Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bloggin’s like a box o’ chocolates….

You never know what you're going to find...or what is going to find you.

As if I wasn't have a great enough weekend already, I received an email today that went to my spam folder. I didn't recognize the address (and neither did AOL's software, obviously), but the subject line concerned the Alba Court Inn. At the risk of opening some sort of scam email, I decided to check it out.

Florida07 Alba Court Inn5 First of all, a little background. Most of you know that Ken and I have a timeshare in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and go there every year. We really do feel as though it's our second home, and we enjoy our visit and the town every time we go. When we first started going, there was a place in town called the Alba Court Inn. It was an old hotel, long abandoned, and of course it captured my imagination, as such places often do. I always speculate that places like that are haunted, but that's just my runaway imagination. If they're haunted by anything, it's memories, or by people like me who wonder about the visitors over the years. Although, one never knows, does one...? [spooky laughter]

I tried to find out some information about the Alba Court Inn, but there wasn't a whole lot out there. I wrote to one of the city officials, and he didn't have much more information for me, other than that the hotel was slated for demolition. We were able to get quite a few pictures before that happened, including of the trashed interior, and he later sent me a few of the actual demolition. Although we know it's been gone for a couple of years now, we still drive by the location. I was saddened to see this time that even the sign is gone. I wrote several times about the place, and you can read those entries here, here, and here. I was able to find a postcard on eBay, and it resides in one of the curio cabinets with other treasures like a nail from John's Modern Cabins on Route 66.

Back to the email. When I opened it, I was delighted to read this:

Dear Beth

I just came across your blog postings at etc

I am doing some research on the Alba Court Inn, as it was owned in the 1920s by T J Talty, first cousin of my greatgrandfather. When T J died on April 1, 1926, he left a substantial estate but no will. The case became known as the Talty Millions here in Ireland, and my greatgrandfather was one of numerous beneficiaries (first cousins, etc) who shared in the proceeds (more like a quarter of a million dollars in total).

I thought you might be interested in the bits and pieces below which I have come across in my search. If you ever come across any further information on T J Talty or the Alba Court Inn, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Best wishes

Paddy W.



In December 1922, the Miami Herald Record in its Business and Hotel Directory of the East Coast of Florida carried regular advertisements for `Alba Court Inn BOTH PLANS






The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Winter Resort Directory, 1923-24 gives a more detailed description. The Alba Court Inn was one of four establishments in New Smyrna Beach in this directory. It accommodated 75 guests, was half a mile from the local (railway?) depot, was near water, the proprietor was T J Talty and the season ran from November to March.

At is a directory of New Smyrna (an incorporated city in Volusia county) from Polk's Florida Gazetteer and Business Directory 1925 in which the first entry is: `Alba Court Inn T J Talty prop hotel' says that the Alba Court Hotel, Alba Court Inn, a 26-room hotel, `was built in 1906 by James and Clyde Pennell. The three-story lobby provided cross-ventilation to the guest rooms. Steam heat and gas were supplemented by in-room plumbing added in 1917.'

The hotel address is 114 or 115 Washington Street.

`Maine cottages: Fred L. Savage and the architecture of Mount Desert' by John Morrill Bryan, Fred L. Savage, Richard Cheek (House & Home, 2005) says that by 1911 Herman Savage, brother of Fred, owned the Alba Court Hotel.

According to, the Alba Court Inn, built in 1906, was demolished Abt 19 Oct 2007.



Co. Clare



How amazing is that? Someone from County Clare, Ireland came across a 2007 entry of a girl from Indiana about an obscure and now-demolished Florida hotel, and he is related to one of the people who owned it. I have responded and asked him if he would like me to send the pictures I have.

As you can imagine, it made my day.

Florida07 Alba Court InnB


  1. How cool is that...just think what we didn't know before the internet (and blogging!). I imagine it did make your day.

  2. That is really cool.


  3. It was so cool that we got to get a good and close up look before it was demolished, and I expect Paddy will appreciate the pictures :o)

  4. It's a small bloggy world after all!

  5. The Internet, you gotta love it! This is the bloggers Route 66. :)

  6. You can imagine how this post interests me, a motel lover, a postcard collector, a preservationist, an appreciator of old signage, etc., etc. In addition, I'm a huge believer in the power of the Internet, since most of my very best friendships have come about because of certain online connections. Great story, Beth! Now I'll have to check to see if I have any postcards of the Alba Court Inn.

  7. Beth,

    That is exciting. I would be so happy for someone to send me more information like that.

    Its cool that the people we come in contact on the internet.


  8. Wow, that is interesting news!

  9. Hello. My name is Monae. I came upon your blog through Sonya's blog and I loved your title "Bloggin's like a box o'chocolates". I happen to like chocolate and I found your entry quite interesting. I want to thank you for allowing me to visit your blog and I will try to read more of your entries. Its nice getting to know new people such as yourself through their blog. Do enjoy your Sunday and take care.

  10. Wow, Beth, this is neat. It is interesting how the internet connects people together and I see one of my bloggers found you from my page...that is cool too. As I was typing my comment I saw my name mentioned up there in the comments.

    Ya'll have a good week at Nutwood Juntion. My Southern Home is happy with Wii and reading and cooking and cleaning and painting and having a new car, says the teen. Take care.

  11. New Syrmna Beach? I lived there for a year when I was a teenager.

  12. Awesome - isn't it amazing how the internet works? I'm sure this was uber-cool for you. Loved your "crime" e-mail, btw...!!

  13. Another step toward a world community.

  14. Hi Beth,
    Wow ... that's great! Small world, and getting smaller all the time!

  15. Goodness Beth, it is an amazing thing to have happend.. Oh the wonders of the internet. I don't think I will ever understand it...
    much Love Sybs

  16. WOW! That is soooooo awesome!!!!

    be well...

  17. I echo the other comments--how cool to make this connection with someone across an ocean. The concept of a world community keeps inching closer to being a reality.

  18. WOW, Beth!! That is really cool!! I'm really happy for you, I know how I'd be feeling!!!

  19. What a pleasant surprise. I know it made you happy.

  20. it is amazing how you can connect with a stranger over things that interest both of you. Truly. Twenty years ago this could not have happened. I thoroughly enjoy your stories.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?