Ocean City Casino
During 1916, George Moody built the Ocean City Beach Casino as a recreation center. The building was 75′ by 150′ and was located on the N.W. Corner of present-day A.1.A facing the ocean with a side entrance on Moody Boulevard where Finn’s is today. The building had a floor for dancing and skating, a refreshment center, fifty dressing rooms, several showers and a small living quarter’s area.
This was later sold to Smiley Armstrong Baker, Sr., who would add an ocean fishing pier to the property but the pier was destroyed in the mid 20’s by a hurricane.
The present Municipal Fishing Pier is located one block south of the first pier.
The Flagler Beach Casino and Pier
The pier was built by Smiley Armstrong Baker. Mr. Baker was born in Jefferson, South Carolina, April 3, 1863, and came to Florida in 1884. He soon became prominent in the orange industry, owning extensive groves and running a sawmill and a planing mill from 1899 until he died in Flagler Beach on June 3, 1924.
In 1921, Smiley and his wife Nellie Civil McKenzie, who was born in Sisco, like Bunnell, was a railroad “stop,” Putnam County, FL, bought large holdings in Flagler Beach including the old George Moody Casino which was at the location noted above. They also owned a garage just to the west of the Casino.
The following news item appeared the FLAGLER TRIBUNE of April 15, 1926:
“Announcement is made this week of the re-opening of the Baker Casino at Flagler Beach, by Mrs. S. A. Baker, owner. Mrs. Baker has already moved from Seville to the beach and will have active charge of the casino.
Dancing and bathing will be among the amusements offered, but Mrs. Baker has not announced as yet, what nights she will have dances, but the casino is already open for bathers.”
Being an ardent sportsman, Mr. Baker conceived the idea of building a fishing pier. Construction was underway when he died. He was an excellent fisherman and was one of the best caster’s in the state. The pilings were of palmetto logs and were soon decayed by marine organisms and high tides.”
Sources: The Development of Flagler County and additional information – by Sisco Deen
Photos ca. 1926
A Look Back is presented by the Flagler County Historical Society and compiled by historian James Fiske.