HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA IS A PLANNED PARADISE thanks to Joseph W. Young, Jr.

FOUNDER’S DAY, AUGUST 4TH CELEBRATES JOSEPH W. YOUNG JR.

Greetings from Hollywood in Florida 1930s Schaaf

Greetings from Hollywood in Florida 1930s. Postcard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Map detail, 1923 showing Broad Walk

Map detail, 1923 showing Broad Walk

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

JWY 1920 3027 Washington Blvd. Indianap.

3027 Washington Blvd. Indianapolis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

scan 101.tif

At left, downtown Hollywood in 1925.

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

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

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

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

Dredge building up Johnson Street. 1922. ACM estate

Dredge building up Johnson Street. 1922. ACM estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

3rd circle, just laid out.

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

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

C-10 Canal

C-10 Canal

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

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

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

More about the Little Ranches area.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disk 5 county one 035

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

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

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

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

FEC Station under construction, Dec. 1923

FEC Station under construction, Dec. 1923

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman's Club HHS using grey scale

Woman’s Club 1927

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

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

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

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HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA–NOT NAMED FOR THE MOVIE CAPITOL

Source: HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA–NOT NAMED FOR THE MOVIE CAPITOL

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HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA–NOT NAMED FOR THE MOVIE CAPITOL

Joseph W. Young, Jr. found the land where he would create his city late in 1920.   On January 14, 1921 the purchase was announced in the Fort Lauderdale Sentinel:

TO OPEN SUBDIVISION SOUTH OF DANIA
S. M. Alsobrook, who owned most of the land between Dania and Hollywood
sold to a northern syndicate the last of last week, 1,700 acres of land along both
sides of the Dixie Highway. This subdivision joins Dania on the south side and
extends to within half a mile of Hallandale. According to reports to the Sentinel
two groups of surveyors will be on the ground this week to survey and plat
the land. The plan calls for a 40’ Boulevard to the beach directly east of the center of
the property. This new town site is not to be part of Dania, but is to add one more
to the list of East Coast towns that are fast revolving themselves into the city
extending from Palm Beach to Miami with Fort Lauderdale the hub. The price paid,
according to reports, was $71.00 per acre.

February 19, 1921 the name “Hollywood” appears, in the Miami Metropolis Herald, announcing that Joe Young had incorporated the Hollywood Land & Water Company with $1 million capital.

So I am going to discuss the naming of Hollywood, Florida today.

Why “Hollywood”? Why did Joseph Young name his planned city “Hollywood.” The direct answer, as best as my research has found, is that he just liked the name. According to Edythe Whitson, who was working for Young in Indianapolis before he even began looking for his city site, when he told his staff that he had bought land and was planning a city called “Hollywood, Florida,” they wondered why that name. Well, for one thing, he didn’t want anything named for himself, no Youngstown, or Youngville. As far as Mrs.Whitson and the others could figure, Young just liked the sound of the name Hollywood.
It isn’t an unusual name for a place. There are some 18 Hollywoods in the USA, some dating from the 19th century. For example, Hollywood, Maryland was named in 1867 for a holly tree, according to their website. The point here is that Hollywood, California, wasn’t unique when Young named his city.

Maybe there were holly bushes here? No, holly doesn’t grow in our part of Florida. Young’s land would have been covered with palmetto, sandspurs, 1921 scenery 6reeds in the marshy places, some planted fields of tomatoes and pineapples, and in the dry areas, the jackpines.

11Mickelsonleft, Hollywood in 1920

right, Tony Mickelson standing where Hollywood Boulevard would be built as a turning off the Dixie Highway, dated May 1, 1921. Collection of the Estate of Tony Mickelson.

The Miami Woman’s Club had planted casuarina trees along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks when the area was still Dade County.

IMG_2550left, from Young’s Hollywood Reporter,  1922. The sign reads “Hollywood By-the-Sea.” Caption says looking north up the Dixie Highway, with the Florida East Coast railroad just to the right.

Well before 1920 someone had started groves of avocados and mangos along today’s 24th Avenue. We had some of the avocado trees on our acre of land on Polk Street (24th doesn’t go through there).  I can still spot some of these 100-year-old trees beside older homes in the Little Ranches. And there was also the orange grove planted on today’s Orange Brook Golf Course, which was still there in the 1930s. But no holly. scan0001

right, Orange Brook Golf Course in the 1930s. Postcard.

About Hollywood, California. The most common assumption is that J. W. Young was movie-crazy, and therefore named his city for the movie capital.
There are many incorrect elements in that assumption. For starters, I’ll just point out that Young named his city in 1920. At that time, Hollywood CA was still a 120-acre community, part of the city of Los Angeles (which it still is), in the flat land beneath a range of mountains. It had been purchased in 1883 by Horace and Daeida Wilcox, from Topeka, Kansas, to create a “utopian-like community containing citizens who reflected the Wilcoxes’ own Christian values,” allowing no bars or saloons in their land. (If you want the source of all my info, please refer to my biography of J. W. Young which is thoroughly referenced and annotated.) Interestingly, Young did have similar values to the Wilcoxes, not in so many words, but his city was planned to be a beautiful place for everyone. As for bars, this was a moot issue since Prohibition was in force in 1920.

And how did Hollywood, CA get its name? I am so pleased with my research on this that I’m going to repeat what I’ve already published. The historian in Hollywood CA when I was there about 10 years ago said they weren’t really sure about that, except that Daeida Wilcox had met a “wealthy Chicago woman” on the train back east to Topeka, who told Daeida that she had an estate she called “Hollywood” because of the “verdant holly bushes adorning the grounds.” Like J. W. Young, Daeida apparently liked the name, and on her return told her husband they should call their utopia Hollywood. Horace Wilcox suggested that perhaps “Figwood” was more appropriate since they could grow figs but no holly. Daeida’s preference won. (It’s kind of fun to think of movies being made for the silver screen in Figwood.)
Ah, but where in Chicago was this wealthy woman’s holly-bearing property? In a sense it’s hidden in plain sight. Poking around on the Internet for an Illinois Hollywood, I found it, right in Cook County. When Edith Rockefeller married Harold McCormick in 1893, her father John D. Rockefeller gave her a tract of land that she named Hollywood for its lush holly bushes. In 1919 Mrs. McCormick sold some of her property to the Hollywood Citizens Association, then donated much of the rest of it to the Forest Preserve of Cook County for a zoo.
So the genealogy of Hollywood, Florida’s name goes like this: Edith Rockefeller McCormick names her Illinois estate “Hollywood.” Daeida Wilcox meets Edith on a train, likes the story and takes the name back to her property in California, even though there are no hollies on her land. Her development is well-advertised in the Los Angeles area, as “Beautiful Hollywood,” by 1903, and was one of the destination names on the trolleys that ran all over Los Angeles and Orange counties. J.W. Young, having heard the name from the papers, perhaps, like Daeida Wilcox, simply liked the sound of it.
I have wonderful images of the Wilcoxes land in the 1890s, of ads for Beautiful Hollywood, of the trolley bearing a destination sign for “Hollywood” out in what was then a wilderness, and even of the Illinois Hollywood, but I do not have the rights to use these images in my publications. Most image owners charge for such use—it’s one way to support historical archives.)

What, no movies? It is regularly suggested that J.W. Young loved movies, films, motion pictures, therefore named his city for the movie capitol. Well, if that first part were true, then it would be odd that he would think of Hollywood. True, in 1914 C. B. DeMille filmed “The Squaw Man” in a barn he rented in the Wilcoxes suburb (which had attracted farmers as settlers), and the area began to attract more members of the movie industry. But Young didn’t have to ride the trolley from Long Beach on the shore out to the northeast LA area to find film-making. He lived in Long Beach from 1902 to 1916, and during those years, beginning in 1910, Young was right in the center of film-making as Long Beach was the home of several major silent motion picture companies. There were size-able sound stages on eight acres right downtown in Long Beach, and auto and fire engine chases were filmed around the streets. Actors (Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, even Pearl White and Theda Bara), directors, stage hands lived there in Long Beach. The Horkheimer brothers who had one of the largest film production companies there, called Balboa films, belonged to Young’s Elks lodge. So had Young been fascinated enough by movies to name his city for their source, he more likely would have chosen “Long Beach” or “Balboa.”
You can read about Long Beach as a center of silent film-making in Jura & Bardin, Balboa Films: A History and Filmography of the Silent Film Studio.

No movie theaters in Young’s Hollywood. And another thing. If Young had been so enamoured of movies, silent or otherwise, then wouldn’t he have built one of those 1920s movie palaces that are so admired today? He had the resources. But in fact, Young never built any kind of theaters at all. He gave land for congregations to build churches, and he built a school. But no theaters.

Ritz Theatre

Ritz Theatre

Yes, there was a theater in downtown Hollywood, built in 1923 but it was built by someone else,Thomas McCarrell, Sr., for stage performances. It was called the Hollywood Theatre. Arthur Enos was first stage manager. Movie films were added years later and the name was changed to Ritz Theatre.

Reporters, Mayors, 26 storm 019And up along 18th Avenue (now U.S. 1) on land not owned by J. W. Young, was Brandon’s Hippodrome Theatre, while nearby was the Garfield Theatre, again, not built by Young.

At right is Brandon’s Hippodrome after the 1926 hurricane which demolished many buildings along north 18th Avenue (US 1). Perhaps they were not built according to the building code enforced by Young on his land. Brandon’s establishment was chiefly for vaudeville, possibly not the kind of entertainment Young envisioned for his family-oriented city. We haven’t located any information about the Garfield Theatre.

How Young entertained visitors. J. W. Young was by no means opposed to public entertainment. As soon as his first hotel was built, in otherwise empty Hollywood, he put a marimba band on the payroll of the Hollywood Land & Water Company, and had them playing in the lobby of the Hollywood Hotel.IMG_0052

As soon as he was able to bring roads over to the beach island, he built the Tangerine Tea Room for dancing on the Broadwalk.

Below, the Broadwalk looking north, the Tangerine Tea Room on the corner of Johnson Street, 1925.

Tangerine Tea Room on Broadwalk, 1925

Tangerine Tea Room on Broadwalk, 1925

Also on the Broadwalk at Johnson Street, south side, Young put in the Olympic size salt-water pool, called a casino  before that term became connected with gambling, and brought noted swimmers, divers, and other water entertainment for viewers to watch from covered grandstands.boat in casino

Top, Hollywood Beach Casino Pool with viewing stands filled to capacity watching some sort of small boat activity.

Beach Casino pool from ocean, crowds, 1926

 

Bottom, Young’s Hollywood Casino, 1925. Hand-colored postcard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Club dance floor 1925 billYoung’s Country Club, seen at right, was designed with an elegant glass dance floor that was open to the stars above, with colored lights in the glass floor beneath, and a full orchestra playing during dinner and dancing. 41Mickelson

At right, dance floor with canvas roof open.  Hand-colored postcard.

At left, the dance floor, looking in the opposite direction, filled with elegantly-dressed dancing couples.

 

 

 

As for movie production, Young was well-acquainted with sound stages, having seen several in operation in Long Beach, and surely would have found room for them in Hollywood if he’d been interested in film-making. There were sound stages in Miami, as well. But there is no record of any regular movie production activity in Hollywood in the 1920s, not in the city or county directories, not in Young’s news Reporter or in plans by his architects, and not on the Sanborn map of 1926 which indicates every structure in the city including garages and sheds.

How Young Used Movies. Joseph Young was highly knowledgeable about the use of publicity. So although he does not seem to have been greatly interested in story-telling films, he could see the value of movies in advertising his city. His Hollywood Reporter of May, 1924 has a full page article on the making of a publicity film about Hollywood in order to “take Hollywood into the North…to exhibit its charms to those who have hitherto shown no disposition to come and see it for themselves.”

advertising movie, Miami company, Reporter May 1924, p. 12

advertising movie, Miami company, Reporter May 1924, p. 12

The article, headed “Movies. Graphic Local Scenes Taken for Advertising Purposes,” stated that two reels of films about the making of the city had been commissioned from the Kniffin-Coutant Photo Film Company of Hialeah Studios, Miami, to show Hollywood “in all its phases.” By this means Young was certain that “everyone who sees these entertaining and instructive pictures will have a strong curiosity aroused to see the original scenes…” and surely, buy the properties.

So, to sum up, Joseph Young, founder of Hollywood, Florida in 1920-21, had spent his own 20s and 30s in the center of silent film-making in California, that is, Long Beach, where the main studio was called Balboa. The small suburb of Hollywood, part of Los Angeles, was miles away, chiefly accessible by trolley from where Young lived. Nothing suggests that Young traveled to see the Wilcoxes development, but he could have read about Beautiful Hollywood in the Los Angeles papers. Mrs. Wilcox, founder of that Hollywood with her husband, chose the name because she liked it, even though there weren’t any hollies on her land. There were no hollies on Young’s Florida land, either, but he too, seems to have liked the name, but wasn’t particularly interested in film entertainment. He did not build a movie palace in Hollywood, nor did he build sound stages. His main connection to film-making was in 1924 when he hired a Hialeah film company to make a documentary of the building of his city, in order to attract more visitors–and buyers–to his Hollywood.Beach theater 25-26 Boca gift HHS

 

scan 128.tif

 

 

 

Three photos of the movie photographer documenting early Hollywood. Left, on the Broadwalk covering a baby parade. Building at center is a sales pavilion. The pink cement Broadwalk is lined north from Johnson Street with handsome street lights. At right, probably the first of several bandstands at the ocean end of Johnson Street. Photog at center while the band leader in his white suit may well be Caesar LaMonaca. All are courtesy of the Hollywood Historical Society.

At right, the cameraman is aiming at the Hollywood/Park View Hotel across Circle Park (now Young Circle), with the Great Southern Hotel at right, while several marching bands proceed toward the viewer.

So now you know about J. W. Young, movies, and naming Hollywood. Pass the word along!

Park View & Great Southern, 4th July parade 1925

Park View & Great Southern, 4th July parade 1924

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Orange Brook Golf Course, history of

As the fate of this portion of Hollywood’s history is now under consideration, I am offering this quick summary of its early history for those interested.
Before Hollywood. This parcel was planted with an orange grove some time before 1920. To the west of it was nearly the Everglades, while south and east, from about today’s 28th to 31st Avenues, was the West Marsh.

Young acquires the land. City founder Joseph W. Young bought this parcel in 1925 from G. M. Stratton, in order to expand the area Young called Hollywood Hills.

3rd circle, just laid out.

3rd circle, just laid out.

Left, aerial view of the third circle, now Presidential Circle. The grid of streets, at top, end at today’s 28th Avenue. The undeveloped area at center right would include the Stratton property.    Photo by Clyde Elliott, 1924.        

I don’t know much about Mr. Stratton, except that he was probably one of the salesmen for Hollywood Land & Water Company. He built a beautiful home at 858 Harrison Street in 1925 (it was on the Hollywood Historical Society’s Home Tour in 2004). The orange grove was still on the land in 1925. I have read somewhere about a photo of Young up on a ladder in a tree, picking “his” oranges.

Land & Water Co. officials, 1925

Land & Water Co. official, 1925

Young called on his friend Ralph Young to plan a second golf course there, Ralph having overseen the creation of the Hollywood Golf & Country Club course.

At right, photo of Ralph Young, about 1925.

At the same time, J. W. Young had his engineers create a channel for water from the spring that emerges from that property, in order to partly dry out the West Marsh, on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard.

Young’s canal eventually became today’s C-10 canal. I wrote about this in the Hollywood Historical Society’s newsletter back in 2004. Portico 1st Q 04 3

At left, page from Hollywood Historical Society newsletter of 1st Quarter 2004 with my article. Small photo at right shows where the spring rises just south of Hollywood Boulevard, in the Orange Brook Golf Course.
Young did not complete that golf course, and by the end of the 1920s the property had changed hands. As the Hills area wasn’t developed before the late 1950s, the golf course became completely overgrown.

Local men raise funds to create the municipal golf course, 1934-37. In the 1930s Hollywood was a very small, impoverished city that relied heavily on the tourism industry. The original Golf & Country Club, downtown, had been sold to the owners of the Hollywood Beach Hotel, so there was no public golf course for locals and general visitors.
Both Virginia TenEick in her History of Hollywood, and the Hollywood Herald of the 1930s describe the enormous effort put in by several Hollywood pioneers/residents to create this opportunity for Hollywood. As the city had no money and the nation was deep in the Depression, the members of a municipal golf board planned the work involved and raised funds to carry it out. They were R.B. Tilly Walker (real estate), Don D. Freeman, C. R. Gilliland, and Floyd L. Wray (owner of Flamingo Groves).

Ben Hogan?, _____, Floyd Wray, _____, Art Kellner

Ben Hogan?, _____, Floyd Wray, _____, Art Kellner

Dr. Arthur W. Kellner, then a city commissioner was the city’s representative to the board (a dentist, he was later mayor as well).

At left, members of the 1934-37 municipal golf board in front of the clubhouse. From left, man identified as golf pro Ben Hogan,                       unknown man, Floyd L Wray,     unknown man,

and Dr. Arthur Kellner.     

Hwd. Herald Oct. 30, 1936 p. 7

Hwd. Herald Oct. 30, 1936 p. 7

 

Floyd and Jane Wray had a beautiful 1920s home in Hollywood at 1615 Monroe Street.
In the ad from the October, 1936 Hollywood Herald Wray is pictured in the orange groves at Flamingo Groves, when he ran for Port [Everglades] Commissioner.

Dr. Kellner and his wife Charlotte lived at 1820 Rodman Street. C. R. and Grace Gilliland’s home was at 1352 Hollywood Boulevard (now gone). In the 20s he had been manager of Young’s Hollywood Boat and Transportation division. I haven’t identified Don Freeman.

Orange Brook property described, May 1934. According to the Hollywood Herald of May, 1934 the property was “approximately 220 acres of land in the section of the city south of Hollywood Boulevard between the Seaboard Airline Railway tracks and Park Road.” It was “to be developed for civic park purposes,” as a municipal golf course.

The city managed this acquisition by means of a swap, again according to the same article. Although most of the land in the area around the third circle had remained undeveloped, it seems that certain portions had been developed and offered for sale at one time. This made that part of the land subject to taxes. So in lieu of paying back taxes, the then owners agreed to deed this land to the city, which would maintain it, “as originally intended, for civic park purposes.” IMG_3354

HHS Riverside & OrangebrookAt left, page from TenEick’s History of Hollywood showing an aerial view of Orange Brook Golf Course in 1936. The clubhouse is bottom left and the grove of orange trees is upper far right.

                          

Below, detail of another aerial photo showing the same area at upper left, with the southeast quadrant of Hills Circle (Presidential Circle) at bottom right. 

Hollywood Boulevard runs along the photo bottom, to the original Hills Inn which by this time is Riverside Military Academy. The orange grove can be seen near center left. The road along the top is Pembroke Road, with Meekins rockpit at top right.

Photo courtesy Hollywood Historical Society.        

 Once again Ralph Young was asked to lay out the course—or perhaps to indicate what he had planned originally. As the land was cleared of dense palmetto growth, some of the old orange trees were found, as was the spring for the canal. Hence the name, Orange Brook.
Assistance with the labor involved was also obtained from the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, part of FDR’s New Deal), who also built the hill and “fort” at Greynolds Park.

Clubhouse by Lukens. Another link to Hollywood’s history is the clubhouse, which was designed by Hollywood architect Bayard Lukens in his signature 1930s Moderne style.

Orangebrook Golf

Orangebrook Golf


At right, Orange Brook Golf Course clubhouse, south facade. Designed by architect Bayard Lukens.

Postcard.        

Ralph Young trophy. When Ralph Young, who lived with his wife Lena at 1715 Buchanan Street, died in 1938 the Orange Brook Golf and Country Club named a championship trophy in his memory.

Famous golfers.
Orange Brook brought famous golfers. Among those who played there in the 1930s and 1940s, were Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Byron Nelson, according to TenEick.

at l., Louise Suggs, unknown man, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, unknown man, n.d.

at l., Louise Suggs, unknown man, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, unknown man, n.d.

 

The Forties brought the Women’s Four-Ball Tournament, attracting champs like Louise Suggs and the incomparable Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

In the photo at left, Suggs is at left and Zaharias is in the center.

In the 1950s South Broward High School’s golf team trained there. I know, as I was on the team.

 

 

SEASON’S GREETINGS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

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“HOLLYWOOD BY-THE-SEA” NICKNAME USED SINCE 1922; YOUNG’S CITY BEFORE 1925 INCORPORATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA BEFORE INCORPORATION IN NOVEMBER, 1925.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov. 15 1922

Nov. 15 1922

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporter Nov. 15 1922 v. 1 no. 9

Reporter Nov. 15 1922 v. 1 no. 9

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

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

City is incorporated November, 28, 1925.

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

9OTH ANNIVERSARY HISTORIC DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR & BOOKLET

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

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

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!!!J. W.JOSEPH W. YOUNG SHOT!!! !!!LIBERIA FOUNDED BY ESCAPED SLAVES!!! OH, PLEASE. TIME FOR SOME MYTH-BUSTING

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

I will also answer queries, if I can.

MickelsonPCardBackFinal

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

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

scan

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

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

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

postcards

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

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

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

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

Courtesy Hollywood Historical Society

36Mickelson

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

FOUNDER’S DAY COMING UP. AUGUST 9, 2015

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

Arthur Kellner

Arthur Kellner

Here is a list of the movers and shakers:
ORGANIZERS OF THE DAY

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

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

Lamora Gleason, Beach Hotel, 1926.

Lamora Gleason, Beach Hotel, 1926.

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

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

Photo collection of Joan Mickelson.

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

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

Taylor St. and 19th Ave.

Taylor St. and 19th Ave.

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

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

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

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

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

Tyler building Tyler and 20th, July 2015

Tyler building Tyler and 20th, July 2015

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

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

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

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

IMG_1949

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

100_1752

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

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

IMG_1947

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

first City Hall, 1926

first City Hall, 1926

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

Circle, Park View & Great Southern, photo

Circle, Park View & Great Southern, photo

                 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————-

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

**Virginia TenEick History of Hollywood. 1960.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 1926

Jan 1926

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

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

Sept 1924

Sept 1924

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

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

Sept 1924 with Dania

Sept 1924 with Dania

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

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

Sept 1924 17th Ave area

Sept 1924 17th Ave area

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

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

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

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

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

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

17th Court looking south to Johnson Street June 2015

17th Court looking south to Johnson Street June 2015

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

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

IMG_1719

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

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

17th Ct. and Johnson St.

Garfield or Hippodrome Theatre after 26 storm HHS Robin McClellan

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

E Dixie 18th Yamato Inn under trees stollberg HHS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golf, an ever-popular topic:

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

Here is the first clubhouse on the course.

Golf couse club house, first. Jan. 1923

Golf couse club house, first. Jan. 1923

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

April 1924 Reporter

April 1924 Reporter

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

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

May 1924 with Sarazen

May 1924 with Sarazen

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

Country club postcard 20s

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

Servicemen's Club 1943-4

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

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

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

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

The Casino Pool goes to war.

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

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

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

A personal, peacetime postscript:

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

May 30 '47  ACM as City Manager

May 30 ’47 ACM as City Manager

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