Monday, October 16, 2006
Waldo Sexton was many things in his life -- farmer, realtor, developer, promoter, artist -- but always a man led by his own visions. Although elemental in the development of Vero Beach, Sexton is best remembered today as a man who could take what others threw away and turn it into something worth saving.
Waldo Sexton came to Florida as a traveling farm equipment salesman, and stayed to sell Florida to anyone who would listen. He sold land, and oranges, and adventure.
While all people have creative impulses, these urges were larger and brighter in Sexton than for the average person. Waldo was an incuarable collector. No matter where he traveled, around the state, country, or world, he bought antiques, bells, wood, architectural salvage, and anything that caught his eye. With these materials he created one-of-a-kind buildings, many of which still stand in Vero Beach, and are open to the public.
The Driftwood Inn
The Driftwood Inn started out as a beach house, but became a hotelrun by the Sexton family. The miscellany that has made up the Driftwood over the years includes a bell from Henry Flagler's train, mastadon bones, stair railings fromt he Royal Poinciana Hotel, iron grillwork from the Dodge Estate in Palm Beach, a bell from Harriet Beecher Stowe's house -- pieces of Florida.
The Ocean Grill
The Patio Restaurant
McKee Jungle Garden