Historic Markers Across Florida

Martha’s Hideaway

Marker ID: FLHM F-626
Location: on Ervin Street in American Beach, Florida
County: Nassau
Coordinates: N 30° 34.571    W 081° 26.819
  30.57618333    -81.44698333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM4GMY


American Beach, founded in 1935, was a renowned beach for Blacks during the segregation era when African Americans could not go to public beaches. In the early development of American Beach, a few private homes were built, including one hidden deep in the woods at the end of Ervin Street. The Colonial Revival house, built for local African-American business owner and community activist Martha Hippard, is an unusual example of high style architecture in the beach resort community. Detached from the main house is a separate party house that some say was a gambling house. Others say it was used to host dances, club parties, and other civic and social activities. Both houses are constructed of hand-made concrete blocks from truckloads of crushed coquina shells hauled from American Beach and hand-molded bricks manufactured on the premises. The 1938 structures were built on nearly an acre of land, larger than any other parcel in the area. In January 1961, Elmo and Annette Myers of Fernandina purchased the house from its second owner, educator Lottie O. Harris of St. Marys, Georgia. Martha´s Hideaway, also called Hippard´s Hideaway, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 12, 2001.

Sponsors: Nassau County and the Florida Department of State - 2008


City: Fernandina Beach, FL