Going back in time to document “Customary Use of the Beach”

By Susan Hardee Steger
Photos and Information
Contributed by
Barbara Ann Jackson and Tom Lohman

June 8, 2018 6:30 a.m.

Of all the photos showing customary use of the beach in dry sand areas, these must be the best! It is believed the photos were taken between 1915-1921. The photos were in a collection held by Martha Haddock Baumgartner, wife of Albert F Baumgartner. Albert’s mother was the sister of Gus Gerbing (identified as Gust in the photos). The Baumgartner/Gerbing and Schroeder/Lohman families lived at Amelia City on the island’s south-end.

It is believed Florida Scott, distant cousin of Tom Lohman, stands in the foreground with Clara and Anna Gerbing behind her.   Among the men are Reim (?),  Gust Gerbing, Art Schroeder and Roy Hildreth.

According to Tom Lohman, the photos were probably taken when Scott Road “was the only beach access at the south-end. Scott Road was located between what is now Peters Point and American Beach.”  Although Scott Road still exists, it was redirected when condos and resorts were constructed. The young lady in the forefront of the photo is believed to be Florida Scott.  She stands with a number of unidentified individuals who are perhaps holding palm fronds or Spanish Bayonets.

Florida Scott stands on dry sand on  Amelia Island’s south-end  beach.


As we work to protect our beaches, it is easy to picture a modern day defiant Florida Scott standing her ground on our south-end beach and raising her voice loudly to proclaim, “The beach belongs to all of us!” Florida Scott married Art Schroeder, an ancestor of Tom Lohman.

This playful photo shows  Gus Gerbing, of the historic Gerbing Garden fame, and Art Schroeder preparing for a duel.

Editor’s Note:  Nassau County is gathering information from area residents to document “customary use of the beach.”  Governor Scott recently signed a bill that can limit access to the dry sand area of the beach.  In response,  Nassau County is taking action to keep our area beach protected. 

We thank Barbara Ann Jackson and Tom Lohman for allowing us to share these wonderful photos which capture a glimpse of our island history.  The late Anna Gerbing, sister of Gus Gerbing, is believed to have taken most of these photos.



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Nora Bruce
Nora Bruce(@rebrucecomcast-net)
6 years ago

Great article! Loved the pictures.

Mary Dinkins
Mary Dinkins (@guest_51564)
6 years ago

Interesting article and pictures. Roy Hildreth was my grandfather and also Gus Gerbing’s brother-in-law. Albert Baumgartner and my mother, Doris Hildreth, were cousins; Anna Gerbing Baumgartner was my mother’s aunt.

Jane Collins
Jane Collins(@janepcollinsgmail-com)
6 years ago

Oh, my. These photos are so very special to the history of Amelia City. I take care of the two cemeteries where these folks likely rest, Judd and Vaughan-Scott. If anyone has further info about them, I would love to hear it.