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DeLand Links: 1905

DeLand Links: 1905

Circa 1905. "Golf -- College Arms Hotel, DeLand, Florida." Back before golf carts, there was the golf train. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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Never again

... will I complain about the groundskeepers at my local club. Or slow play. That's quite a backup at #9.

Hats off to him

Built by and controlled by John B Stetson.

Razed, not blazed

The story of this turn-of-the-century wooden hotel is unlike that of so many others seen on Shorpy, because it does not include a devastating fire. Worn out during World War II by army aviators staying there while flying out of a nearby airport, its new owners razed it in 1946.

Every head in this photo seems covered by a hat, yet none of those hats is the world-famous style of the Philadelphia-based hat company that shares the name of this winter hotel's 1905 owner - John B. Stetson. Stetson College in DeLand was the college to which the name "College Arms" refers.

The height of luxury

In the early nineteen teens the hotel advertised: "The equipment is modern and complete, including elevator, electric lights, steam heat and long-distance telephones in every room. Many of the rooms have private baths; others have hot and cold running water ... The entire property is fully equipped with automatic sprinklers, making the buildings as near fireproof as is possible." It had a ladies' parlor, music room, sun parlor, writing room, billiard room, pool, barber shop, and manicure parlor. Guests were entertained with two concerts a day in addition to dancing and afternoon tea that took place in the common areas.

The rail car in the image reflects the planning that went into the hotel. There was a special spur that ran from the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line to DeLand, directly to the hotel. This spur enabled the well heeled to arrive in style and park their private Pullman rail cars immediately adjacent to the hotel. Others preferred taking the train from Jacksonville to Smyrna and thence to Orangeville where they would detrain and take a carriage the rest of the way along a road paved with shells.

Among the hotel's many famous guests was President Calvin Coolidge in early 1929, who was in the area to dedicate a local tower.

During World War II the hotel was turned over to the military for housing of officers stationed at a nearby air base. Unfortunately the grand old lady suffered terribly from wear during the war years and she never reopened as a hotel. In 1946 her new owner decided to sell of the furnishings and raze the hotel.

Fifty bucks says I can make the green

… while wearing a hubcap on my head.


Razed July 1946.

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