Monday, August 6, 2012

The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Part 1

Recently while visiting Tom's father in Jacksonville, we drove over to St. Augustine, the US's oldest city.  Being Florida natives, Tom and I had both been there countless times to see the old buildings, including the old fort, Castillo de San Marcos.  This time our destination was the Lightner Museum.

The Lightner Museum is located in what was the Hotel Alcazar, a luxury hotel built in 1887, thanks to the efforts of Henry Flagler. Henry was John D. Rockefeller's partner in Standard Oil.   He was very involved in real estate and railroad development.  He became a key figure in the development of Florida's east coast and the founder of what later became the Florida East Coast Railway.

In 1887, at the advice of his doctor, Henry went to Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife Mary who was very ill.  They really liked nearby St. Augustine, but there were no good hotels or transportation.  Henry began building luxurious hotels, but he realized that a good transportation system was necessary in order for guests to get there.  This is when he started building railroads along the east coast of Florida.

For many years, the wealthy enjoyed the Hotel Alcazar with its large pool, baths, steam and massage rooms, and gym.  You can see old photographs of these rooms here.  I'm not sure when the magnificent hotel closed, but in 1946 Chicago publisher, Otto C. Lightner purchased the building to house his large collection of mainly Victorian items.  In 1948, he opened the doors of the Lightner Museum.

Here are some photos we took during our visit.  As you can see, we focused on needlework related items.
















 I love these "button pictures"!






To be continued...

8 comments:

Margaret said...

Very interesting history! Love all the pics too. So fun to see everything! Hope Garrett is doing well.

Vickie said...

Wow! Fab u lous! Thank you so much for sharing.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

What a fun place to visit! I love the button pictures too. Can't wait to see more.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

What a wonderful museum! Love all the treasures but that button dressed woman is so wild! How fun!

Mary said...

Ellen, thanks so much for sharing these fabulous pictures from the Lightner Museum! Like you, we've visited St Augustine a hundred times, but always to the beach or the lighthouse. This will be a definite for next trip - love those crazy quilt pieces!

Barb said...

Ellen, thanks for sharing those amazing photos.

woolwoman said...

Ellen I'm sure sorry I missed seeing you when you were here - I wish you had called or emailed me and reminded me - I've been so busy it just never crossed my mind again. I am heading to St Aug for the weekend myself - something we do at least once a year - I don't guess the Lightner had the Hannah Hope quaker sampler on display at this time - our sampler guild did that as an SAL many years ago and the charting was brutal. Sorry to hear about Garrett's injury - how sad for the little guy and poor poor parents. Mel

Patti-Rocky Mtn Stitcher said...

Oh my gosh!! I envy you! What a shameful display of needlework! I could stay there for days!!