Florida Nature August 15, 2017
The Florida Preserve That Will Make You Feel Like You Walked Into A Fairy Tale
It might not be a kingdom with a castle, but look closer at this preserve in Flagler County, and you’ll see a home fit for Old Florida royalty. In fact, a real princess lived in this house for many years.
Princess Place, also known as Cherokee Grove, is a 1,500-acre preserve in Palm Coast with a rich history and a scenic homestead looking out over the confluence of the Matanzas River and Pellicer Creek.
Before it hosted a princess, it was the site of one of Florida's first orange groves, and before that, it was given to Minorcan Francisco Pellicer via Spanish land grant.
Henry Cutting, a wealthy descendant of the Dutch founders of Manhattan, bought 1,500 acres in the area to create an Adirondak-style hunting lodge in 1886.
Although this style is hardly ever seen in Florida, the materials used are very familiar. Tabby and coquina from the nearby beach were used for the outside walls, and the massive wrap around porch features cedar and cabbage palm trunks.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Cuttings also built Florida's first in-ground swimming pool, which was spring-fed with a wonderful view. Henry's wife, Angela, loved wintering here and entertaining friends from up north in this private paradise.
Sadly, Henry died only four years after building this magical retreat. Angela remarried a stock broker in 1901 and divorced in 1922, still holding onto her beloved Florida homestead. In 1923, she married an exiled Russian prince, thus becoming a princess. From that point on, it was known as Princess Place.
The grounds here are full of wildlife, and there are trails here for walking, biking, and horseback riding. The princess herself loved to ride and you can still see the stables (pictured above in the second photo).
Though it's no longer a winter playground for the rich and royal, guests can still spend the night here. It will have to be primitive camping instead of first-class accommodations, but the views are still just as beautiful.
For more information on visiting Princess Place Preserve, check out Flagler County’s
Have you ever visited Princess Place Preserve in Palm Coast? What’s your favorite little-known gem in Florida?