Monday, October 8, 2012

Black Bahamian descendants from Miami tour historic Lake Worth, Florida

On Thursday, October 4, 2012, the non-profit Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History (MLFH) hosted a private Narrated Bus Tour of Historic Lake Worth, Florida for 32 (mostly retired) professional African Americans from Miami. These professional African Americans are school principals, teachers, librarians, nurses, social workers, bankers, beauty parlor owners and funeral parlor owners. They represent the black elite of Miami. And, they are descendants of black Bahamian settlers in Miami.  A total of 10 places were visited for their tour.   The tour got it's jump start with exclusive private shopping hosted at Macy's in Boynton Beach and with pastries sponsored by Palermo's Bakery of Boynton Beach, FL.

October 4, 2012, private shopping was hosted at Macy's Boynton Beach, Florida for Miami's black elite who visited Palm Beach County, Florida for a tour of historic Lake Worth, Florida
 
Back in February 2012, MLFH hosted a private Narrated Bus Tour of Historic Lake Worth for a black travel club that also consisted of retired African American professionals from Miami. They had an enjoyable experience and have shared good news throughout the City of Miami about their visit to historic Lake Worth which is how the group who visited on October 4th heard about this MLFH tour program to Lake Worth.

The group of 32 professional African Americans who visited on Thursday, October 4, 2012, are members from two historic black Bahamian churches in Miami: the Church of the Incarnation and St. Agnes Episcopal Church.

St. Agnes was established in 1898 in Miami, Florida by black Bahamian settlers becoming the first black Episcopal church in Miami. St. Agnes boasts a membership of nearly 2,000 people making it the largest Episcopal church in South Florida and one of the largest in the State of Florida. The St. Agnes church building encompasses an entire city block. St. Agnes’ members represent some of the most notable African American professionals and black elected officials in South Florida. The other Episcopal church is the Church of the Incarnation in Miami (sister church to St. Agnes) which is 63 years old and has a large membership of 500 people. Both of these church members partnered for their excursion to Lake Worth. Their tour in Lake Worth included visits to the 1927  St. John’s Episcopal Church in the historic black Lake Osborne Addition neighborhood; and the 1913 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Parrot Cove Neighborhood in Lake Worth. Plus, they met African American Artists Edna Jones and George Taylor at the Lake Worth Art League Gallery; and African American artist Anthony Burks, Sr. at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery.  The galleries are located in the arts district in Downtown Lake Worth, FL.   Refreshing smoothies were provided at The Juice Bar. The tour guests also met Lake Worth Centennial Chairperson Betty Resch and Lake Worth author/historian Ted Brownstein.

What is also important to know is that the professional black Bahamians who toured Lake Worth on October 4th are descendants of the black Bahamians who helped to build Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway extension to Miami and Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel in Miami. These black Bahamians (who were their grandparents) arrived in Miami, Florida in the late 1890s and early 1900s via a “contract” to work on Flagler’s train. The black Bahamians came from Nassau, Freeport, St. Andros, Cat Island, Long Island and New Providence in the Bahamas and some of the black Bahamians came from Key West, Florida.
 
The special guests from Miami met, were greeted by and received warm welcomes from Lake Worth Commissioners Andy Amoroso; and Scott Maxwell.  Florida House of Representatives Lori Berman sent a wonderful welcome letter.

"The schedule of the tour experience was excellent.  We could not have had a better tour guide," said Marilyn Randall of the black elite group from Miami.

The tour guests from Miami at Macy's Boynton Beach.
 
Angela Mitchell of Macy's greeted tour guests from Miami
 
Macy's Boynton Beach hosted private shopping for the African American professionals from Miami's Church of the Incarnation and St. Agnes.
 
Tour guests shopping at Macy's Boynton Beach, Florida
  
Black professionals from Miami shopped at Macy's Boynton Beach for their tour in Palm Beach County, Florida
 
Tour guests from Miami shopped at Macy's Boynton Beach, Florida
  
Angela Mitchell of Macy's Boynton Beach with Tour Director Lori
 
Mr. Zander (left), who, in the 1980s,  was the 7th grade teacher for  MLFH Tour Director Lori (right). Mr. Zander is now a top-selling sales associate in the Men's department at Macy's Boynton Beach
 
With Macy's shopping bags in hand, tour guests board bus for trip to historic Lake Worth, Florida
  
Father Joseph of St. John's Episcopal Church welcomed the church members from the Church of the Incarnation and St. Agnes in Miami for their tour of Lake Worth, Florida. 
 
George Glinton shared the history of St. John's Episcopal which was established in the Lake Osborne Addition neighborhood in Lake Worth by black Bahamian settlers to Lake Worth, FL.  Mr. Glinton is a descendant of the black Bahamian founders of the Lake Worth church.  The School District of Palm Beach County also used this church building as the 2nd Lake Worth home for the "Colored" school for children of African American heritage during the era of legal segregation.
  
MLFH Tour Director Lori with Archibald Theodore Morris who is an elder at St. John's Episcopal Church.
 
St. John's Episcopal Church elder Archibald Theodore Morris welcomed the black professionals from Miami.

Archibald Theodore Morris shared the history of the historic Big Red Bell with the black professionals who were visiting from Miami.   The bell dates back to about year 1908 and was originally the bell used by the West Palm Beach Fire Department.  When the fire department no longer had any use for the bell, St. John's Episcopal paid $100 to have the bell transported to their property in the Lake Osborne Addition.  In the olden days (before the telephone, TV, cellular phone and the internet), bell communication was very important because the bell was rung or tolled to alert to community with a particular message (i.e. birth, wedding, death, emergency, etc.).
    
Members of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation of Miami viewed the Big Red Bell which weights about 2 tons located at St. John's Episcopal Church in the Lake Osborne Addition neighborhood in Lake Worth, Florida.

MLFH Tour Director Lori J. Durante with members of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation of Miami viewing the Big Red Bell located at St. John's Episcopal Church in the Lake Osborne Addition neighborhood in Lake Worth, Florida.  Lake Osborne Addition was once Lake Osborne "Colored" Addition that was settled around 1917 by black Bahamians.  In 1999, the City of Lake Worth removed the reference "Colored" from fron the Lake Osborne name on the City's plat map as it was deemed derrogatory.

Tours guests from Miami marvel at the Big Red Bell located at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church located in the Lake Osborne Addition in Lake Worth.
 
 
The black professionals from Miami arrived at Grant AME Chapel in the Lake Osborne Addition neighborhood in Lake Worth.  Grant AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Chapel was established in 1922 and is the oldest black church in Lake Worth, FL. The church organization originated in the neighboring Town of Lantana, Florida 
 
Rev. Rosetta Clark of Grant AME Chapel provided a thorough lecture about the in-depth history of Grant AME Chapel located in the historic black neighborhood Lake Osborne Addition in Lake Worth.  Grant's church building served as the first Lake Worth home for the "Colored" School operated by the School District of Palm Beach County, FL.

Rev. Rosetta Clark with black professionals from the Espicopal Church of the Incarnation and St. Agnes in Miami who were visiting Grant AME Chapel, the oldest black church in Lake Worth, FL
 
Ms. Trudy Lowe with students at the Osborne School hold a welcome sign for the black professionals from Miami who were touring historic Lake Worth, FL.  The Osborne School was built in 1947 as the "colored" school for African American children and served grades 1st thru 8th during legal segregation.

The black elite professionals, many of whom are retired teachers, received a tour of the Osborne School building which is now a Head Start school in Lake Worth. The children read stories to the black professionals visiting from St. Agnes and the Church of the Incarnation in Miami.

The black professionals, many of whom are retired teachers, received a tour of the Osborne School building which is now a Head Start school in Lake Worth.  The children read stories to the black professionals visiting from St. Agnes and the Church of the Incarnation in Miami.

During the visit to the Osborne School, Mr. Julius Jones, who is a native of Lake Worth, shared comprehensive history about the area during legal segregation.  He later became the first black teacher at Barton Elementary.

The Lake Worth Muncipal Pier under renovation.  The tour bus made a loop around the beach where there is renovation construction on the beach, casino and pier. According research done by Willie Howard of The Palm Beach Post, the Municipal Pier in the City of Lake Worth is named in honor of William O. Lockhart, a black Bahamian man and farmer who died in 2003. Before his passing, Lockhart was also the pier master.

The black professionals from St. Agnes Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Miami received an enthusiastic welcome and historical overview at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Lake Worth which established in 1913 by pioneers to Lake Worth.
 
Father Rasmus, Rector at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in the Parrot Cove Neighborhood in Lake Worth, FL, welcomed the black professional tour guests from Miami's St. Agnes and Church of the Incarnation and shared history about St. Andrew's.  St. Andrew's lost their original building in the 1928 hurricane but re-built in 1929.
 
The black professionals from Miami were greeted by Lake Worth artist George Taylor  at the Lake Worth Art League Gallery located in the LULA Arts District in Downtown Lake Worth, FL.

The Lake Worth Art League Gallery is one of the oldest continuous art leagues in Palm Beach County.  The tour guests from the St. Agnes church and Church of the Incarnation in Miami received a tour of the art gallery and met some of the African American artists.

Tara Maule, President of the Lake Worth Art League welcomed the black professionals from the St. Agnes and Church of the Incarnation in Miami.

Art work by Lake Worth Art League artist Edna Jones on view for the MLFH tour hosted for the black professionals from Miami.

Edna Jones, artist with the Lake Worth Art League Gallery located in the LULA Arts District in Downtown Lake Worth, FL

The black professionals from Miami purchased gift cards created by local artist at the Lake Worth Art League Gallery in Downtown Lake Worth, Florida

Lake Worth Art League Gallery artist Edna Jones ( Left) with tour guest from Miami

Black professional tour guests from Miami in Downtown Lake Worth on their way to The Juice Bar and a greeting from Lake Worth City Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso (center) greeted the tour guests from the St. Agnes and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation of Miami who were touring historic Lake Worth on the Narrated Bus Tour conducted by MLFH.

Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso display the LULA Map to the tour guests from Miami who all received a copy of the map.

The Juice Bar in downtown Lake Worth provided  smoothie drinks for the black professionals from Miami

Group photo!  Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso with the black professionals from St. Agnes Church and Church of the Incarnation of Miami who toured historic Lake Worth on the MLFH Narrated Bus Tour.


Joyce Brown, President of the Lake Worth Downtown Cultural Alliance, at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery holding the front door open for the black professionals from Miami

Tour guests arrive at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Downtown Lake Worth, Florida

L-R: Artists George Taylor, Anthony Burks, Sr. and Joyce Brown a the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Downtown Lake Worth.  Anthony Burks, Sr. gave a lecture about his exhibition Boys II Men to the black professional MLFH tour guests from Miami

Lake Worth Commissioner Scott Maxwell (center) welcomes the Miami residents for their MLFH tour of historic Lake Worth, Florida

Scott Maxwell ( right) greeted the black professionals from the St. Agnes Episcopal Church and the Church of the Incarnation of Miami.

Betty Resch, Chairman of the Lake Worth Centennial welcomed the tour guests from Miami who were visiting historic Lake Worth, Florida

Ted Brownstein shared historical data about the negro Seminole Fannie James who settled in Lake Worth in 1883 before the town was incorporated in 1913. Brownstein is writing a book about Fannie James.

The Palms West Chamber of Commerce in Lake Worth welcomed the black professionals from Miami by gifting them each with a copy of the book Lake Worth: Jewel of the Gold Coast written by Jonathan W. Koontz

For more information about a private Narrated Bus Tour of Historic Lake Worth or a Narrated Bus Tour of Historic Delray Beach, Florida, call 561-243-2662 or click here.

Special thank you Macy's, the Patricia Ann Ravo Fund; and the Boris & Edith Rueger Fund.
 
About the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History

The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History was established in 1999 and is non-profit 501c3. Since 2004, the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History (MLFH) has conducted the Narrated Bus Tours of Historic Delray Beach, Florida that have been rated the “best” and also the Most Unique Travel Gem by AAA Travel Home & Away Magazine. More than 7,000 passengers have been hosted on the hugely popular Narrated Bus Tours of Historic Delray Beach. In 2012, MLFH expanded its Narrated Bus Tour program to include historic Lake Worth. In addition, on the second, third and fourth Saturdays of each month, MLFH conducts the Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County which visits historic Lake Worth & Lantana; and historic Delray Beach & Boynton Beach, FL. These tour programs were designed by Lori J. Durante, founder and Executive Director of the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History. The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History was established in 1999 and is a non-profit 501c3 organization.

For more information, call 561-243-2662 or visit MLFHMUSEUM.org.

11 comments:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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  2. Hello, I really loved your blog. Bahamians began visiting the Florida Keys in the 18th century to salvage wrecked ships, fish, catch turtles and log tropical hardwood trees. The descendants of Bahamians lived on Charles Avenue behind the Coconut Grove Playhouse. E.F.W. The strength of the Bahamians was asserted in their numbers and willingness, demonstrated determination to master this new environment. Thanks a lots...

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    1. You are welcome and thank you so much for reading the blog. You've shared some good history information in your comments about black Bahamians in Miami and Key West, Florida. Again, thank you for the visit to this blog.

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    The theme of your blog is very beautiful and the article is written very well. This blog is beautifully explained & also appeared images are so nice and unique piece of the collection. Thanks a lot…

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting this blog. Your comments are very encouraging. Glad that you were able to read the blog. Again, thank you so much for the feedback.
      Sincerely,
      Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History
      Narrated Bus Tours of Historic Lake Worth

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  4. Hello, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your site and this post. You make some very informative points.Keep up the great work!

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    1. Glad that you were able to visit the MLFH blog. Thank you so much for your comments.
      Sincerely,
      Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History

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    2. Thank you for your article. With the exception of a few small, however, noteworthy misnomers, it can be said to be informative and useful.

      In reference, your mention of some of the places in The Bahamas from where the first "contract" workers to Florida came included errors such as "Andrews", where most likely, "Andros" , the correct appellation, was the intended one. Also, "Providence" was mistakenly used to refer to what should have been "New Providence", which is the main island, and on which is found the capital, Nassau, which in turn, is almost always erroneously used to replace the name of the entire island of New Providence; a common mistake, perhaps due, in part, to the fact that the island of New Providence is only some twenty-one miles wide by seven miles long. This is not analogous to the case of "Freeport", also often used erroneously and interchangeably with the island of Grand Bahama; most especially since "Freeport" only came into existence in 1955, whereas, here, in your article, you are referring to activities which find their origin in the 1800s.

      A wonderful article, nonetheless.
      I look forward to further readings from you.
      Best regards,
      Loletha Saunders.

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    3. Hello Mrs. Saunders,

      Thank you so much for your insightfulness. You've provided much appreciated educated commentary to this blog about the Black Bahamians in Miami. "Andros" was written phonetically because it was pronounced as "Andrews" during an interview of the elderly Mrs. Colmer of Miami who is a descendant of the original Black Bahamians who settled in Miami. It was written as "Andrews" because that is how she pronounced it thus I assumed "Andrews" was correct because it has been consistently pronounced that way during my other interviews of black Bahamians. However, you are definitely schooled in the phonetic ways in which blacks historically pronounced words and how those pronunciations get passed down from one generation to the next thus often pronounced in a manner that is not representative of the true spelling of the word. So I believe you to be correct about "Andros" and the other geographic locations which you mentioned. I've heard of St. Andros Island in the Bahamas and I am aware that some of the black Bahamian settlers in South Florida came from that area. Again, I am delighted that you visited the blog and thank you so much the history information which I look forward to including in future blogs about the black Bahamians who participate in the Museum's programming and tours. Once again, thank you, thank you! Hope that you will visit the blog again.
      Sincerely
      Lori J. Durante, Executive Director
      Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History
      fashionhistorymuseum.blogpspot.com

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