Flagler County Historical Society

Introduction

St. Johns Park site of early Flagler land boom“A Look Back” – from the Flagler County Historical Society

Early visitors to St. Johns Park. In 1909, the St. Johns Development company made a contract with the Ben Levin Advertising Agency of Chicago for the purpose of advertising land parcels

St. Johns Park site of early Flagler land boom“A Look Back” – from the Flagler County Historical Society


Flagler County History
THE FLAGLER/PALM COAST NEWS-TRIBUNE
Palm Coast, Florida
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

St. Johns Park site of early Flagler land boom

Early visitors to St. Johns Park. In 1909, the St. Johns Development company made a contract with the Ben Levin Advertising Agency of Chicago for the purpose of advertising land parcels, both lot sizes and small farms, for sale, according to a history paper by Sisco Deen, archivist with the Flagler County Historical Society. Much of the land was sold by mail order and much of it was sold in 25-acre parcels.

(Flagler County Historical Society) – Compiled by Aaron London.

Historically Speaking, from Sisco
Flagler County Historical Society

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1925 St. Johns Park Ad in Miami News

St. Johns Park
by Sisco Deen

The land boom in present-day Flagler County started on the west side of the county in the early 1900’s at settlement called Omega. The area had been settled in the early 1880’s by the James Andrew Burnsed, Mathew (Mack) Davis, Jesse Valentine Maphurs, and James C. Miller families

A post office was established at Omega on 15 Nov 1902.

Remember Georgia Senator George W Deen?

George was on the board of directors for the St Johns Development Company. The first meeting of the company was held at Omega on 21 Dec 1908.  The officers of the company elected at that meeting were: Charles H. Seig, president; Ernest Frederick Warner, who later served Flagler County as State Representative, first vice president; John Phillips, second vice president; Herbert L. Stewart, third vice president; and George W Deen, secretary and treasurer.

These five men were the incorporators and subscribing stockholders, each subscribing for 2,000 shares of capital stock worth one million dollars. George owned all the land in this proposed development of 25,000 acres. The land was subject to timber leases made by George to A. T. Squire, James Emmett Deen and Company and the Espanola Turpentine Company.

George’s proposal to deed his land to the company in full payment for all the stock, for himself and the other four directors was approved. They having made satisfactory arrangements with him for this purpose and the stock was to be issued to him at his order.

In January 1909, the St Johns Development Company made a contract with the Ben Levin Advertising Agency of Chicago for the purpose of advertising the land parcels, both lot sizes and small farms, for sale. They advertised in northern papers with “Five Dollars Down and Five Dollars a Month.” Much of the land was sold by mail order and much of it was sold in 25 acre parcels.

The company built a three story frame hotel on a 5 acre waterfront park. A large administration building was erected nearby, as was a two story general store and a post office.

The company operated boat service for passengers and freight. Two boats, The McNeil and The Crescent, made regular stops at Dead Lake bringing settlers, mail, prospectors and supplies and returning with newly harvested farm products.

Earnest F Warner bought his fellow officers out on 02 Jan 1913 and continued development at now St. Johns Park.

Postal records indicate that the name of the Omega Post Office was changed to St Johns Park on 06 Mar 1911 and that the St Johns Park Post Office was closed on 19 Jun 1930 will all mail for the settlement being directed to Bunnell.

Today, all of the original St Johns Development Company buildings are gone. The Mathew Davis home on County Road 2006 still stands. The two story house had formerly been the office of the A. T. Squire Lumber Company at Omega. Mack purchased the office building, moved it about a short distance east on then Deen Road, and converted into a home.

On December 3, 2007, the Flagler County Commission, using $1.7 million of voter approved funds for Environmentally Sensitive Land, purchased 29 acres at Bull Creek Fish Camp to preserve public access to Dead Lake and some 23 acres of cypress wetlands. The area, the site of the former docks at St Johns Park, is in western Flagler County at the western end of County Road 2006.

The St. Johns Park Band was part of a booming community in Flagler County. The real land boom started in St. Johns Park about 1908 after Ernest Frederick Warner bought about 25,000 acres of land from George Deen and Matthew Davis. He and his associates organized one of the first big promotions. Much of the land was sold by mail order. Known as St. Johns Park Development Company, they sold land in 25-acre parcels. The company operated a boat service for passengers and freight. Two boats, The McNeil and The Crescent, made regular stops at Dead Lake bringing settlers, mail, prospectors and supplies and returning with newly harvested farm products.

A mail boat stops on the St. Johns Park docks. The land boom in what would become Flagler County began about 1908 The St. Johns Park Development Co. sold land in 25-acre parcels and advertised in northern papers with the slogan Five Dollars Down and Five Dollars a Month.” The company operated boat service for passengers and freight, bringing settlers, mail, prospectors and supplies and returning with newly harvested farm products.

Katherine Johnston Bankston and Lee Davis play cards in this early 20th  photo from St. Johns Park. While Flagler County’s growing population has attracted more business development and offers residents more events and activities, early pioneers had to find their own fun .

Author: Sisco Deen