Glimpses of Old Florida – Murals

Murals are one of the artforms that fascinate and draw me in. Today, this ancient visual art decorates walls in cities around the world, sometimes waiting to be tagged by random graffiti writers. Why did I not take photos in my long-ago visit to Bucharest or Lisbon; the murals there were amazing. These days when traveling, I have my little Canon camera or my IPhone ready to snap.

Recently, Constant Companion and I explored downtown in search of recent public art and found several murals adorning buildings in a new commercial/residential area arising in downtown (see 3-14-23 post).  Last year, I shared some of the many mural sightings during my trip to Greece and Albania last year (see 11-6-22 and 11-22-22 posts).

The kitchy mosaic murals honoring American history on a neighborhood bank in Miami Beach that was slated for demolition were included in another post (see 9-12-22 post). The skeleton of a hulking hotel now graces the spot. These fun murals are said to have been saved and are somewhere in storage waiting for new walls to adorn. In the meantime, the developer from time-to-time projects images of them on an oversized LED screen one block away.

As I’ve traveled across the state, I’ve been drawn to historic buildings. In two, I found interesting mural art that captures our history and more.

Indiantown is a rural community in the interior of Florida’s Treasure Coast region, first established in the early 1900s.

The Seminole Inn in Indiantown, Florida, was opened for the January 1926 season, It was built by the President of the Seaboard Airline Railways, Mr. Solomon Davies Warfield.* He had planned to make Indiantown the southern headquarters of the railroad that ran from Central Florida to West Palm Beach (

*If the Warfield name seems familiar, his niece was Wallis Warfield, famous for marrying Edward VIII, then Prince of Wales. Edward abdicated the throne in 1936.

The Inn was purchased in 1976 by Indiantown native, Iris Pollock Wall and her husband, Homer Wall. They lovingly restored the dilapidated Inn. The story goes on from there, but the end is that the “Lady,” a wonderful example of “Old Florida,” is still owned and managed by the Wall family.

The “Seminole Gallery” lines the walls of two hallways in the East Wing on the second floor of the Inn. It is a series of murals capturing the history of the Seminole People and their connection to Indiantown painted by an unknown artist. (

Clewiston, Florida, also has Seminole history. It grew out of a Seminole fishing camp on the west side of Lake Okeechobee in the early 1920s. Its location on the Lake drew fishermen to enjoy sport fishing. Because of the predominance of the sugar (sugar cane) industry it came to be known as “America’s Sweetest Town.” By the 1950s and 1960s, the cultivation of citrus, cattle, and vegetables were also important to the economy, though sugar remained King.

The historic Clewiston Inn, built in 1936; the United States Sugar Company took ownership in 1938 to host company executives and visiting dignitaries is located in the center of town. 

I first saw the Inn’s Everglades Lounge and Bar in 2006 when I took a group of international museum ethnographers on a driving tour of the state.

Here we are for lunch, Germany, Norway, Croatia. the Netherlands, Israel, and USA represented

Yes, we were amazed by the 360-degree wildlife mural featuring the flora and fauna of the Florida Everglades, painted by Palm Beach artist J. Clinton Shepherd in the early 1940s. Shepherd stayed at the Inn for many months, making frequent trips to the Everglades to sketch the animals.

Included are black bear, deer, raccoon, opossum, striped skunk, fox, swamp rabbit, and cottontail rabbit. Birdlife include ibis, curlew, great blue heron, spoonbill, egret, owl, pelican, mallard duck, sandhill crane, anhinga, hawk, cardinal, quail, turkey, great heron, and other assorted water birds. These are just a few …

Even pelicans (see last week’s post!)

I try to stop every time I pass through Clewiston. These photos are from a 2018 trip.

Glimpses of Old Florida can be found in so many places around the state. I am glad to have been able to see some of them.

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