Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eden Gardens State Park

While we were on our little get-away, we went for the first time to Eden Gardens, near Destin, Florida. The house dates to 1897 when it was the family home for William Henry Wesley, the second child of Rev. John and Sarah Wesley.  This John is a descendant of John Wesley who was the founder of the Methodist Church. (1703-1791) He and his brother, Charles who is famous for his hymns (including Hark! The Herald Angels Sing), spent time on the coast of Georgia around St. Simon’s Island. John served as a missionary and Charles was the secretary to the territorial governor, Oglethorpe. Unlike his more spiritual forbearers,  William was a prosperous lumber baron. He logged the forests on his thousands of acres; he milled, planed and cured lumber on site and then shipped it out of Pensacola. This was a bustling operation until after World War I when the 200-year-old trees were gone. William and his wife had nine children in this big house.100_3270

The house was sold in the 1950’s and the gardens were planted in the 1960’s. The old oaks and camellias are lovely.

The home overlooks Tucker Bayou which served as the route to Pensacola for the lumber.


This charming, (almost) life-size sculpture adorns the lawn down to the water.



It was an interesting place and we are glad to have gone. I was not able to find the links between this Wesley and the John and Charles Wesleys, but that would be interesting, too.

No comments: