Meet The Historical Figures Of The Rose Villa

Meet The Historical Figures Of The Rose Villa

As a tribute to the history of Ormond Beach, the Rose Villa honors a variety of noteworthy leaders with portraits scattered throughout the restaurant. From Henry Flagler and John D. Rockefeller to Fred Marriott and Sir Malcolm Campbell, many historical figures have left their mark on our remarkable city. When you walk through the doors of the Rose Villa, discover the familiar (or unfamiliar) faces you'll find on our walls. Read on!

Henry Flagler

After meeting John D. Rockefeller in Cleveland, Ohio, the two men created the Standard Oil Company. The deteriorating health of his wife resulted in their moving to St. Augustine. In 1890, he purchased the Ormond Hotel and made it the next stop on the Florida East Coast Railroad for his wealthy customers. In 1912, Flagler's dream of the Overseas Railway to Key West was completed at a cost of $20 million. He dies 18 months later at the age of 83.

John D. Rockefeller

Known widely as "The Richest Man in the World," he partnered with Henry Flagler in the Standard Oil Company. He stayed at the Ormond Hotel until discovering he was being charged more for his rooms than the other patrons. So he purchased The Casements across the street in 1918 where he spent his winters until his death in 1937 at the age of 97.

Will Rogers

Will visited John D. Rockefeller in the early 1900s. The two played golf at what is now the Oceanside Country Club. After the game, it is believed Rogers said, "Mr. Rockefeller, I'm so glad you won the game because the last time you lost, the price of oil and gasoline went up!"

Henry Ford

The founder of Ford Motor Company brought the first factory team to the beach with his Model "K" in 1905. Although he had no success on the sand, he gained valuable information from the other inventors. He gave John D. Rockefeller the first V-8 to come off the assembly line in 1931.

Thomas Edison

The famous inventor is credited with the electric lightbulb and the motion picture machine – among others. He was a frequent visitor to Ormond Hotel and installed theatrical lighting and a motion picture machine in the hotel's ballroom.

Fred Marriott

Marriott was the driver of the famed Stanley Steamer, which broke the Land Speed Record in 1906. In a time when these records were being broken by the hour, the Steamer record held for several years in its class. 

Glenn Curtiss

A pioneer of the aviation industry, Curtiss brought his V-8 motorcycle to compete on the beach at Ormond in 1907. He broke the Land Speed Record that year at 1137 mph. A monument commemorating the achievement is located at the Birthplace of Speed Park at the corner of A1A and Granada Boulevard.

King Edward VIII

In 1931, Edward met Wallis Simpson, a charming but married American woman with whom he fell in love. Against the wished of his family, he abdicated his throne to marry Simpson in 1937 after becoming king in 1936. In 1942, he was given the title of the Duke of Windsor and appointed to Governor of the Bahamas. Legend has it that King Edward visited Ormond Beach during its heyday. 

Sir Malcolm Campbell

Probably the most famous celebrity to ever race on the beach, Campbell brought 5 Bluebird race cares to Daytona Beach. And in 1935, he broke the Land Speed Record with an average speed of 276.82 mph. The following year, in 1936, was the first circular race in the area, combining the beach and A1A at what is now Daytona Beach Shores. 

Frank Lockhart 

The boyish good looks of this innovative driver made his tragic demise on the beach in 1928 that much more poignant. Lockhart's car, the Sutz Black Hawk, was a sleek aluminum race car that captivated the spectators with its smooth lines and aerodynamic design. 


To explore all the portraits you will find in the Rose Villa, click here!

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