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Seminole Inn not site of royal honeymoon

As we wrap up the 11th year of Post Time, we make a trip not just through time but also from London all the way to a rural outpost of the Treasure Coast.

When Prince William announced last month he’d marry Kate Middleton, royal watchers noted she was — sniff, sniff — a commoner.

That’s serious business. In 1936, with war looming, King Edward VIII shocked the world with his affair with Wallis Warfield Simpson. The Baltimore native was a 35-year-old divorcée and in a second, unhappy marriage, when she met Edward.

In December 1936, he abdicated “for the woman I love.”

Simpson’s uncle was S. Davies Warfield, a Baltimore banker and president of the Seaboard Coast Line railroad. In 1925, just before Martin County split off from Palm Beach County, Warfield came to tiny, isolated “Indian Town,” which he expected would become a popular stop on his rail line — and its southern hub.

He created the Seminole Inn and a hunting lodge for friends, and built a large passenger station and apartments.

Warfield died suddenly in late 1927, and his dream for Indiantown died with him.

Wallis Simpson and Edward each have rooms named for them at the inn.

Assistant manager Lillian Solorzano said the story has been that Simpson came to the grand opening in 1926. Reports also are that the two honeymooned there.

We went to the source: British scholar, and Edward biographer Philip Ziegler. Sorry, he said; the couple honeymooned in Carinthia, Austria.

seminoleinn1946
This photo shows the Seminole Inn on Warfield Boulevard in Indiantown around its 20th birthday in 1946. S. Davies Warfield, a Baltimore banker and president of the Seaboard Coast Line railroad, created the Seminole Inn and a hunting lodge for his friends. He died suddenly in late 1927, and his dream for Indiantown died with him. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
seminoleinn2001
The Seminole Inn in 2001 (Palm Beach Post file photo)

Update: We recently mentioned David McCampbell, one of our area’s Medal of Honor recipients.

Last summer, we said the Naval Institute Foundation was trying to publish an oral history McCampbell recorded in 1987.

The foundation now reports a $1 million gift from Jack Taylor, a World War II fighter pilot and founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

A bound volume and CD on McCampbell, to be out by early 2011 “will be the centerpiece of the institute’s yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of naval aviation,” foundation Director Sue Sweeney reports.

Update: Reader Edith B. Cowan of Jupiter caught a goof in our column on Wallis Warfield Simpson and the Seminole Inn in Indiantown. “The Seaboard Railroad and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad did not merge and become the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad until July 1, 1967,” she wrote. She should know; her father worked for the railroads both before and after the merger.

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg December 30, 2010 at 10:26 am.

2 comments

2 Replies

  1. sarah brown Jan 6th 2011

    Mr. Kleinberg:
    I could not find today’s Post Time column on line, but wated to write to thank you for mentioning my late colleague Donn Curl and the book Pioneer Life in Southeast Florida. Donn was a great Florida scholar and an asset to FAU’s History Department for many years, as you said; he is sorely missed. I’ve used Pioneer Life in my Florida Hisotry classes for about ten years — this little book is a wonderful way to introduce our often a-historical students to early county and regional history. It really opens their eyes. However, my students must read the electronic “on line” version held by the FAU library–because, another sad note, Pioneer Life is out of print, and has been for several years.
    Again, thanks for your nice comments today!
    Sarah Brown
    Associate Professor of History
    MacArthur Campus, FAU
    Jupiter
    1/6/2011


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