In 1886, Henry Mason Cutting, a wealthy New England sportsman purchased the property known as “Cherokee Grove”. Cutting also bought several adjoining parcels, including a point where he decided to build a lodge. Cutting’s New York architect gave the lodge a romantic European look – – a cross-shaped great room of dark wood rising to a 24-foot peak, massive fireplace, a false gallery ’round the second-story level. The woodwork was carved by a father-and-son team who had worked on Flagler’s opulent Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, now Flagler College.
Yet the architect also made the place Floridian with wide porches shaded by a deep overhang, and the lodge walls are blocks molded of concrete and native coquina The lodge was completed in 1888, the same year he married Angela Mills. He died in 1892 leaving his estate to his 26-year-old wife and two infant children. (Note: she married a John Lorimer Worden after Cutting’s death but they were divorced before 1922.)
Cherokee Grove drawings 1933 – William M. Wright Architect Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fl0098
Angela Mills Cutting was soon a widow after the passing of Henry Cutting and she eventually married an exiled Russian prince named Boris Scherbatoff. Cherokee Grove was renamed Princess Place and the 1,500 pristine acres attract nature enthusiasts from near and far. In the 20th century, Flagler County Parks and Recreation designated the 1,500 acres a preserve. Visitors can take in the environment on one of the many hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, spend time fishing in the salt marshes along the Matanzas River and Pellicer Creek, or camp out under the stars. Early maps of the original Second Spanish era Francisco Pellicer Land Grant for this location show its dimensions match almost exactly to those of the present Princess Place Preserve. This was the early Pellicer Plantation.
Pellicer was a Minorcan refugee from the failed colony at New Smyrna.
The Preserve was added to the NRHP in 1997.
Reportedly the first swimming pool in Florida. Constructed of poured concrete, ‘a new technology’ for Henry Flagler’s St. Augustine hotels, the pool is fed by a continuously running artisan well. This photo by Bill Ryan shows original bath houses.