The Halifax Historical Museum
separates our exhibits into two different categories.
We have permanent exhibits and a changing exhibit area.
The museum has three changing exhibits a year. The first runs from
January through June. The second runs from July through the first two weeks of November. The last exhibit each year is from
Thanksgiving Week through the end of the year,
celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and the New Year.
Click one of the following to explore:
Note: Some exhibits are also featured in "Collection Exhibits"
One of the Halifax Historical Museum's most impressive exhibits is the museum building itself. The museum is housed in the historic Merchant's Bank Building of old downtown Daytona. This recently restored building retains much of the original charm and beauty of the old bank while providing a wonderful venue for the museum exhibits. Virtually all of the original murals are still retained and provide a stunning backdrop for visitors to enjoy. This building became protected in 1986 when it was added to the National Historic Register.
Dr. Thomas Robert Ames was born in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1930. He graduated from Mainland High School in 1948, moved to New York, and received his Masters and Doctorate Degrees from New York University.
He was Professor of Human Services in the Department of Social Sciences at Manhattan Community College until his retirement in 1998, and specialized in the rehabilitation of the developmentally disabled in the areas of program development, sexual education and counseling, and the training of human service personnel. During his lifetime he received many awards in his field.
He was a member of the Halifax Historical Society, and was a generous benefactor of the Halifax Historical Museum. He donated many pieces of family memorabilia, as well as various pieces of art and other collectibles during his lifetime.
Dr. Ames died on August 17, 1998 in New York.
This page is dedicated to the memory of our long time friend and benefactor to the Halifax Historical Museum, Dr. Thomas Robert Ames.
Mary McLeod Bethune was born on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina, one of 17 children born to former slaves. She went to school with the help of scholarships to attend Scotia College in North Carolina and later graduate from Moody Bible College in Chicago, IL (1895-97).
In 1898 she married Albert Bethune. She had originally intended to become a missionary in Africa, but decided to come to Florida as a teacher in 1902. In 1904 she developed and founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Girls. She started with $1.50 in cash, a few packing cases and a rented cottage. That was the humble beginning of what would become Bethune-Cookman College in 1923 when merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville. Dr. Bethune was president of Bethune-Cookman College until 1942, building it into a nationally known and accredited school. As she liked to say, she built it "brick upon brick" into a multi-million dollar institution.
In addition to her educational life, she was an active businesswoman. She was president and director of a life insurance company for African-Americans and purchased and developed the Bethune Beach for Negroes south of New Smyrna Beach. She received many awards and honors in her lifetime including honorary degrees from 14 colleges and universities and was friend and advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt throughout their lifetimes.
Dr. Bethune was a member of the Hoover Committee for Child Welfare, director of the National Business League, the National Urban League, and the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. She was the first black woman to head a federal office, and as such she created the informal "Black Cabinet" of the New Deal. A national memorial in Washington, D.C. was erected in her honor in July of 1974.
Dr Bethune died on May 18, 1955 at age 79, and is remembered today as a great visionary and beloved figure in Daytona Beach history.
Charles Burgoyne was born in Fairmont Virginia in 1847. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, joining at age 14. At age 28 he went to New York and began a printing company. After earning a fortune there he moved to Florida with his third wife, young Mary Therese MacCauley, who was a proofreader at his printing company.
Charles Burgoyne purchased a city block in downtown Daytona between Bay and Volusia and Beach and Palmetto Streets. He built an ornate three-story mansion that became the showplace of the area.
He was elected Mayor of Daytona between 1897 - 1898, and in 1899 he was elected Commodore of the Yacht Club. He was referred to after that time as Commodore. His 65' yacht, The Sweetheart was built in 1898, and a huge boathouse was built on the river across from the mansion to accommodate it.
In 1912 Burgoyne had a $25,000.00 aeolian pipe organ installed in his home. It is pictured here in this exhibit. He played the organ for his friends and associates at musicales held in his music room.
The Commodore shared his love of music with the public by building a round gazebo at the corner of Orange and Beach Streets and hired Saracina's Royal Italian Bank from New York to play here during the winter seasons.
In 1914, to improve the downtown Beach Street area, he built as a gift to the City a 10' wide concrete promenade bordered by a rock seawall that extended from Orange to Bay Streets. It was lined with streetlights, each pole containing a cluster of five large white globes. It was named THE ESPLANADE BURGOYNE, and a bronze plaque to honor him for this was donated by the City.
In 1915 he built a spacious casino across the street from the Merchant's Bank. It was a 17,000 square foot structure and was to house the band that played in the winter season, and to be used for other types of recreation. It burned in 1937 and was lost forever.
The Burgoyne's had no children of their own and were very generous to the children of the town, providing milk for school children and aiding the needy in whatever they could. Mrs. Burgoyne gave young girls of the town a pearl necklace for their birthday, and a huge party was provided for the children every year on the lawn of their home.
Mr. Burgoyne died unexpectedly in 1916 at the age of 69. He is buried at Pinewood Cemetery on Main Street in Daytona. The marble angel placed on his grave was vandalized in 1953 and has not been replaced.
Mrs. Burgoyne continued to live in the home for the next 25 years at which point she sold the home to a land developer, and spent the rest of her years in an apartment on Grandview Avenue. She died in 1944 at the age of 81.
A booklet of the life of Charles Grover Burgoyne is for sale in the Gift Shop at the Halifax Historical Museum.
Lawson Diggett was born in Lake Como, Florida July 24, 1901. He moved to Seabreeze, Florida in 1902 with his English parents.
Diggett began a lifelong interest in automobiles as a child. When he was 11 years old he began carving models. He became engrossed with the hobby, and his parents provided him with a workshop attached to their home. He specialized in building miniature automobiles, but had a vast collection including airplanes, ships, trucks, trains, carriages, furniture and more.
Most of his models were build prior to the 1940's before modern materials such as plastics, Styrofoam and super glue. All of his models were fashioned from scratch, made mostly from pine and tin cans. He also utilized scrap items such as rubber pads from a conveyer belt for tires on the cars. He hand painted every model in authentic colors to match the full sized original he copied.
He was an avid writer and photographer, and corresponded with race drivers and racing enthusiasts throughout the world. He recorded racing activities in detail in scrapbooks, and collected every magazine and book pertaining to automobile racing. He photographed much of life in Daytona, and that included all aspects of racing. He also kept a diary every day of his life.
In the 1930's he built a model of the Temple to Speed which was proposed for City Island including a cloverleaf park setting. In 1938 he created his most ambitious and memorable work which was a 4' x 14' replica of the Boardwalk.
When Diggett died he left his entire estate to the Halifax Historical Society. Many of his models may be seen in our Museum.
One of the most colorful characters to live in the Halifax area was the dashing and adventurous Bill McCoy, the famous rumrunner and "King of Rum Row". The rumrunners of Prohibition said that "Bill never cut his liquor", and his fair dealing perpetuated the phrase, "It's the real McCoy".
Bill was six feet two, shoulders like a cargo hatch, slim waist, a voice like a fog horn, lean tanned face, and steady eyes in a weather beaten face from long gazing over glittering waters. He was born in Syracuse New York, and was a cadet for two years on the Saratoga.
He moved to Florida in 1900 with his family, and he and his brother Ben began building boats on the banks of the Halifax River in Holly Hill. Their boat, the Uncle Sam which they built in 1903 was used as an excursion boat on the Tomoka River, and they also operated freight and passenger boats between Daytona and St. Augustine and to West Palm Beach. In 1908 they purchased Charles Burgoyne's The Sweetheart, and made weekly runs to West Palm Beach. They built several more boats including the Republic, The Beach Comber and the Hibiscus which were built for Fred Vanderbilt in 1915 and John Wannamaker in 1918.
In 1920 business was poor, and Bill was approached by a rumrunner with a phenomenal salary to captain his boat. He declined the offer, however he and his brother decided to go into business for themselves. Bill purchased the Henry Marshall in Massachusetts. It was a 90-foot fishing schooner built of white oak. The boat could carry 1,500 cases of liquor in crates, or 3,000 cases in burlap bags. Bill sold all his first cargo offshore in New York. This was the largest cargo brought into New York to that time and Bill founded the notorious "Rum Row".
With the money made from the first sale, he purchased the love of his life, a beautiful fishing schooner, the Arethusa. Nassau became his home port for the next four years, and the Arethusa sailed many times from there loaded with liquor headed for Rum Row. He claimed he landed more than 170,000 cases of liquor during his rum-running days.
He was closely watched by the Coast Guard, and the canny Bill renamed the Arethusa, the Tomoka and placed her under British registry. He also named her the Marie Celeste and registered her with the French. Eventually in 1921 the Henry Marshall was taken into custody by the Revenue Service when its drunken captain went ashore and left the ship in incompetent hands. Revenue agents boarded the Tomoka, but Bill claimed he was beyond the 3 mile limit and tried to make a run for freedom while some of the agents were on board. When the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca fired on the Tomoka, Bill surrendered. So went the rum-running days of Bill McCoy with his 130' vessel leading the Coast Guard on a merry chase. He died aboard his boat the Blue Lagoon at Stuart, Florida at the age of 71 on December 30, 1948.
James Harrison Rhodes (1836-1890) was the patriarch of this branch of the Rhodes family tree. He was a teacher, a lawyer and the editor of a Cleveland, OH newspaper. Sound business practices, good contacts, and timely investments made him a wealthy man. He was a professor at The Western Reserve and Eclectic Institute [Hiram College] from 1854 to 1863 and while there he met fellow faculty member James A. Garfield (later to become our 20th President) and student Charles Henry (later a prominent military figure of the American West). These three men formed a lifelong bond of friendship. Stories about these times are wonderfully documented in a book authored by Captain Henry's son Frederick in 1942 entitled, "Captain Henry of Geauga: A Family Chronicle." It is an excellent biography of this officer in the Ohio 42nd Infantry, politician, and adventurer; and documents the close relationships among the Garfield, Rhodes, and Henry families. In 1866 James Rhodes married Adelaide Robbins.
Adelaide Maria Robbins Rhodes (1841-1918), known to her friends as "Addie", came to Daytona Beach to live with her brother Lyman H. Robbins in 1893 after the death of her husband. Addie was known to be "a lovely lady" and was well thought of in the community. Lyman was also well connected and had accompanied former President Ulysses S. Grant (18th President) on a round the world tour. Lyman had originally purchased the home known as "The Abbey" at 426 S. Beach Street in 1891, but sold it to Addie in 1898 and purchased another home for himself just three doors to the north. Addie was the daughter of a prominent Ohio cheese merchant and attended Hiram where she was to meet her husband James.
Harrison Garfield Rhodes (1871-1929) was, like his father before him, known to his friends as "Hal." He attended public school in Cleveland and attended Adelbert College for his freshman year. He transferred as a sophomore to Harvard from whence he graduated in 1893. He was a successful playwright and prolific author and worked as a managing editor for two of his friends and college classmates [Herbert Stone and George Kimball] who had established two magazines, The Chap Book, and The House Beautiful. He traveled widely both in the U.S. and throughout Europe as both an author and a literary agent for Stone & Kimball and counted among his friends some of the most prominent authors of his time. Upon returning to the U.S. he concentrated on the creation of his own books and plays. Some of his plays would include cast members such as William Faversham, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Al Jolson, T. A. Wise and many other stars of the early stage and screen. Collaborators included the likes of George M. Cohan, Anthony Hope, A. E. Thomas and Maxine Elliott. After his mother's death in 1918 Harrison established seasonal residency in Daytona Beach, Florida with his younger sister Margaret and continued to write, but by this time wrote mostly travel books. Having recovered from two minor strokes he made one final trip to his beloved Venice before he died in Hereford, England on September 21, 1929. He never married.
Margaret Rhodes (1875-1959) arrived with her mother in Daytona in 1893. She was both well read and educated and frequently traveled in the American West and Abroad. She was a close friend of the Clay family mentioned above. When traveling abroad she and Harrison frequently traveled with family friend and fellow author Julia Constance Fletcher who also wrote under the pseudonym of George Fleming. Although not as prolific as her older brother, Margaret was also an author. She edited and published two of Harrison's unfinished works, and contributed several articles to various magazines and books. Letters and other documents indicate that Margaret had many suitors on several continents but she never married.
Historical Note 1: Harrison Garfield Rhodes was named for his father and his father's best friend, President James A. Garfield. His father was ostensibly named for President William Henry Harrison, who served as aide-de-camp to General "Mad Anthony" Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, which opened most of the Ohio area to settlement. So, Harrison Garfield Rhodes was a man named for two U.S. Presidents. Sadly, these two men were the first and third Presidents to die in office. (Lincoln was the second.) As previously noted, Harrison's Uncle (Lyman Robbins) was a friend to President Grant and Grant's father was a prominent tanner from Ohio who pushed him to attend West Point. It is interesting how these two generations of Ohio aristocracy had such a wide influence.
Historical Note 2: Harrison and Margaret continued to champion one of Addie's favorite causes by supporting the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls (later to become Bethune-Cookman College) and served on The Board of Trustees for many years. In 1942 Margaret and friends built the College its first modern and well-equipped library at a cost of $75,000. The Harrison Rhodes Memorial Building still exists today although it was replaced by a more modern library. Two years before Margaret's death in 1957 the Rhodes home and all of its contents were sold to Dr. William P. Doremus, who would later become a Board Member and President of the Halifax Historical Society. Upon Margaret's death in 1959 the balance of the Rhodes Estate, some $560,000, was bequeathed to Bethune-Cookman College.
Harrison Garfield Rhodes (known to his friends as "Hal") attended public school in Cleveland and graduated from Harvard in 1893. He was a successful playwright and prolific author and worked as a managing editor for two of his friends and college classmates who had established two magazines, The Chap Book, and The House Beautiful. He later traveled widely both in the U.S. and throughout Europe as a literary agent and counted among his friends some of the most prominent authors of his time. After his mother's death in 1918 Harrison established seasonal residency in Daytona with his younger sister Margaret. From 1920 until his death he continued to write and travel. Having recovered from two minor strokes he made one final trip to his beloved Venice before he died in Hereford, England on September 21, 1929. He never married. Pages detailing Harrison's published works and his autobiography are attached.
"Harrison Rhodes, after a protracted illness has gone abroad. He has chosen Venice for his Summer sojourn declaring it is the only city in which pedestrians are safe from Fords."
Harper's Magazine, July-1923, p.298
(Dates & Venues Still Being Investigated)
There are many other items that have yet to be added!
|Books ||Plays ||Short Stories |
|- Adventures of Charles Edward, 1902 Little, Brown & Co. |
- High Life, 1906
Robert McBride & Co.
- The Lady & the Ladder, 1906 Doubleday Page & Co.
- The Flight to Eden,1907
Henry Holt & Co.
- In Vacation America, 1915
Harper and Bros.
- The Willow Tree [w/ G.H. Benrimo], 1917
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.
- Guide to Florida [w/ Dumont], 1918
- American Towns & People, 1920 Robert McBride & Co.
- Gift Book for My Mother, 1922
Harper & Bros.
|- Without Rehearsal |
- An Old New Yorker, 1911
- The Duchess of London Modern Marriage, 1911
- Mr. Barnum, 1918
- Mala Vita
- Celia and a New World
- Ruggles of Red Gap, 1915
- If You Were Young
- Her Friend, The King [w/ A.E. Thomas], 1929
Longacre Theatre w/ William Faversham
- A Gentleman From Mississippi
[w/ T. A. Wise], 1908
Bijou Theatre w/ Douglas Fairbanks. Performed for Theodore Roosevelt
- Captain Dieppe [w/ Anthony Hope]
- The Whirl of Society
[ Musical ], 1912
Winter Garden Theatre w/ Al Jolson
- The Willow Tree
[w/ J.H. Benrimo], 1917
Cohan & Harris Theatre w/ George M. Cohen
- The Match Maker
|- A First and Last Story |
- A Recruit for France
- A Wife for Lord Thomas, 1909
- An Explanation by the Editor, 1907
- For Better for Worse
- Marietta's Miracle: A Footnote in History, 1908
- Mi Lord Latorre
- Night Life and Thomas Robinson
- On a Park Bench
- Rip Van Winkle in Florida
- Sauce for the Gander
- That Way
- The American Child
- The Cliff Walk
- The Felt Hat
- The Fountain, 1923
- The Good Head-Waiter
- The High Cost of Living
- The Long Arm
- The News from Tomocala
- The Shy Friend
- The Strange Reforming of Billy Bradford
- Thomas Robinson and the Servant Problems
- Thomas Robinson and the Underworld
- Thomas Robinson Sees Life
Wanted: Husband for Trained Nurse
I am sure that for the benefit of any readers of The Saturday Evening Post who have chanced to see "High Life" in these pages, I ought to confess frankly at the very outset that I have lived astonishingly little in the society of royalty, in fact, not at all. I was, like the heroine of that story, born in Ohio, but that fact does not seem to have brought me the social advantages it procured her. There are doubtless good reasons for this - at any rate it serves to remind a writer that one of the great advantages of his trade is that it permits him in imagination to roam socially as widely as he wishes. Being author is, at least in my case, the result of being by temperament a spectator of life rather than an actor in it. Most of my adventures have taken place in my stories or will take place in my future ones, and the life of so authorish an author, if I may be permitted such a phrase, offers little material for the writing of autobiographies. I begin - and end - apologetically.
Up to the time that I went to Harvard I was educated in the public schools of Cleveland, and I consider this perhaps the greatest advantage I have had in my life. I am sorry for boys who go to private smart schools, is spite of the obviously pleasant things to be found in such places, for I believe the profoundest sense of being an American begins in those tenderest years when a child, quite without any snobbishness, makes friends with other children of every conceivable class in the community. I was a shy, reading sort of boy, not a very good "mixer," but my imagination is at the oddest moments flying back to those public-school days and encouraging me to believe that I really know something about my country.
Did not one of the prettiest girls of those Cleveland days lately marry a royal prince? So why should not a simple public-school scholar write about one? Isn't this, too, real Americanism?
At Harvard I lived with not many friends, but with a fair acquaintance among books and a more passionate relationship with plays, by preference those to be seen in the Boston theaters. Indeed, with Herbert Stone, who was later to go down on the Lusitania, I wrote the first play ever accepted as regular work in any English course in Harvard College. Now when it sometimes seems as if the chief effort of my alma mater was to produce playwrights, this is a fact sufficiently remarkable, I think, to be worth setting down. Somehow, in my little and obscure set in Cambridge, we produced a literary atmosphere that caused us to sprout early. When I finished college and went abroad for a year of wandering, two of my friends, Stone and Kimball, started a publishing house while they were still undergraduates. I came back and joined them in Chicago. I read all the book manuscripts and those submitted for the two magazines we published - The Chap Book, an incredibly literary, young and independent affair, about the size of the palm of your hand, the first of a flock of what they called "freak magazines" in those days, and The House Beautiful, which still exists. I tried my hand at more kinds of writing than I would dare to attempt now. And finally, by such methods, we killed off the lively little magazine, and my friends and employers, fearing, I suppose, the further damage I might do if I were allowed to stay on, asked me if I would not accept a reduction of salary and go to London as their "representative" - pompous term. I accepted gayly and sailed the following week.
In London I hunted literary celebrities as best I could and amused myself with life in England and traveling on the Continent. As a tiny child I had lain flat on a big atlas and learned to read maps before I knew words. But gradually I began to tire of trying to buy and sell other peoples writing and longed to see what I could do with my own. I got rid of all my jobs, including some pleasant "representing" of The Saturday Evening Post, and remained without visible - or invisible - means of support, starting to be an author on a very narrow margin.
At first I thought I was playwright and essayist. But no one else thought so, and finally, in annoyance, I said if fiction was all they wanted I'd write that. My first story was accepted and I saw immediately that God had, of course, intended me for fiction. Later I have come back to plays and essays with slightly better success. I still try to be Jack of several literary trades.
I am, like most Ohioans, a New Yorker now and think our American metropolis on the whole the most agreeable place of residence I have ever seen, though I rather want to try Peking if the world ever becomes again a planet suitable for traveling upon.* Meanwhile I am fortunate enough generally to spend the spring in Florida at my sister's small but flowery place at Daytona on the East Coast. Under the spell of the subtropics I seem to have been photographed, a process I dislike in other less-favored regions. But a Floridian snapshot seems so much more to exploit Nature's charms than one's own that it is to my taste the more bearable.
This is an uneventful life history, but I will do my best now to add a touch of melodrama. Apart from having been asked to appear on this page, perhaps the most flattering thing in my life is the activities of a misguided creature of whom I get track occasionally in various parts of the country whose object seems to be to tell people who probably never heard of them about the works of Harrison Rhodes and assert that he is their author. Need I say that I am strongly drawn to him and proud of having such an impersonator and publicity agent, especially as he is reported to be a handsome creature with a way with the ladies. But sometimes I feel that I am somehow lending myself to a deception.
I should like to meet him and tell him to be someone better worthwhile - Blasco Ibanez, for example, or the late Shakespeare if he prefers. But I cannot find him. Can none of the amiable shrewd readers of The Saturday Evening Post help me out?
I thought I disliked personal publicity but from the length of this autobiographical fragment it is evident that I long for it more than almost anything else in the world.
The home on South Beach Street known as "The Abbey" has an interesting and colorful past. With only three owners, the 126-year old home has a unique history.
The Thompson family came to this area from Ohio with Matthias Day, the founding father of Daytona. Laurence Thompson bought property, which included lots 426 and 432 South Beach Street for $300.00 in the spring of 1875. The Thompson family lived in the house on the lot at 432, which had been built by Calvin Day, a relative of Matthias Day. In 1876 the lumber for the Thompson Mercantile was being shipped from Jacksonville to Mosquito Inlet, but the schooner wrecked off the coast and the lumber washed ashore. It was collected though and brought up the Halifax River to the settlement originally known as Tomocala. The store was built near the site of a Native American mound in an area that was once part of the Williams sugar plantation.
This store played a most important part in the beginning of Daytona, serving as the site for the signing of the incorporation of the town. The upper floor served as City Hall, village library, and church on Sundays. Builder Laurence Thompson served as the first Town Clerk and was on the Town Council for several terms. He took an interest in the orange industry and planted an orange grove on the property where City Hall now stands. He later began a real estate and insurance business, was Commodore of the Yacht Club, built Lilian's Place on the peninsula on the river at Silver Beach, and owned other property in that and other areas.
Mr. Thompson sold his dry goods store and home, and the property at 426 was turned into a home by its new owners, the Lyman H. Robbins family of Ohio in 1891. Mr. Robbins sold the property to his sister Adelaide Robbins Rhodes in 1893 after the death of her husband James.
James Harrison Rhodes and Adelaide Robbins were married in 1866. When James Harrison Rhodes attended Hiram College in Ohio in he was a roommate of James A. Garfield. James Rhodes subsequently became a professor at Hiram, and was later an editorial writer and attorney in Cleveland. He remained life-long friends with President Garfield, and when James' son was born in 1871, his name reflected that friendship.
When Adelaide moved into the home on South Beach Street with her daughter Margaret, many changes and additions were made. A gable roof and sun porches were added on the south, and an extension on the north for a foyer, bath and closets and a butler's pantry, but the original structure was not changed. The home still features oak beams, heart of pine floors, and a large sturdy staircase ascending to the second floor. On the first floor is a large parlor, dining area, library, kitchen with butler's pantry, a large storage room, and a bathroom. On the second floor is a large common room with room-sized closet and a sun porch, a small kitchen, three bathrooms, and four bedrooms, one with a sun porch in the back. The property is a large parcel that runs east and west from Beach Street to Palmetto Avenue.
The property behind the main house is very private, and contains two small houses which were servants quarters, and a double car garage which faces Palmetto.
Harrison Garfield Rhodes was the only son of James and Adelaide, was educated in the public schools of Cleveland and then went to Harvard. He was a writer and became an author and dramatist. He described himself in an autobiography as a "shy, reading sort of boy". He wrote the first play ever accepted as a regular work in an English course at Harvard. After Harvard he went to wander in Europe. Then his friends from Harvard, Herbert Stone and George Kimball started a publishing house in Chicago and asked him to join them. They published two magazines, the Chap Book, a literary magazine, and in 1896 began publishing "The House Beautiful". Harrison continued to write plays and essays for years, but was more successful with fiction and travel books.
He wrote many books while living in the house in Daytona, including Flight to Eden, a fantasy novel about life in Daytona, based upon the life of John Botefuhr. He and Margaret also continued their mother's interest in the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls, (later Bethune-Cookman College). They served on the Board of Trustees for many years. In 1940 the Harrison G. Rhodes Memorial Library was built on the campus. It was dedicated in 1942, at a cost of $75,000.00.
The Rhodes family lived fairly lavishly in Daytona, with house servants, a gardener, and a chauffeur. The beautiful old home reflected the best quality furnishings and amenities of the time, including many items collected from their world travels. Harrison never married and continued to live in New York, winter in Daytona, and travel abroad, spending his last years in Italy and England. Harrison died in 1929 in Hereford, England.
Margaret continued to live in the house after Harrison's death, and sold it in 1957 to Dr. William P. Doremus. Upon Margaret's death in 1959 the Rhodes estate was settled, and Bethune-Cookman College received $560,000.00.
Dr. Doremus, a surgeon from New York, bought the Thompson/Rhodes home, sight unseen in 1957. He retired from practice in 1980 and moved into the house, leaving the Rhodes furnishings intact, including the library and Harrison Rhodes' books. In 1983 Dr. Doremus had the home placed on the National Historic Register. He was always interested in historic preservation and he lived in the house virtually unchanged until his death.
Dr. William Paul Doremus was born in 1920 in New York. He was a medical doctor and earned a B.A. from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and his M.D. degree from Cornell University. Dr. Doremus served during World War II as a flight surgeon with the U.S. Army Air Corps in Europe and the Middle East. He was recalled by the Air Force to serve during the Korean War, and he volunteered to serve again in the Vietnam War as a Lt. Colonel. He also served on the staff of the prestigious Lenox Hill Medical College, and was associate professor of surgery at the New York Medical College.
When Dr. Doremus retired from his private practice in New York, he moved to Daytona Beach where he served as president of the Halifax Historical Society from 1991-1993, and continued to serve in various capacities on the Board until his death. He was also an active member of the Halifax River Yacht Club, and a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church. Dr. Doremus died in March of 2002.
The home at 426 South Beach Street, and its wonderful antique furnishings from the Rhodes estate are for sale once again. One only hopes that the next buyer will be as faithful in maintaining the wonderful home and property as those who have gone on before!
Footnote: There has always been a question about exactly which store was used for the signing of the Incorporation of the City of Daytona. Some say the papers were signed at the Jackson store, others say the Thompson store was the site. According to research done for this article at the Halifax Historical Museum, it is felt that the Thompson store may have been the site of the signing.
Dr. Rogers was born in Daytona the same year the town was incorporated, November 26, 1876. She was the daughter of D.D. and Julia Rogers, Daytona pioneers.
She graduated from high school in Ocala. In 1907 she received her medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Rogers practiced Homeopathic Medicine and Philosophy for the next 50 years, starting her practice in Daytona in 1907. In 1947 she became Chief of Staff at Halifax Hospital.
She was active in community life and she belonged to many local and national organizations. She became active in politics and was elected City Commissioner and then in 1922 she was elected as Mayor of Daytona.
She died April 30, 1975 and in her 98 years she was the first woman doctor in Daytona, and she was also the first and only woman to ever be elected Mayor of Daytona.