By Susan Hardee Steger
Photos and Information
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.
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.
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.