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 "Hollywood Reporter" dated May 1, 1921. Chief surveyor Tony Mickelson stands where the city would begin, where the Boulevard would cross the Dixie Highway and FEC tracks. Joan Mickelson Collection

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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DEATH OF JESSIE YOUNG, FOUNDER’S WIDOW. Sadly, just as the city was gearing up to celebrate its founding, Joseph Young’s widow, called “Hollywood’s First Lady” died in November, 1955.

Jessie Young in 1943 S-T 1955Although several years older than her husband, she had outlived him by 21 years. Jessie Fay Cook was born in July, 1877. She and Joseph Young were married in Long Beach CA on October 10, 1903. Her obituary of November 24, 1955 was respectful, but seemed to believe that Jessie Young’s life began in 1923 when the Youngs moved to Hollywood and she “took over the reins of the Young household” and the rearing of her family. This is a bit odd since only the youngest son, Billy, still lived at home at that time. Jack and Tonce, 18 and 17, were away at school, Jack at Indiana University and Tonce a cadet at Culver Military Academy. Surely Jessie had been “rearing” them since their birth in Long Beach and running the Young household since her marriage to J. W.

photo upper right:  Mrs. Jessie F. Young, last public appearance at a War Bond rally in 1945. From the Hollywood Sun-Tattler, Nov. 28, 1955

At the time of her death, having sold the mansion at 1055 Hollywood Boulevard, she was living with son Billy and his wife Babe, a nurse, at 1500 Adams Street. Mrs. Young was a life member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Pioneer club, and the Hollywood Woman’s club.

Chamber of Commerce 1930s bill      At left, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce building, 1941, on U.S. 1. Postcard

Below, right, Hollywood Woman’s Club building under renovation, 2013                                                                                            Woman's Club House under rennovations 2013

MYTH-BUSTING. Now, to deal with some myths about Hollywood. First, I will repeat that

THE GREAT SOUTHERN HOTEL WAS BUILT FOR TRAVELERS TO HOLLYWOOD BECAUSE SO MANY VISITORS WERE ARRIVING THAT YOUNG NEEDED A SECOND HOTEL TO PUT THEM IN. It was NOT built to house his “laborers.” Why is this myth being spread around by the Miami Herald and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and others? To demean Hollywood and the city’s farsighted founder? Please don’t believe everything you read in the news. If you want to know facts about Hollywood’s history, read my books (they have indexes and footnotes).   booksFrom l. to r. TenEick HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD; West THE SEMINOLE AND MICCOSUKEE TRIBES OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA; Mickelson JOSEPH YOUNG & THE CITY BEAUTIFUL. A BIOGRAPHY OF THE FOUNDER OF HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA; Mickelson A GUIDE TO HISTORIC HOLLYWOOD; Gillis BROWARD COUNTY. THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF LEWIS HYDE. All for sale at the Hollywood Historical Society.

CAHOOTS HAS THE WRONG “TOWN HOUSE” And as a followup to that, the inimitable Cahoots wants you to think that J. W. Young built the Towne House Apartments that were recently demolished, from the site at the northeast corner of US 1 and Young Circle. Folks, that building was erected in the Sixties or thereabout. J.W. Young died in 1934. Anyone with a general knowledge of architecture knows that they weren’t building structures like that in the 1920s. When I was a kid in Hollywood, there was a gas station on that corner. Steve Klotz, author of the piece, probably confused this late 20th century eyesore with Young’s first hotel, built in 1922 (where the Publix is now). That beautiful building was first called the Hollywood Hotel, then the Park View, and eventually a later owner renamed it the Town House. Once again, it appears that the papers print whatever they feel like, no longer doing any fact checking.

Hollywood Hotel, later Park View. Reporter, Dec. 1923 p. 11Park View Hotel







Two views of the former Park View/Town House Hotel, built by J. W. Young in 1922 from designs by architects Rubush & Hunter, in the California Mission Revival style (now gone).  At left, from Young’s “Reporter,” shows the main entrance and “bell tower.” At right postcard from the 1930s is a view to the east across Young Circle, shows the dome on the east facade. This stood on the island where there is now a Publix and other stores.

THE “CAPONE LIVED IN HOLLYWOOD” MYTH. Another highly popular myth is that racketeer, killer Al Capone lived in Hollywood. No. He did not. He never owned any property in our city. I have documented his career for the years he might have been here, between 1928 and 1934. Capone first came to Florida in 1928, when he bought the 14-room Busch mansion on Palm Island in Miami Beach. He added a dock, swimming pool and cabana, and 8-foot walls. From there he commuted between Miami and Chicago. He bought a motorboat, gave big parties in Miami, and was written up in the newspapers. But the Feds were after him, and in 1929 he was sentenced to one year in prison; released a year later he headed back to his hometown, Chicago, where he had to stand trial again, and in 1934 was once again imprisoned. In November, 1939, Capone was released from Alcatraz (you know, the prison in San Francisco Bay), where he had been since 1934. By then suffering from dementia, he spent his remaining days in his Palm Island mansion on Miami Beach. So while Capone might have run up the Intracoastal to Hollywood in his motorboat or some such, from his Palm Island/Miami Beach mansion (when he wasn’t in jail), he never lived in Hollywood. Got it?

Now, turning to historic events in the month of November in Hollywood:

Only 5 years earlier, the first 12 of Young’s employees who would begin creating his city, drove from Indianapolis along Carl Fisher’s Dixie Highway, leaving on Nov. 1 1920. Passing through Louisville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Macon, Waycross and Jacksonville, they arrived in Miami Nov. 11, 1920. Among the group were salesman C. Warren “Sammy” Sammons and surveyor Tony Mickelson.

In Nov. 1923 Young established the HQ of the Hollywood Land & Water Co in a new building on the SW corner of Hollywood Boulvard and 20th Avenue. Originally this was a 2-story building, but after the 1926 hurricane the top story was removed. The building has been occupied for many years by Morningstar jewelers.

1st Admin Bldg. Nov 18 1923 office force 10At left, Young’s first administration building for his Hollywood Land & Water Company, on the SW corner of the Boulevard and 20th Avenue. 

  Below, the same building with the entire administrative staff lined up to pose. The company offices were on the second floor, with shops on the ground level.

The second story was damaged in the 1926 hurricane, so that story was removed, leaving the shops. Young had already built a larger Administration building on the corner diagonally opposite. Both photos from the collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.


CITY CHARTER AND FIRST OFFICIALS To prepare to incorporate his city, a charter committee was formed. Virginia TenEick names the committee which included her father, Clyde Elliott, in her History of Hollywood and describes their deliberations. The eventual charter was prepared by T. D. Ellis, Jr and Larry Casey and formally adopted Nov. 28, 1925. The first city officials were appointed by the committee: David C. Fessler, Paul R. John, Sr., Ralph A. Young (Below, no relation to J. W.), Joseph W Young, Jr., and his son John M. “Jack” Young (below). The group elected the founder, J. W. Young as Mayor. He then proposed the appointment of Charles H. Windham to be City Manager. J. W. Young then resigned as Mayor, and Paul John succeeded him.

Ralph Young                Mickey & Jack Young







Above left, Ralph A. Young, friend of J. W. Young from Indianapolis, vice-president of the Hollywood Land & Water Company, designer of the Hollywood golf course, and one of Hollywood’s first city commissioners.

Above right, J. W. Young’s oldest son, Jack with then wife Mickey. In 1925 Jack was just twenty and a student at Indiana University. He was also one of Hollywood’s first city commissioners. After a short stint in the US Army in 1942, Jack returned to Hollywood suffering from a heart ailment. He died in August, 1942 at the young age of 37.

Young had know Charles Windham back in Long Beach, CA, when both were members of the Elks lodge. Windham was the force behind the creation of the port at Long Beach beginning in 1906. Once in Hollywood he was soon engaged to create a port for Young from Lake Mabel,which of course is now Port Everglades.

EARLY PLANS FOR A HOLLYWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.  We now jump ahead 30 years to November, 1955. This was an anniversary year for the city, 30 years after incorporation. A letter in the November 3, 1955 Sun-Tattler from Dr. Jack Mickley called for the founding of “The Archives of Hollywood.” He was concerned about what would happen if the vast amount of material collected by the pioneers of Hollywood passed away with the pioneers themselves. Therefore he was proposing the “Archives of Hollywood,” and hoped the Tattler editors would agree.

Apparently others did, for on November 24, 1955 it was announced that a “Historical Group Will Organize,” led by Attorney Ella Jo Stollberg Wilcox. An open meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce to plan an organization whose mission would be “to assemble and preserve historical material on Hollywood.” I don’t know what the results of that meeting were, but we do know that today’s Hollywood Historical Society was founded two decades later, in 1974. Today the Society’s impressive collection is housed in (more accurately, crammed into) a former garage at 1520 Polk Street.

HHS Research Center & Marion 2014Research Center interior

Hollywood Historical Society’s Research Center, at 1520 Polk Street, rear, is open every Friday, all year from 10-11:30 am.

The public is welcome. Phone 954-923-5590 with questions about Hollywood history.


The Historical Society’s collection numbers over 20,000 items. Among these are old photos, postcards, oral histories, and historical objects such as the hatbox made in Hollywood (pink object just above the flag). And of course, bound copies of the Hollywood Sun-Tattler.



HOLLYWOOD’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OF SUN-TATTLER 1955 The November 28, 1955 issue of our hometown paper devoted 17 pages to remembering the city’s beginnings. On the front page were pictured the bust of founder Joseph W. Young, Jr. in Young Circle, my father Tony Mickelson standing where Young told him they would begin the city, and Young at his desk in the Hollywood Land & Water Company office.30th Anniv. issue Nov.  1955

Other photos included the original power plant, Attorney Ella Jo Stollberg Wilcox, and the first City Hall.

Power plant, below built by Young in 1922 at 21st Avenue and Lincoln Street. Young’s city was illuminated with street lights and lighted buildings, which could be seen miles away. The entire block between 21st and 20th Avenues was sold to Florida Power & Light.   1st City Hall Nov. 28 1955

power plant at 21st & Lincoln S-T Nov. 28, 1955




Above, Hollywood’s first City Hall, at 219 North 21st Avenue, built by Young as a printing press in 1924, but soon outgrown. Donated by Young to be Hollywood’s first City Hall and Police Station. This handsome building, since enlarged, would make a meaningful Hollywood Historical Museum, to replace the current garage.

There is also a chronology of city events from 1925 to 1955, using the records of city commission meetings, among other documents. In 1960 Virginia TenEick would base some of her history on similar documents.  And good wishes from Hollywood’s neighbors.Miramar 30 weeks old S-T Nov. 24, 1955

Right, congratulations from the new city of Miramar.

Sad to say, when Hollywood’s 85th anniversary rolls around, there will be no hometown paper to celebrate the event.


Now, just for fun, some of the ads from the November, 1955 Hollywood Sun-Tattler.

dinette Nov. 3 1955

The 5-piece dinette set was chrome and plastic. The Wrought-Iron Dinette table had plastic legs and could be had in grey, pink, or aquamarine,with matching chairs.

petticoat, Nov. 24, 1955


At right, beautiful lingerie includes a full-length nylon slip, and at left, the really hot item of the moment, a puffy petticoat, to hold out your skirts like a hoop skirt. Boy, were those things difficult to pack.

swing set Nov. 3 1955The swing set, below, probably couldn’t be sold today, what with the swinging seesaw, and rings on the swings. Now, if you want to stand up to swing, I guess you would go to a gym for acrobat training. With a net below.

But in 1955 this was Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping and Commended by Parents Magazine.

Hollywood Yacht Club Restaurant opens, Nov. 3 1955



Yacht Basin





This ad, above right, is a puzzler. It advertises the “Hollywood Yacht Club Restaurant,” with a chef in a toque, serving both lunch and dinner. The Hollywood Yacht Club as I recall, was a small box of a building–where was there room for a fancy restaurant? The yacht basin Young had first envisioned for North Lake never came about because the lake is for the most part very shallow, with a solid rock bottom.

I’m always happy for your comments, and if the respond button isn’t working, my email is joanmickelsonphd@yahoo.com



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TONY  by Baumgarten, '47  Collection of Joan MickelsonTHE ’47 FLOOD

The approximate ides of October (mid-month) are unfortunately hurricane-prone, just when we are thinking about better weather. I’d rather not mention too many past storms, but one that occurred within my time frame (before 1950) has been somewhat forgotten, though those of us who were here remember it well enough. This was the storm of October 11, 1947, best remembered for causing what the late, well-remembered Florida historian Stuart McIver called The Great South Florida Flood.

IMG_1941Above right, Tony Mickelson as City Manager cleaning up after the 1947 storm. Pastel by Baumgartner. Collection of Joan Mickelson.

Left: map of the Great 1947 Flood from an article by Bob Lamme. Dark area indicates land totally covered by water.


The 1947 flood was, in area covered, the greatest ever in the US at the time. Eleven Florida counties were more than 50% under water, and this lasted for up to three months. See the map, above. What happened was that starting in September, 1947 after a long drought there were two hurricanes in a row, the first a small one on September 28, the next, October 11-12, together bringing 100 inches of rain. Water poured into Lake Okeechobee from the Kissimmee River Valley until the lake was full. To help drain the lake, locks were opened at South Bay. With no place to go but south via already swollen canals, the water roared down the North New River Canal to Broward and Dade Counties, spilling over banks and dykes eventually covering five million acres from above Lake Okeechobee across the Everglades and down to Broward and Dade counties with water. 90% of eastern Florida from Orlando to the keys was under water. Furthermore, the flood lasted for three or four months in the south center of the state.

Davie and Hialeah were hardest hit, almost 100% under water. In Davie water was waist deep. In Fort Lauderdale waves washed across Las Olas Boulevard and boats floated out of the New River and onto the streets and sidewalks.

In 1947 Hollywood west of State Road 7 was dairyland. While the water caused hardship for the dairies, in central Hollywood it did not come east of the then Seaboard Air Line Rail Road tracks (now Tri-rail) as the raised track must have presented a barrier and water could also drain out the C-10 Canal. (The finger canals and docks in that area didn’t exist them.) The land from 28th Avenue east to the FEC Railroad tracks was the highest in Hollywood and didn’t flood (that’s where I lived). However, Stirling Road, which reached out to Davie, became a river. 1st C of C as Gun Club Stirling '47 Rossman

Left: Clubhouse of the Hollywood Rifle and Pistol Club at 2989 Stirling Road, during the Great Flood of 1947. The club remains at the same address today. Photo from the Rossman-Ellington Donation at the Hollywood Historical Society.

My thanks go to the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society for this piece. I relied on reports in Fort Lauderdale papers since unfortunately the key Hollywood source in the Hollywood Historical Society, the bound volume for October, 1947 of the Sun-Tattler, is missing, and the microfilm copy at the Broward County Historical Commission is now locked away. Also I am relying on memory. As I was a school child at the time, I remember this event quite well, including the typhoid shots given to all us school children. Furthermore, my father had the bad luck of being City Manager then, in time to have to deal with cleaning up after these storms.  See the drawing of Tony Mickelson above.

But there are surely many stories about this flood related to Hollywood, so if anyone has a copy of the Sun-Tattler for October, 1947, we would dearly like to copy it for the Hollywood Historical Society.


Returning to the beginning of Hollywood, Florida: J. W. Young had bought the first parcel of land at the very end of 1920. He sent several salesmen and engineers, including my father, Tony Mickelson, down to get the city he had dreamed of started. The first year, 1921 was largely devoted to clearing the land (and of course, selling it), while the civil engineers drafted out the streets, blocks, parks, and such.

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 "Hollywood Reporter" dated May 1, 1921. Chief surveyor Tony Mickelson stands where the city would begin, where the Boulevard would cross the Dixie Highway and FEC tracks. Joan Mickelson Collection

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 “Hollywood Reporter” dated May 1, 1921. Chief surveyor Tony Mickelson stands where the city would begin, where the Boulevard would cross the Dixie Highway and FEC tracks.
Joan Mickelson Collection

In May of 1921 this photo of my father was taken when Young told him, “Tony, stand here. This is where we’ll begin my city.” He stands at the future intersection of the Dixie Highway (which existed) and Hollywood Boulevard. This photo appeared in Young’s sales materials. In October, 1921 a foldout postcard published by the Hollywood Land & Water Company in the collection of the Hollywood Historical Society, said that “development had begun after land had been cleared.” BloomAnnie'sBoardingHouse-BCHC-PatSmithColl

At first Mickelson lived in Annie Bloom’s Webb Hotel in Dania, a large, comfortable inn with home-cooked meals. In this January, 1921 photo, Mickelson sits at left while the other man isn’t identified.

As soon as he had surveyed the area, Mickelson bought two lots in the Little Ranches, giving him a full acre of land in the highest part of Young’s city, 14 feet above sea level. In the fall of 1922 he built a cottage there, which became the “engineering cottage,” with a group of young bachelors bunking dorm style and sharing a housekeeper/cook.Tommy McCarrell, 1926

These friends included A. Louis Platt, Arthur Johnson, Tommy McCarrell, Eastie Eastburn, Arthur Scott, and John Gleason. Gleason would later become Tony’s brother-in-law (and my uncle).

Right, Tommy McCarrell, 1926.  I don’t seem to have a photo of my uncle John Gleason or the others.

On October 3, 1921, the Miami Metropolitan Herald mentioned that “Joseph Young had started running buses from Miami to Hollywood via Miami Beach to Sunny Isles.” 28Mickelson

Left: buses line Hollywood Boulevard in 1921 bringing prospective buyers from Miami. Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.

White bus Oct. '23

Right: the caption reads: Five new 21-passenger White DeLuxe busses Added to Hollywood Equipment. October, 1923. From Young’s “Hollywood Reporter.”

Also in October, 1921 Young acquired the first mile on the beach island providing him with ocean front. The beach area was purchased from Olof Zetterlund of Hallandale for about $600 an acre.

Hollywood flourishes, 1923. This was a big year for Young. Hollywood, like most of south Florida, was teeming with people eager to be part of both the land boom, and the fun. The Hollywood Land & Water Company was thriving. In October alone, the company began the beautiful FEC train station.

FEC Station under construction, Dec. 1923Here, pictured at right is the FEC station under construction, with the tracks and the Dixie Highway in the foreground.

From Young’s “Hollywood Reporter.”

The same “Reporter” noted that the public golf course had been expanded from nine to 18 holes. A drawing of the entire course (see below), which doesn’t reproduce well, appeared in Young’s news magazine. golf course 1923

In this month also, Liberia was opened. The unwritten story behind Liberia must go like this: from Hollywood’s beginning, Young had a good number of trained workers close at hand, including the mostly-Bahamian blacks who lived in the unincorporated areas to the west of Hallandale and Dania.

Garage with trucks

Here, at right, is Hollywood’s first building, originally a garage for repairing the company’s fleets of buses and trucks, and still standing at the N.E. corner of Hollywood Boulevard and 21st Avenue. Young had all his workers photographed, and the photos were included in the salesmen’s books carried around the eastern U. S. Posing with their trucks, neatly dressed and hatted, are some of the black men who built Hollywood.

Do bear in mind that Florida back then was strictly segregated by law, and blacks were not allowed to live with whites. J.W. Young was not a southerner. “Equal” meant something to J.W. Young. He was from the Pacific Northwest by way of California. Apparently he saw this law as both a wrong and an opportunity, for he decided to create a separate, actual all-black city, and he publicized it that way. Though smaller in area (at least to begin), Liberia was designed exactly like Hollywood, with a wide boulevard leading off the main highway (still the Dixie as U.S. 1 would not be put through until 1930), a handsome circle park named for the black poet Paul Dunbar, city water and electricity, and land donated by Young’s company for churches and schools. But Liberia was never incorporated, and eventually became part of Hollywood, as it is today.



May, 1923 plan drawing by company engineer Frank Dickey, showing Hollywood and Liberia. Note that Hollywood Boulevard does not yet extend west to the 3rd circle. North and South Lakes, although carefully planned, were still in the dredge-and-fill process. The Dixie Highway was a major north-south thoroughfare; the “east Dixie” shown here was Young’s 18th Avenue. It didn’t become U.S. 1 until 1930.


Hollywood, Florida’s Offspring.

As we tell visitors to our website who assume they have reached the movie capital, there are about 18 Hollywoods in the U.S., some created in the 19th Century. Hollywood, Maryland was named for a holly tree. In my biography of J. W. Young I tell how Hollywood, California, a development in west Los Angeles, got its name (all my own research). As for our Hollywood, founder Young didn’t name his city for “the movie capital” in 1920. For one thing, it wasn’t yet the movie capital and wasn’t famous, nor was Young notably interested in story-telling movies.  He chose the name “Hollywood” because he liked it.

Interesting, to us, is that the city built by J. W. Young so impressed others at the time that according to an October 18, 1925 Times-Union, “Hollywood-on-the-Dixie,” below Jacksonville, “rides on J. W. Young’s reputation.”  Hollywood, New Mexico, claims to have been named for Hollywood, Florida. More about these namesakes would be welcome.


Hollywood in Wartime. The second World War helped lift tiny Hollywood from its years of struggle during the 1930s Depression. The pages of Hollywood’s newspaper, the Sun-Tattler are filled with the patriotic energy that the war effort brought out in this small town’s citizens. One article that caught my eye, in October 22, 1943 was headlined: “Mrs. TenEick Joins Florida Unit of W.A.C. Wife of Postmaster Is Sixth Member of Family In Armed Services; Second Member of State WAC Unit From Hollywood.”

Stt. Mary Nunez TenEick 1943 She was Mary Nunez TenEick, and the WAC was of course the Women’s Army Corps.

Pictured at right, 2nd Lt. Mary Nunez TenEick 1943 (1895-1989). From the Collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.

Mary was Charles W. TenEick’s first wife; Hollywood historian Virginia was his second. Mary TenEick had been a nurse at Fort Dix in World War I. She was sworn in as a WAC just the previous week in 1943 in Miami Beach, and hoped to be assigned to the air corps. Her husband, also a World War I veteran, wanted to re-enlist but as postmaster his services were considered too valuable at home. Their two sons, Charles Watson Jr. and Robert William, were at Georgia Military Academy. My thanks to Watson TenEick, for information about his mother.

The October 8, 1943 Sun-Tattler had announced her predecessor, Mrs. Robert H. Callahan. Oct. 15 '43 p. 1 S-T

Left, Mrs. Robert Callahan before joining the WACs in October, 1943. I believe her first name was Mabel. If so, her home had been a “homey” speakeasy back during Prohibition, according to Virginia TenEick!

Mrs. Callahan joined the WACs October first, leaving her position as office manager and bookkeeper at the Sun-Tattler. She too hoped to be assigned to the air corps where her son Robert Jr. already served.

At the same time, several local women signed up for the U.S. Navy WAVES. The first was Gwendolyne Trine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Trine, 331 Hayes Street, who left her position at Breeding’s Drug Store to enlist. She was a graduate of South Broward High School. Before she left, Seaman Trine was given a luncheon in her honor.

Next local woman to join the WAVES was Ernestine Ingram, a teacher at South Broward High School, given a short mention on August 6, 1943. Her parents Mr. and Mrs. E.D. Ingram had lived in Dania, but moved to Palatka.

The September 3,1943 Tattler announced that two more young Hollywood women had joined the WAVES, Lucille Littell (or Lyttell) and Helen Swann. Miss Swann had been working for the Southern Bell Telephone Company and lived with her mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Barker. Other WAVES from Hollywood whose names I have located include: Ivy Holland and Frances Sproul.

Very possibly their interest in joining the WAVES had been stimulated by the appearance of dozens, then hundreds, of young women in uniform at both the Naval training schools in Hollywood during the war. The first five WAVES, already ensigns, arrived in July of 1943 to train (with the men) as air navigators. By August of 1943 there were WAVES at the Air Gunners School training the young men as gunners. Aug. 20 '43 S-T p 1

The article at right, from the August 20, 1943 Sun-Tattler, pictures Ens. Madeline Burks from Troy, Alabama and Ens. Virginia Withington of New Haven, CT. They are the first of a group of WAVES to arrive at the Naval Air Navigation School in the Hollywood Beach Hotel, where they would train in naval aerial navigation. Six weeks later they would be pictured again under the caption: “Girl Navigators Make Aviation History In Test Flight From Opa-locka Air Base.” With ten other women and 90 men, these WAVES passed their first test flight. October 15, 1943.

For a book I am planning, a group biography about the WAVES in Hollywood, I would like to hear from or about any woman connected with Hollywood, Florida who served in the WAVES. Please email me at joanmickelsonphd@yahoo.com

Thank you!



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In the September 24, 1923 Miami Herald Joseph W. Young, “President of the Hollywood Land & Water Company,” was recognized as “one of the makers of the new Florida.” A handsome photo mural in the lobby of the Hollywood Wells Fargo bank, recently installed, IMG_1927 refers to Young as “Hollywood’s first Mayor.” Perhaps they were not aware that before there was a Hollywood city government, J. W. Young had in fact created the city itself, and therefore is better known as Hollywood’s founder.

He was indeed the first mayor as well, for less than a week.  Here’s the story: From 1921 forward, Hollywood was managed by Young and the officers of his Company.  When Young decided to have his city incorporated,     above, portion of Wells Fargo mural

this was finalized in November, 1925. A city commission was needed, so these first seats were filled by men from the Land & Water Company, appointed by the City Charter Committee. They in turn elected Young as mayor. J. W. Young, 1923

right, Joseph Young at his desk in the Hollywood Land & Water Company office he had built on Hollywood Boulevard, 1924. From Young’s Hollywood Reporter.

But Young wasn’t interested in that position and immediately resigned. He was replaced by Paul R. John, who Young had known back in Indianapolis.Paul R. John Mayor 1926-27


John had come early to Hollywood, and had built the Olive Apartments at 1800 Fillmore Street, designed by Young’s architects, Rubush & Hunter.

left, Paul R. John, 2nd mayor of Hollywood but in reality first acting mayor, December 1926 to December 1927.  Collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.


Also included in the Wells Fargo mural (top left in snapshot above) is a building with a row of vehicles in front of it. The caption says they are “automobiles in front of a garage.”  Talk about missing the point! This photo says much about J. W. Young and his ideals. The building, of course, is a garage, and it is THE FIRST BUILDING IN HOLLYWOOD, erected in 1922 and still standing at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and 21st Avenue. Garage with trucks

To build his city Young needed fleets of work vehicles, trucks in particular, and he then needed a shop to maintain them, hence the garage. Young had all aspects of his new city under construction photographed, and the photos sent around the eastern US with his salesmen, to boost the future new city. Even a structure as workaday as a garage was designed with Mission Revival details, the curved roof parapet. Young soon sold the building which became a series of shops as it is today. But also notice that the workers sitting tall on their trucks are neatly dressed, posing for posterity. Young took similar posed photos of all the various workers. These are some of the black men who helped build Hollywood, in this case, driving the Model-T trucks. Photo from the collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.


It took hundreds of workers to create a city from the ground up, and I’ve been asked where all these workers lived. According to oral histories, many commuted from Miami, driving the Dixie Highway.  Young even had bus service for men without autos. Others no doubt came from the various nearby farm towns, and Fort Lauderdale. But many others did come by train from upper Florida and Georgia and in fact, the Hollywood Land & Water Company was constantly building workers’ housing. The September 1924 Hollywood Reporter said that a dormitory for the hotel help had been begun on

The Whitehall 1920s billVan Buren Street. It would be three stories, with 50 rooms. Eventually it became the Whitehall Hotel. Here it is, at left, actually two stories, still standing at 2036 Van Buren.

Postcard, Hollywood Historical Society.


Oral histories mention temporary frame structures that were put up near an uncleared area, then demolished when that area was laid out and ready to be sold. The September 1924 Hollywood Reporter mentions that a dormitory for “colored” workmen was being put up. It would house 96 men, and was designed and built under the direction of Young’s eldest son, Jack.


Jumping back in time for a bit, September celebrates the birth of Jessie and Joseph’s second child, on September 4, 1906 in Long Beach, California. He was named Joseph Wesley Young III and called “Tonce.” Brother John, “Jack,” was just a year older.64Mickelson

Tonce Young is pictured here at the right, with Jack Leonard, one of the company’s top salesmen. In the photo Tonce would be about twenty years old. He generally worked in the business end of his father’s companies.

photo at right by Yale Studio, courtesy of the Hollywood Historical Society.


In current papers I often read about “Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades,” so once again I’ll remind everyone that the port was initially developed by J. W. Young, and Hollywood still owns a large share of it. There is no question that people from Fort Lauderdale had considered the possibility of creating a port from Lake Mabel, well before Young came along. On September 4, 1913, the Miami Herald noted that Fort Lauderdale was going to try to raise $200,000 to create a deep water port. However, they didn’t.  Hollywood didn’t exist then, and around that same time J. W. Young was observing the creation of a deep water port in the Pacific Ocean, on the shores of his then-home town, Long Beach CA, under the direction of another visionary, Charles Windham, beginning as early as 1904.  Two decades later it took that bundle of enormous energy and money-raiser extraordinary, J. W. Young to get the Florida port started. IMG_0626above, from Young’s “Hollywood Reporter,” the Proposed Plan for Lake Mabel Harbor, drawn by engineer Frank Dickey, in 1926.

The drawing above shows the planned division of the port between Fort Lauderdale at the top, and Hollywood at the bottom. Hollywood seems to have the greater part of the existing Lake Mabel. Instead of $200,000 projected in 1913, the budget has grown to $6 million. This was to be divided in thirds, between the two cities, with the third put up by Young’s company. Dickey remained the chief engineer, but to oversee the project Young brought in that successful port developer, Charles Windham. Always thinking big, Young  envisioned this as “Florida’s Great World Port.”


Another interesting article from September of 1924 mentioned that Young was planning the home he would build in Hollywood. At that time he had three dwellings. In Indianapolis his family lived at 3668 Central Avenue (probably Jessie stayed there much of the time while she had three boys in school). In Miami, Young apparently owned the Granada ApartmentsIMG_0605 which he put up for sale in 1925.

from the inside cover of the Hollywood Reporter, April, 1925.

The blurb under this photo says that the apartments are “located in the historic and exclusive Fort Dallas Park and adjoining the famous Tropical Gardens of the Royal Palm Hotel,” and overlooking picturesque Biscayne Bay. But a stationary apartment wasn’t sufficient for the restless Young. By 1924 he also owned a large, odd-looking craft that was part yacht and part sea-going houseboat. Houseboat Sonora, Reporter May 1924, p. 12

This was the Sonora.  It had a crew of six, and if you can make them out, there must be a dozen people standing at the stern, so it would hold quite a party. On it Young could mosey up the Inland Waterway, today’s Intracoastal, entertaining his big investors and stockholders in grand style.


Now, back to the home Young was planning to build in Hollywood, according to his September, 1924 Reporter. This was not the one on Hollywood Boulevard (which was also being planned). This one would be situated one mile north of Johnson Street on an entire block on the Atlantic Ocean. In the center of this block was a large, fresh-water lake, which may be seen in an aerial photo in the Hollywood Historical Society. In this, the Broadwalk continues as far north as the area around today’s Sheridan Street, and just visible there is a little round, shiny eye. This must be that lake. My parents told me it was called Duck Lake.  Did Young ever build there? No, and a good thing, too. When I was a child it never ceased to enchant me to drive north on Ocean Drive, asking my parents to show me again where Duck Lake was. Because there was no lake by then. The monster hurricane storm surge of 1926 completely filled it in.


Yes, it is. I won’t discuss the ’26 blow as I’ve already done that. The next big storm to annoy Hollywood was in 1947. Actually there were two that year. The first came on September 17. It was not particularly destructive. People in Hollywood knew how to build and protect themselves from hurricanes by then. If you’re thinking of the flood of ’47 that  came in October, so I’ll discuss it next post.


The September, 1943 Hollywood Sun-Tattler is filled with news about the local war effort, from bond drives, to patriotic parades, to the Service Men’s Club, to local citizens who were in the service. The latter included former mayor Theodore Raper,Reporters, Mayors, 26 storm 035 who resigned from office on September 4, 1942 to enter the armed forces.

right, Theodore R. Raper. From the collection of the Hollywood Historical Society.

By September 1943 the townspeople were fully organized for the war effort. They headed rationing boards, Selective Service boards, bond drives. The tangible results of one bond drive took the form of a $75,000 pursuit plane, which was bought with money raised for bonds by pupils at Hollywood Central School.Aug. 20 '43 S-T p. 1

The plane was pictured in the August 20, 1943 Tattler, with a caption saying that it was named “The Hollywood Central School, Florida.”

A major bond drive was underway in September, 1943, headed by Hollywoodian S. S. Holland (not the governor), general chair of Hollywood’s Third War Loan drive, who planned a dinner at $1,000 a plate. This dinner was held at the Hollywood Cafe. John Doliana, proprietor of the restaurant, donated 50 dinners. At the time the paper came out, $14,000 had already been raised.  Other local restaurants also held dinners. According to Virginia TenEick, at war’s end the final total raised for war bonds in tiny Hollywood was an astonishing $15,000,000.

From the early days of Hollywood under J. W. Young, Hollywood regularly turned out to put on parades, and wartime was no exception.  The lineup of units in the September, 1943 bond paradeSep 10 '43 p. S-T included Hollywood police, city officials from Hollywood, Dania, Hallandale and Davie, the Army Air Force Band from Boca Raton and the Seventh Naval District Band, members of the Army, Navy, WAVEs, and civic organizations. All marching in full uniform under the scorching September sun.

Named in the paper were various local individuals who were taking part in the war effort. One was R. E. Barthelemy of 1329 Polk Street, a naturalized American who had served in the French army. Finding himself too old now to join the American armed forces, he went to London and was currently serving with General DeGaulle and the Free French there.

Etta Cappleman, president of the Hollywood American Legion Auxiliary was appointed local chair of a campaign to encourage women between the ages of 20 and 36 to join the US Marine Corps Woman’s Reserve. Also on September 3, 1943 the paper announced that Miss Helen Swann of 2300 North Ocean Drive, had entered the WAVEs and was awaiting assignment. She lived with her mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Barker. Miss Patricia Butler, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. B. F. Butler, had joined the US Army Nurses Reserve Corps, while WAC Sgt. Jeannette Amerson, “now with the anti-aircraft corps,” was home on furlough. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Dagley.


As perhaps you can tell, I am particularly interested in learning more about all the Hollywood-connected women who served in the WACs, WAVES, Marines, SPARS and WASPS, including the nursing corps in World War II. PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH ANY INFORMATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE. PHOTOS WOULD BE WONDERFUL AS WELL.  Send info to joanmickelsonphd@yahoo.com


If you are interested in reading more about any of my topics about Hollywood in the 1920s, may I remind my readers that I’ve covered most of them in greater detail, with references, in my book Joseph W.Young, Jr., and the City Beautiful. A Biography of the Founder of Hollywood, Florida. It’s available at the Hollywood Historical Society, or all the major book outlets. Recently the book received a three-page review by William G. Crawford, Jr. in The Florida Historical Quarterly, summer 2014. He describes the book as well-indexed, well-researched, richly illustrated, and “should appeal to those interested in Florida biography, early south Florida city planning, and the evolution of south Florida architecture.”




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On August 10, 2014 an article entitled “Builder to save old hotel’s façade” appeared in the Sun-Sentinel and shortly thereafter in the Miami Herald, and in an Orlando newspaper. Unfortunately the article was filled with errors (disinformation?), so I wrote the papers refuting them but my letter wasn’t published. Perhaps it’s too long. In any case, people who did read it were impressed and sorry it wasn’t made public, so I’m putting it here, very slightly condensed. I think my comments will suggest what I am rebutting.

Following the letter are various events from Augusts past.

Here’s my letter:

“It is sad enough to allow a historic landmark to be destroyed, but it is really shameful to adjust history to suit your purpose. I refer to the excuses given for plans to demolish most of the Great Southern Hotel, built by city founder Joseph W. Young, Jr. , leaving only the entrance façade as a forlorn attachment to an out-of-scale 19-story erection. An article by Susannah Bryan and Robert Nolin begins : “there were no halcyon days of balls, debutantes or dignitaries. “ Refuting this would take a paragraph, but in fact the Great Southern Hotel had a ballroom, Hollywood never had any debutantes, and as for “dignitaries,” this is too sweeping to cover in a letter. No, Hollywood had no debutantes to strut in the Great Southern ballroom, but Hollywood’s first teen center, The Rec, began in this hotel.

Having attempted to establish that the Great Southern was created to be mediocre, the next paragraph quite incorrectly states that Young built this hotel as “home to the workers who built the city nearly a century ago.” Total fabrication, written by people who have apparently not bothered to read either Virginia TenEick’s History of Hollywood, or my own Guide to Historic Hollywood. No, visionary city builder J. W. Young did not spend half a million 1920s US dollars to hire an important Miami architect to plunk a hotel for laborers on the main corner of his carefully planned downtown Boulevard and grand circle park.

The simple, and obvious reason that Young built the Great Southern Hotel was that his city was so successful, and growing so fast that visitors needed more hotel rooms. He therefore hired architect Martin Hampton, who had worked with Addison Mizner, and who was designing buildings for George Merrick at the same time, to design his second hotel. The rooms are small? It’s a 1920s hotel. I stayed in the grand and famous hotel in Banff, Canada, and guess what? The rooms are small.

Left: a room in the Great Southern Hotel from a flyer, 1920s or 1930s. Note the handsome drapes, stylish wicker chairs, sofa, oriental rug, and bureau with mirror.

From the Hollywood Historical Society

Beach Hotel rooms 1930s

Right: two rooms in the Hollywood Beach Hotel, from a flyer of the 1930s. Note the drapes, bureau with mirror, lamps, etc.

Which room is for the “laborer”?  Neither, right.

From the Hollywood Historical Society.

Apparently to imply that Young himself wouldn’t deign to stay in his Great Southern Hotel, this article states that Young chose to live in his first-built hotel, the Hollywood Hotel (later the Park View Hotel). Yes, Young did live in the Hollywood/Park View, beginning in 1923, for a very good reason: it was the only hotel in Hollywood at the time. He didn’t begin to build the Great Southern until September, 1924.

Calling the Park View “Young’s tourist venue” isn’t exactly accurate, either. Young built both downtown hotels as accommodations for people who came to the new city to buy land. There was nowhere else for them to stay in the first few years of Hollywood’s existence. Both hotels served meals, as well, filling another need. Businessmen stayed in both. Laborers stayed in neither. Eventually it fell into neglect—what historic site hasn’t? The White House nearly collapsed on Harry Truman. And so on.

We can honor our past, or distort it, but the historical facts will remain.”

This ends my letter.

dELRAY HOTELNo, this isn’t the Great Southern Hotel, at left. It is a sister hotel, designed by Martin Hampton and still very much in bloom in downtown Delray Beach.

My photo.

And here, below, is the Great Southern Hotel today.



Back to the past now, to August in Hollywood. From the start Young planned to build an enormous grand hotel on the beach at the east end of his Hollywood Boulevard, but first he had to put in roads, drain marshes, build a bridge across the canal, and so on. Meanwhile, his advertising was so successful that thousands continued to flock to his city, and they needed housing before his Beach Hotel was constructed. They wanted the beach, so Young was happy to provide for that, with a big development he called:

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TENT CITY.  Virginia TenEick tells us that in August, 1923 Young was actively planning “Tent City” on the beach. The 1920s postcard, at right, looks down a long “street” lined with Tent City accommodations. while the sunbather front right, lounging in a beach chair, offers a suggestion of how roomy each of the “tents” was.

It’s often supposed that Tent City, also called Beach City, was built for laborers. Wrong again. So many people were flocking to Hollywood looking to buy land, or just enjoy the scenery, that Young and others couldn’t build hotels for them fast enough. People in the 1920s were big on the outdoors and fresh air so Young came up with another concept he had heard about, a resort under canvas. This huge stretch of frame structures with canvas roofs could house 100, right on the beach.

IMG_0768In this photo, at left, labeled “Beach City,” the extent of the “city under canvas” may be grasped. The large structure lower left is the dining hall (there was also a sitting room or library). There appears to be a milk wagon making a delivery. In the distance, upper left, is South Lake.

Yale Studio photo, c. 1925

Not exactly roughing it—the tents were supplied with electricity, lights, running water and maid service. Not surprisingly Tent City was demolished by the 1926 hurricane, but its residents had been moved to the Hollywood Beach Hotel which survived that and all storms since.

Tent city by moonlightTitle on the postcard at left reads:


Tinted postcard c. 1925

KINGTON, KRIEKHAUS BUILDINGS. Other buildings going up in downtown Hollywood in August, 1923 were the Kington Building, now the Broward Building, and across the Boulevard the Kriekhaus Building with its unusual coral rock façade. Reporter Sept. 1923, p. 16

At right, top, is the Kington Building under construction, from one of Young’s Hollywood Reporters. Ward Kington was a very early supporter of J. W. Young, building a fine home just across the FEC tracks (behind the trees) in 1922. He chose his locations on the Dixie Highway and Hollywood Boulevard so that travelers would see how handsome a city was under way.

kington aptsThe bottom photo shows the completed structure, with shops on the ground level and six large apartments on the second level. The building is on the southwest corner of 21st Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.

Kriekhaus building, 2019 Blvd., 1923. Reporter p. 5 Aug. 1923At left is the Kriekhaus building, which stood on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, just to the east of Young’s company garage (the first building erected in Hollywood by Young).

Reporter Dec. 1923, cover. Kriekhaus BuildingThese two views of the Kriekhaus building with its coral rock facade both appeared in Young’s publications, the bottom photo on the cover. There seems to be a shop with men’s wear in the window, and at right in the distance may be seen the Park View Hotel.

The Kriekhaus building was damaged by the 1926 storm and torn down, but the Kington Building, one of Hollywood’s oldest, now called the Broward Building, has been carefully restored.

HARDING CIRCLE. Also in August, 1923, just months after his brief golfing visit to Hollywood, President Warren G. Harding died in Seattle of a heart attack. Reporter, Sept. 1923 p. 15

At right, from Young’s Hollywood Reporter, the president is the tall man, center. He is greeting the Hollywood Land & Water Company’s top salesmen before lunch at the Park View Hotel.

Upon his death, the downtown Circle, then called either The Circle or Circle Park, was renamed Harding Circle, and so it remained until after the death of J. W. Young who did not want anything named for him. Harding’s death also led to the naming of Coolidge Street for the new president, the last Hollywood street to be named for a president.

FIRST PASSENGER TRAIN STOPS. On August 20, 1924 the first passenger train made a stop in Hollywood at the beautiful station Young had built to entice the Flagler people to stop in his new city. dragimage

When it was completed, Hollywood’s train station was considered to be the most beautiful station on Florida’s coast. But 50 years later this notable structure was considered to be in the way, and was demolished to widen the road.

SEMINOLE VILLAGE. And according to Don Cuddy, in August of 1924 the Seminole Okalee Indian Village, 481 acres, was established on both sides of Stirling Road at US 441. Today Hollywood completely surrounds the Seminole land there.
PERSONAL NOTE FOR AUGUST, 1925. Lamora Gleason (later Mickelson) arrived that month from her home in Vermont. She came to visit her brother John Gleason, an RPI engineer working with a Tony Mickelson. Hollywood Light & Water float 7-4-25 Lamora center No, she didn’t come by truck–that’s the Hollywood Light & Water Company’s float for the 4th of July in 1926. She is sitting in the chair, facing forward. I can’t figure out what the theme of this float was supposed to be.

SAMMONS HOME REDISCOVERED! About that same time, Young had exhorted his top company officers and salesmen to build homes in the city they were promoting, putting their money where their mouths were. One of these, built by J. M. Kagey, Sales Manager, is now the Hollywood Art & Culture Center. Sammons mansion 902 Blvd.

Photo at left:

Another, built by C. Warren Sammons, Manager of the Miami Division of the Sales Department, has been thought to have been demolished. But a recent inquiry about a handsome home on Hollywood Boulevard led us to the discovery that it is in fact the Sammons home built in about 1925.

HOLLYWOOD TAKES PART IN WORLD WAR TWO. More on this in future posts, but by August, 1943 there were two Navy training schools in Hollywood. First to arrive were officers and trainees of the Naval Air Gunners School, commissioned August 4, 1942 and by August 10 the first Gunners class began training, 335 men, average age 19. The Naval Officer Indoctrination and Training School with classes of one thousand graduating every three months occupied the Hollywood Beach Hotel. Navy at Hollywood Beach Hotel, 1943

The photo at right shows one of the first classes of trainees in the Hollywood Beach Hotel gardens.

Oscar Johnson photo, Hollywood Historical Society.

According to the August 12, 1943 Sun-Tattler, no cameras were allowed on the beach, and civilian Air Wardens “had power over lights.” Blackouts were serious for all coastal Americans at this time. Also in August, 1943, the first WAVE arrived at the Gunners School to “assume her duties as Assistant Communications Officer.” Many of these Naval officers had been commissioned so quickly they arrived in Hollywood without complete uniforms. The August 23, 1943 Tattler headed one article: “Gunnery Girls [sic] Get Uniforms,” while an ad from The Toggery Shop said: “Attention Naval Men—Slate Grays [uniforms] Just Arrived $15.38.”

FAST FORWARD TO 1956. I decided next to go forward a decade, so we pulled at random a Sun-Tattler from August of 1956. Among many other familiar names I discovered that an SBHS classmate, Audrey Feagan was now a columnist. That week she wrote of four local women who traveled to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Trans-Jordan. Audrey noted that they reached Europe just as the Suez crisis began. Plus sa change… The women were Jean Moore, principal of Hollywood Hills School, Marguerite Hatchett, principal of Hallandale school, Mrs. Jack Burton, a teacher at Hollywood Hills School, and Clara Steele, office manager of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

BACK TO SCHOOL IN 1956. Speaking of schools, that same paper featured some Back-to-School outfits, chiefly dresses.Back to School Models 1956  The article shown at left was about a fashion show held that day at Young Circle Bandshell (now long gone). Show director JoAnn Browning at left shows the girls how to pose. They are, l. to r., Charlotte Poole, Joyce Ann Malsom and Carol-Lynn Malsom.

The girls had attended a six-week modeling class and among other classmates who were modeling was Penny Johns.

Melina's back to schoolThis was the era of the starched net petticoat, to hold the skirts out like a dancer’s tutu, as shown in the ad from Melina’s, here at right.

And some of us know that Penny Johns is the daughter of Elsie Johns, now the second-generation proprietor of Melina’s shop on Hollywood Boulevard.

scan0005And here is Melina’s, selling GIRLS WEAR, CORSETS, and LINGERIE, according to the neon lettering on the facade. That’s Elsie standing in the doorway.

college back to schoolThe Tattler didn’t leave out the college girls. Vickie Williams, at left, seems to be modeling a Lanz, noted for the rick-rack trim–and surely complete with full petticoats. The outfits on P. Patterson (sorry, her first name is cut off) and Lou Orsell were chosen to be suitable for northern schools. Southern Northern schools, I think. The northern college I went to wasn’t nearly so dressy.


Stock car racingSTOCK CAR RACING. Did you know that Hollywood once had a stock-car race track? It was on west Pembroke Road, “Just west of Highway No. 9.” I went there with girlfriends, to watch Cotton Hodges and the others bang up their cars, but he doesn’t seem to be among the drivers listed for this particular race.



LAWN ACRES. Real estate news of August 9, 1956 described the Lawn Acres development, fully landscaped with street sewers. Homes had electric kitchens with Thermidor built-in oven and range, Formica-topped kitchen cabinets, tile baths with glass shower enclosure, glass-jalousied window areas, and all houses “are built so there is a gentle cooling breeze through the day and night.” The White Development Corp. offered the house pictured here at $16,500.  This is a fairly roomy 3-bedroom 2-bath house, with a dining area. Also note in the plan the Utility Room off the carport (do they offer utility rooms any more?) and the Florida Room at the top in the plan

ELVIS INTERVIEWEDGirls interview ElvisAt the time of this interview, Elvis was performing at the Olympia Theater in downtown Miami, and staying at the Robert Clay hotel.  Betty Moffitt and Jean Henry, seniors at South Broward High School, managed to get a 2-hour interview with him (plus kisses). The August 6, 1956 Tattler gave them a 4-column spread to write their story.  (Perhaps you can tell I’m not an Elvis fan.)


You read that right. Avocados are ripe in August and we had 3 trees full. So one day my mother and I decided to try a recipe from a local paper, for avocado ice cream. Need I say that it was awful?

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By-the-sea photo

Hollywood’s Broadwalk looking north in 1923

Courtesy of the Hollywood Historical Society

Other cities may have appended “beach” to their names, but super-salesman J. W. Young went one better with his poetic description of Hollywood “By-the-Sea.”

Founder’s Day. Hollywood recognizes its founder annually in August, the month of his birth. This year  Founder’s Day is August 3, 2014.  Joseph W. Young, Jr. was born August 4, 1882 in Seattle, Washington.

Founder's Day invite formatted for email

Casino Site to Become Margaritaville. On July 8, 1925 the Miami Metropolis Herald wrote that Young and Hollywood announced the grand opening of the Beach Swimming Casino that 4th of July. It was on the Broadwalk just south of Johnson Street (which still had the barge bridge crossing to the mainland). Beach Casino pool from ocean, crowds, 1926

Right, Looking west across the Hollywood Casino pool, 1925-26. Note high diving tower, center. Postcard

boat in casino

Left, looking east from the diving tower, with a boating “battle” in progress.


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By-the-sea photo


Hollywood’s Broadwalk looking north in 1923

Courtesy of the Hollywood Historical Society

Other cities may have appended “beach” to their names, but super-salesman J. W. Young went one better with his poetic description of Hollywood “By-the-Sea.”

Founder’s Day. Hollywood recognizes its founder annually in August, the month of his birth. This year  Founder’s Day is August 3, 2014.  Joseph W. Young, Jr. was born August 4, 1882 in Seattle, Washington.

Founder's Day invite formatted for email

Casino Site to Become Margaritaville. On July 8, 1925 the Miami Metropolis Herald wrote that Young and Hollywood announced the grand opening of the Beach Swimming Casino that 4th of July. It was on the Broadwalk just south of Johnson Street (which still had the barge bridge crossing to the mainland). Beach Casino pool from ocean, crowds, 1926

Right, Looking west across the Hollywood Casino pool, 1925-26. Note high diving tower, center. Postcard

boat in casino


Left, looking east from the diving tower, with a boating “battle” in progress.


Young built both the Broadwalk and the Casino as means to entertain visitors and draw them to the ocean front, and to stimulate interest in the house lots he was selling on the beach island.  The Olympic size saltwater pool with its 3-story diving tower was chiefly a place for water shows, swimming and diving by Olympic athletes, and even little boat races. Hence the viewing stands built on the north and south sides of the main pool. There were also wading pools for small children (see top photo), and surrounding the pools were changing rooms, which we later called cabanas. The Casino was where everyone in Hollywood learned to swim up through the Fifties. Casino July 1934

For example, in July of 1934 the Hollywood Herald ran an ad for the Hollywood Beach Casino offering swimming instruction on Saturdays for children ages 2 to 12. Summer tickets for this instruction were one dollar per month.

Eventually the pool was demolished and that half-block was basically left empty for decades.

Now that has changed, in a big way.  Margaritaville is currently under construction.

Poster for Margaritaville 2014Above, artist’s rendering of future Margaritaville, looking north along the Broadwalk. From a poster hung on the fence surrounding the construction at Johnson Street. July 2014.

So far, I like it. As you can see, the hotel is set quite far back from the Broadwalk, with several pools in the open area.

Beach theater seats & Margaritaville, Johnson St. 2014Right, Margaritaville under construction, July 2014. Benches in foreground face the open-air theater.

So it appears, countering rumors, that the complex will not take over the Broadwalk nor the theater.

Broadwalk and Casino, 1925-26



Broadwalk, Sheldon Hotel, Margaritaville, beach theater seats, 2014At left, the Broadwalk at Johnson Street, looking south past the Casino, 1926. Postcard.


At right, the same view, Broadwalk looking south, past the posters on the fence in front of the building under construction, at right.  July, 2014.


Visible in the artist’s rendering of future Margaritaville, above, is a small, freestanding structure at the upper right, which presumably is the current Hollywood Beach Theater. In the mid-1920s Young erected a wooden bandstand there, with wood benches, to provide entertainment.Bandshell on beach, 20s ps This fragile structure did not survive the 1926 hurricane and tidal wave.

Aerial photos on postcards from the 1960s show that the site still remained empty.

west on Johnson, beach, bill


In the postcard at right, Johnson Street is the wide vertical road in the center, with shops along its south side, then the remnant of the casino pool. There is no theater or bandstand on the beach.

Hollywood Beach Theater at Johnson St., next to Margaritaville, 2014Left, Hollywood Beach Theatre at the Broadwalk and Johnson Street today. July 2014.

If anyone understood publicity it was J. W. Young.  Right from the beginning he set his city apart with the evocative nickname “By-the-Sea.” In fact, he was among the first in Florida to see the value in the warm Atlantic shore. Miami, for example, is on the bay, and even Carl Fisher faced his Miami Beach chiefly toward the bay as well, while other towns in Dade and Broward counties that had ocean frontage in the 1920s didn’t develop them (Deerfield, Pompano, Dania, Hallandale). Fort Lauderdale had its river and sound. You would have to go up to Palm Beach County for a developed ocean front, where Henry Flagler with his usual sense of something special, built his Palm Beach resort on the ocean in the 19th century.  So I think it would be another way to set the city apart , to bring back the musical name “Hollywood By-the-Sea.”

More from past Julys.  “HOMES IN LAKES SECTION.” This is the title on a series of drawings by Young’s main architects, Rubush & Hunter. These drawings were made for the Meyer Kiser Corporation. There are about 20 designs, in tile, stucco, cast stone. Most are asymmetrical, often with a little tower at one side, moon gates, triple serliana windows, balconies, and urns. The drawings are dated July, 1925.  It seemed that home builders could put together their choice of these elements, so their homes would be distinctive while still in keeping with Young’s decree that architecture in this part of his city should conform to his preferred styles that included bungalow, adobe, Spanish Eclectic, Mission Revival, and Moorish.

Hollywood in the Hills, Old Forge, New York.  Young died in February of 1934, at only 51 years of age, but right up until his death he was continuing several projects he had begun in New York and the Adirondacks. I discuss Young’s Hollywood Hills in Old Forge, NY on First Lake in the Fulton Chain of Lakes, in my biography Joseph W. Young, Jr. and the City Beautiful. A Biography of the Founder of  Hollywood, Florida. MicklelsonPCardF2

Young selected this Adirondacks site no doubt as a summer resort for residents of his Hollywood By-the-Sea and of course, anyone else interested. He had the development up and running before his death, having put in a lake shore front road, several cottages, a bath house on First Lake, and the expansive Hollywood Casino built right over the lake for dining and dancing, complete with resident orchestra.

Hollywood Hills Hotel sign and First Lake, 1935


Left, Hollywood Hills Hotel on First Lake at Old Forge in the Adirondacks. About 1932. Postcard.

The Hollywood Hills Hotel was begun before Young died, and barely completed in time for the 4th of July celebration there in that same year.

Hollywood in the Hills, Old Forge, NY.

Hollywood in the Hills, Old Forge, NY.

Right, the Hollywood Hills Hotel was the largest construction made of peeled logs in the eastern U.S. Inside the central rotunda was an impressive octagonal lobby with a huge four-sided rock fireplace, and mezzanine supported by more logs, providing the rustic look of the hunting lodge, so popular then.

Hwd. in Old Forge 1934

Left, Cars pack the open spaces around the Hollywood Hills Casino on First Lake, peaked roof at upper left in photo, as hundreds of invitees arrive for the 4th of July, 1934. From “Tomorrow” Young Companies Newsletter.

Invited guests at the opening of the Hollywood Hills Hotel included Jessie Young, J. W.’s widow, son William and son J. W. Young called Tonce and his wife, also Oscar Johnson, hotel manager, who also managed the Hollywood Beach Hotel during its winter seasons.


If you were excited about all the 1930s cars pictured above, see this ad in the July, 1934 Hollywood Herald for 1924 to 1928 models.  The most expensive, a 1928 Chevy Sport Coupe for $75. The cheapest: a 1926 Ford Touring at $20!  Eat your heart out, antique car buffs!


Looking to the future of Hollywood during the depths of the Great Depression were the founders of the very successful Flamingo Groves out in Davie (now maintained as Flamingo Gardens). The two Hollywood men were Floyd L. Wray and Clarence Philip Hammerstein, and the third was Davie grove specialist Frank Stirling. C. Philip Hammerstein, Nov. 30, 1934

Left, C. Philip Hammerstein in “Who’s Who in Hollywood” in the “Hollywood Herald” in 1934. In 1935 the Hammersteins built the house at 1520 Polk Street, now on the National Register of Historic Places, maintained by the Hollywood Historical Society.

In June-July of 1934 they ran an ad to announce their summer harvest period, and soon after, Floyd Wray wrote a column about the need for a citrus packing house in Broward County since Broward’s orangeFloyd L. Wray for Port Commiss. crop was extensive, but the fruit had to be trucked to an “adjoining county” to be shipped north. Wray wanted to see a packing house capable of handling at least one thousand boxes per day, and a pre-cooling plant with a minimum capacity of 5,000 boxes, preferably near Port Everglades. These plants, said Wray, would employ 80-100 people during the summer season when jobs were hard to find. Shortly thereafter Wray ran for one of the seats on the Port Commission, which he won.



In July, 1942, following Pearl Harbor, US Naval officers began to arrive in Hollywood to convert the large hotel on the 3rd, most western circle to a naval gunnery training school. (It was then the winter quarters of Riverside Military Academy.) The building had been erected by J. W. Young in 1925 as his original Hollywood Hills Inn.Naval Air Gunners at Riverside, Mar 21 44

The Gunners school left Hollywood two years later,in July, 1944, transferring to the Embry Riddle school in Miami.

Right, Rear Admiral Andrew C. McFall of the Seventh Naval District, addresses graduates of Hollywood’s Naval Air Gunnery School in 1944.


In July of 1944 the youth recreation center, called “The Rec” was dedicated. More on this later, but any memories–and photos!–of the Rec that you would like to share will be most welcome.


NEBA Papa John's Mi-MoA few years ago the Members Newsletter did a survey of historic buildings along US 1 from Young Circle north to Sheridan Street. This small fast-food restaurant, a delightful exemplar of the postwar exuberance of Fifties Mid-century Modern was included. And in recent weeks there have been beautifully-illustrated articles on Mi-Mo buildings in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, where there is interest in saving examples of this inventive Florida architecture from mid-20th century. Not so in Hollywood, apparently. This little gem, most recently Papa John’s, could have been re-imagined as an entrance lobby for the high-rise condos planned for the site. But sad to say. it’s gone.


Readers might also wish to know that J. W. Young’s second-built hotel, the Great Southern Hotel on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and the west side of Young Circle, is now mostly surrounded by a construction fence. On a positive note, this gives the interested architecture historian the opportunity to view this 1924 hotel designed by Martin L. Hampton of Miami from all sides. Of particular interest is the east facade, where the two arms of the U-shaped structure are clearly visible.

Grt Soth east July 2014Top, East facade of Great Southern Hotel, by Martin L. Hampton in 1924

July, 2014

Casa Blanca


 Bottom, Casa Blanca Hotel designed by Rubush & Hunter for J. W. Young in 1925.



Curiously, the later Casa Blanca Hotel, designed by different architects, has an almost identical footprint. As a Hollywood native, I can guess that this design opened the largest number of rooms to the prevailing Trade Winds, which were the airconditioning of the day, up through the 1950s.

Early photos of the Great Southern Hotel show that the main entrance was originally on the northwest corner, at the Boulevard and 19th Avenue. Perhaps this entrance led into the ballroom, whose location I haven’t identified.

Great Southern Hotel, designed by Martin L. Hampton for J. W. Young, 1924, with 100 rooms and a ballroom. Postcard, Hollywood Historical Society

Great Southern Hotel, designed by Martin L. Hampton for J. W. Young, 1924, with 100 rooms and a ballroom. Postcard, Hollywood Historical Society


Right, early tinted postcard of Young’s Great Southern Hotel showing original entrance on NW corner.




Bottom, same angle today. In the Fifties there was an upscale ladies’ dress shop at that NW corner of the hotel.




So, come if you can this next Sunday, August 3, to the Hollywood Historical Society, where I’ll be giving a PowerPoint presentation starting at 2:00 pm.

PLEASE NOTE:  Hollywood, Florida is NOT in California. The Florida city, named in 1920, was NOT named for the Los Angeles development that later became the movie capital.  J. W. Young was not thinking of movies, but if he had, he might have chosen “Long Beach” where he lived from 1902-16 when Long Beach WAS the silent movie capital. The map that appears was attached by WordPress. Please ignore it. 

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