18. A Beautiful Slice Of History

by Chelsea Donahue

One of the most beautifully understated places I have ever seen has to be The Casements in Ormond Beach, Florida. When we first visited this area on vacation, I thought it was such a beautiful piece of property but never thought it would have such rich history behind it. It is now used as a Cultural Center for the city (my daughter takes yoga here), but it was originally built in 1910 as a private residence, overlooking the Halifax River.

In 1918 John Rockefeller bought the mansion to use as his winter home after being told by his doctors that Ormond Beach was the best place for his health. Today, pictures adorn the walls depicting all the great parties, visitors and Rockefeller’s life at The Casements. There is also a room set up to look like how it would’ve back when he owned it. Rockefeller died at The Casements in 1937. After his death, The Casements became an all girls school, and after that it was run down and partially burned down. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places, and remodeled (to almost it’s former glory) in 2009.

Looking towards the gardens & Halifax River.

From the second I took a tour of The Casements, I knew this place was special. It has a wonderful feel to it, like you’re tossed back in time for a few moments. I wish I could have been alive to see it at it’s prime. There is also a book that I adore, about Rockefeller’s life at The Casements, called Neighbor John. For more information about The Casements, click here.

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