History Happened Here

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Bunnell

Flagler County

Year Founded: 1911Founded by: Alvah Bunnell

History

Bunnell is the County Seat for Flagler County, one of the oldest communities along the east coast of Florida. The Town of Bunnell was officially incorporated in 1913, but its history as a community dates back to the 1880’s. The City of Bunnell was officially incorporated in 1924. As with many other communities in Florida, Bunnell owes part of its start to the railroad industry. By 1900, Isaac I. Moody and George W. Deen had developed a flourishing turpentine business in the Bunnell area. The name Moody would forever be tied to this area. By 1903, Bunnell was big enough to have a post office. Isaac I. Moody, J.R. Sloan, and James Frank “Major” Lambert formed the Bunnell Development Company in 1909. With that came the formation of Bunnell’s roots. The town of Bunnell was platted, lots and property sold quickly and the new residents began to move in. The first permanent house was built by the Bunnell Development Company for James Frank “Major” Lambert in 1909. The first church (First United Methodist Church) was constructed in 1909 and the Bunnell State Bank opened in 1910. Records from the Bunnell Home Builder, an early periodical for the town, reported that the farms around Bunnell were small but successful in raising sugar cane, corn, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and hay. This created a livelihood that was based on family, farm and community. These are all at the root of this unique, historic, traditional Florida community.

Story of City's Founding

Alvah Bunnell established a cypress shingle mill and promised to supply the fledgling rail business with wood for its wood burning locomotives. Bunnell Stop was the name identified on the earliest rail route.

Little Known Facts

Historical Sites

Name: Historic Bunnell City Hall
Location: 200 S. Church St.
Historical Significance: City Hall, otherwise known as the “Civic Center” was built in 1936-37 with Work Progress Administration (WPA) grant funding. Superintendent Z.D. Holland and foreman John Swain enlisted men from the community during the Depression. The stone foundation is constructed entirely of coquina, which was quarried between Bunnell and Flagler Beach. The workers cut the coquina with hatchets to produce the flat-faced smooth walls. The lintel or stonework , over the doors and windows were cut into wedges to support the arches. A heart shape stone was perfected by careful hands and may still be seen today in the hall. Beautiful Lake Lucille, located in front of City Hall, was once a cypress mud hole. Workers shoveled mud out of the hole into wheelbarrows, then used it to level the four blocks behind City Hall. The “Civic Center” serves many functions now and in the past: Cabbage Balls, School Dances, Meeting Hall, Commission Chambers, Wedding Hall, and many, many more

Name: Original Flagler County Courthouse
Location: 201 E. Moody Blvd.
Historical Significance: This historic building was constructed around 1926 in a Neoclassical style and was dedicated on July 28, 1927. The noted Florida architect Wilbur Talley designed the patriarchal landmark. As the County Seat, the Court House became the heart of commerce in Bunnell

Name: Holden House Museum
Location: 204 E. Moody Blvd.
Historical Significance: Constructed in 1918, the Holden House is an excellent example of the Craftsman Bungalow construction style, including a large dormer and a deep-set front porch. It was built for Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Holden as a wedding gift. They raised their two daughters, Alta Jane and Eleanor, and continued to reside there until the 1970’s. It is owned by the Flagler County Historical Society and is open on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 1 PM for tours.

Name: William Henry "Doc" Deen House
Location: 805 E. Moody Blvd.
Historical Significance: Built in 1918 in a Frame Vernacular style, generations of the Deen family have occupied this homestead. Mr. Deen was an early Irish potato farmer who became the Department of Agriculture Farm Demonstrator for Flagler County. A small playhouse was constructed next to the main house to mimic the architecture of the main house

Name: George Moody House
Location: 1000 E. Moody Blvd.
Historical Significance: This circa 1917 building is an excellent example of the Craftsman style with its one-and-one-half story wood frame structure, full width porch, and gabled roof. This building’s historic fabric remains completely intact except for the improvements on the roofing materials. George was Isaac I. Moody’s brother, one of the founder’s of Flagler County. George Moody was prominent in the development of Ocean City (now known as Flagler Beach) where he was elected its first Mayor in 1925

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