood Broadwalk.

Incidentally, why isn’t Hollywood’s unique Broadwalk on the National Register of Historic Places?

1924     FEC Passenger Station, and first passenger stop in Hollywood.  J. W. Young convinced the FEC company to include a passenger stop in Hollywood, by building a station, so handsome it was considered the most beautiful on Florida’s east coast.dragimage





OCEAN DRIVE, A1A      begun in 1925 at Johnson Street on the beach as Ocean Drive.Note that Young put the road for autos along the canal side of the beach rather than spoil the ocean side.  I’ve read that Young and Carl Fisher had hopes of connecting their two properties, Hollywood and Miami Beach, with this scenic beach drive. Eventually this happened under the State jurisdiction, who numbered this easternmost major north-south road as A1A in 1946.

A1A north

At right is Ocean Drive, route A1A today, looking north toward the Boulevard bridge. It is considerably wider than it was several decades ago.


When the Railway was brought through Young’s Hollywood the rail company constructed the station house, and the first passenger stop occurred in January, 1927.100_1892

Today these rails are used by Amtrak and Tri-Rail.


STATE ROAD 7, US 441        opened 1927. At that time the area was not part of incorporated Hollywood. For a long time it was chiefly a truck route between Miami and the Lake Okeechobee area

Port Hollywood, Port Bay Mabel, PORT EVERGLADES    opened February, 1928.      Creation of the port was begun by J. W. Young’s Tropical Dredging & Construction Company in May, 1925 (Young owned the land around the then Lake Mabel).   Ft. Lauderdale Daily News, Feb. 21, 1928 HHS

US 1, FEDERAL HIGHWAY     1930-31. This was J. W. Young’s 18th Avenue, which as his Hollywood Reporter noted in 1923, had “inevitably” become the “East Dixie.”  In 1930 the U.S. government decided to extend U. S. 1 south along 18th Avenue and around then-Harding Circle.

At right, US 1, “the Federal” in the 1930s, looking north. Traffic was not much of an issue.

US 1 in 1930s

While this made road sense, it entirely changed Young’s original plan for his city. He anticipated that travelers would arrive on the original Dixie Highway, or the train, both of which ran between Harding (Young) and City Hall circles, then turn east or west on wide, inviting Hollywood Boulevard. Putting the major north-south route around the Circle, creating traffic snarls, was not Young’s original intention.

US 1 south facing Circle    At left, U.S. 1 looking south to Young Circle.


FLORIDA’S TURNPIKE      passed through Hollywood c. 1960-64. 

Florida's Turnpike at Johnson Street

Above, Johnson Street at 62nd Avenue passes under the Turnpike.    

I-95         1976. This interstate highway was put through Hollywood paralleling the Seaboard railway (now Amtrak and Tri-rail), rather than slicing it through the heart of Downtown, as happened in so many other communities in the 70s.

I-95, Stratford's bill

I-95 under construction runs along the top of the postcard. From left to right Hollywood Boulevard, near top, passes under the highway. Besides the Howard Johnson’s, another landmark is the 2 story white building in the upper left, south side of Boulevard. This is Stratford’s bar & grill. Orange Brook Golf course is at the very top left.


I hope you enjoyed this. I am soon off to Malice Domestic, a mystery writers conference, to show off my art museum mystery, Done For at the Danford, by Michal Sherring.

If you read and enjoy my book, it would be great if you would comment under the book title on Amazon!








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Those of you who live near Hollywood, Florida might like to attend this series of talks about that city in history.  Here is the schedule:



2600 Hollywood Boulevard, City Hall Circle (Meeting room)

FREE – PUBLIC WELCOME          1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 Sat. September 10th , 2016      “Horticulture of Hollywood By-the-Sea”

Speaker – SUSAN BERRY – President of the Hollywood  Garden Club

 Sat. October 1st , 2016           “Hidden Gems of Royal Poinciana Neighborhood”

Speakers – MARY BETH BUSUTIL & JEAN MORFORD – Hollywood Historical Society members and volunteer researchers

Sat. November 19th, 2016         “Broward County. The Photography of Gene Hyde”

Speaker – SUSAN GILLIS, author and Curator of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

Sat. December 3rd, 2016           “U.S. Navy WAVES in Hollywood during World War II”

Speaker –Dr. JOAN MICKELSON, biographer, blogger, Hollywood historian, mystery writer

Sat. January 28th, 2017               “From Hard Times to Hard Rock”

Speaker – PATSY WEST. Director of the Seminole/Miccosukee Photo Archives and author of three books on the subject of Seminole/Miccosukee Indians


Refreshments – The authors will sign copies of their books

For more information  email: Hollywoodflhistory@att.net

Phone: 954-923-5590

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New Book. I haven’t kept up with the blog for a few months because I’ve just brought out another book. This one isn’t about Hollywood and it isn’t non-fiction. It’s a murder mystery, written under my pen name MICHAL SHERRING. The book is called Done for at the Danford. An Art Museum Mystery. The amateur sleuth is the Curator, Robin Grinling.


Here’s the back cover blurb:

“As Robin Grinling, curator at the Danford Museum in Edgell, Mass., prepares to exhibit long-hidden still life paintings inherited by young deb Slinky Chase, something about these innocent-seeming paintings causes people to die, first Slinky, then the self-proclaimed expert on the paintings. To solve the cruel and unusual cause of these murders Robin uses her tradecraft, her skill at iconography and connoisseurship, to interpret the paintings. But if she tells what she learns from the paintings about the killer, will she be next? Stakes are high, the pressure is on, and there is malice aplenty.”


This is the book mark.  (I’m not happy with WordPress’s new setup, which does not allow me to decide where I want to put the images, or to put text next to an image. Please forgive this scroll-like format! Not my choice.)

For more about my mystery, please go to the websitehttp://doneforatthedanford.com

[The link is acting hinky here–I’ll put it at the end.]

You can also find the book on Amazon under Michal Sherring, or under the book’s title, and read the reviews. And if you read my museum mystery and like it,please write a review on my Amazon page!


Meet Me at the Book Fair. This is the Broward College Literary Festival 2016, to be held at University College Library, 3501 S. W. Davie Road, Davie, Florida, March 12 & 14

I will be there, wearing two hatsOn March 12, Tuesday, I’ll be there from about 1:00 to 4:00. With me will be members of the Hollywood Historical Society who will sell copies of my biography of Hollywood’s Founder, Joseph W. Young, Jr. for the Historical Society.


At the same time, I will be selling and signing copies of Done For at the Danford

On March 14, Thursday, I will be taking part in a Writer’s Forum from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will briefly discuss both books.

Signing at book launch, 1920s style. June 2013 Photo by Isa

Signing at book launch, 1920s style. June 2013 Photo by Isa


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