Historic Markers Across Florida

Mrs. Bertha Honore Palmer (1849-1918)

Marker ID:  
Location: in front of the Woodmont Clubhouse at 415 Woodmont Avenue, Temple Terrace, FL
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 28° 02.140    W 082° 23.146
  28.03566666    -82.38576666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNJZE


Bertha Palmer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, was a world-renowned socialite, art patron, successful businesswoman, early feminist, and philanthropist. She played a pivotal role in the creation of the City of Temple Terrace. In 1902, after the death of her husband, Chicago millionaire Potter Palmer, she became entranced with exotic, mysterious Florida and headed south in search of new adventures and business opportunities. Mrs. Palmer's main residence was in the Sarasota area. She soon became one of the largest land owners in the state. Between 1910 and 1914 she established a 19,000 acre (29 square miles) hunting and game preserve in the Temple Terrace area and called it "Riverhills Ranch." Before her death in 1918, Mrs. Palmer had made improvements to the property making it suitable for a town of 500 inhabitants. This building, known as Woodmont Clubhouse since 1979, was originally an outbuilding for Mrs. Palmer's extensive ranch. Built in 1914, it is Temple Terrace's oldest building and the last surviving structure in the city from the Palmer era. In 1927, it was converted into the city's first school, the one-room "Temple Terrace Grammar School." It later was saved from demolition through efforts led by Ruby McSweeney and later by Marjorie Schine. Today it is a cherished community center for three civic groups.

Woodmont Clubhouse Association, Inc., Temple Terrace Garden Club,
GFWC Temple Terrace Woman's Club, GFWC Temple Terrace Junior Woman's Club,
Temple Terrace Preservation Society, Hillsbourgh County Historical Advisory
Council, City of Temple Terrace