Letter to the Editor: BGHS Historic Home Tour very well attended

cowperthwaitDear Editor,

Nearly 400 people attended the recent Boca Grande Historical Society’s Tour of Historic Homes. Almost 100 gathered for the luncheon at the Gasparilla Inn preceding the tour to hear Bill Morton and Davis Hammond, owners of two of the houses on the tour, muse about life on Boca Grande over the decades and the generations of their families who inhabited the houses they have happily inherited.


Houses on tour this year included The Charles and Jane Engelhard Estate now owned by Larry and Betsy Blau, the W. W. Hoffman House now owned by Jim and Chris Cowperthwait,  Corner Cottage owned by Davis and Corinna Hammond and the Louis Agassiz and Florence Shaw House now owned by Jim and Nancy Morton. The Cowperthwait and Morton homes were designed by the celebrated architect F. Burrall Hoffman, responsible for some of the most admired residential architecture of his era, including Villa Vizcaya, now a museum of the city of Miami.

A profound thanks to our hosts who generously opened their homes for the tour. It was a pleasure working with them.

Larry Blau, Jim and Chris Cowperthwait, Davis Hammond and Bill and Nancy Morton were at their homes during the tour to meet guests and answer questions about their houses. Ademir de Paula, who worked for the Engelhards starting in 1978 and continues with the Blaus, was on hand at the  Engelhard Estate to share his experiences over the years. Docents were placed throughout the homes to discuss aspects of the architecture, the interior design and the people who have lived in the houses.

The tour culminated with an open house and wine and hors d’oeuvre reception at the Johann Fust Community Library, designed by the distinguished architect Henry Richardson Shepley. Our thanks to Jon Bednerik, Executive Director of the Johann Fust Library Foundation and its Board of Directors.

Tickets for both events quickly sold out.  If you missed the tour, you can participate vicariously by enjoying these photographs. The tour is held biennially. See you in two years!

Thanks to the following for a job well done: Kim Kyle, Jean Woods, Jack Lyons, Linda Edic, Maureen McConnell and to the Boca Beacon for great coverage. A thank you to our docents, to Katie Zeim and Crew at the Gasparilla Inn, Hartman’s Printing Center, Mindy Ziegler for graphic design, Gary at Barnichol Hardware for the signs, Grapevine Gourmet and Gifts and the catering crew, Susan Hanafee and Lt. Jeff Corkhill of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

If you enjoyed the tour and want to see the work of the Historical Society prosper, please become a member by calling 964-1600 or coming by the office at 170 Park Avenue, next to Boca Bargains.

Trisha Lowe, Betsy Joiner and I thank all who participated for their interest and support.

Mary Bess

for the Boca Grande Historical Society Board of Directors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.