Rest in Peace: Bayard, Florida

On the first post of this blog, I said that I would be going off-topic more often, and making this blog a bit more personal. This is the first of such posts. Our family likes to go on road trips and explore historical places. We live in an interesting corner of Florida, where there are many cool–sometimes abandoned–places. I expect to put up many road trip posts like this one. I hope they interest you.

~*~

A town has been wiped off the map. In its place are a pair of a strip malls and a colorful biker bar that somehow escaped the bulldozers.

Welcome to Bayard, Florida. Click the photos to see them in full resolution.

Country (Antique) Store in Bayard, Florida
Bayard Country (Antique) Store in Bayard, Florida

I wish I had gotten a better picture of this old country store. I shot this in the car as we drove by. It’s too late now–it has been bulldozed. When I heard they were going to tear down the Country Store, I figured all the nearby abandoned places were all shortly going to be history, and I was right. Therefore, in 2004, we went on a short trip down US-1 to get photos of them all. I didn’t know at the time why I was gathering these photos; I just wanted to.

View from across US-1, south of Bayard.
View from across US-1, south of Bayard.

This old house interested me. Way back when, it must have had a front lawn, but before they tore it down, the house literally opened out on US-1. Check it out:

View from sidewalk.
View from sidewalk.

Check out the homemade swingset! I would have loved the ladder, but nowadays, the whole thing would be a safety hazard.

Notice how it's constructed of old pipes.
Notice how it's constructed of old pipes.

Off to the left of this picture is another old house, set further off the street. You can see the rest of the above swingset on the right side. I think someone still lived there when I took the picture, so I didn’t get too close.

Just north of the old house, south of Bayard, FL.
Just north of the old house, south of Bayard, FL.

Also nearby was an old tourism office.

Old Tourist Office along US-1, south of Bayard
Old Tourist Office along US-1, south of Bayard

And just down the road aways was this old “motor hotel” or hotel. It’s gone now, too. I suppose it was an eyesore, but someone loved it once.

This old motel used to be south of Bayard, Florida
This old motel used to be south of Bayard, Florida

Bayard technically still exists, and there are some lovely old houses down the side roads, but the “downtown” area of Bayard through US-1 is now all modernized.

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31 thoughts on “Rest in Peace: Bayard, Florida

  1. {Happy Sigh}

    I know you miss the old town. It does look like there were some things worth missing there. {smile}

    Still, my first thought when I saw the title was that I like your new blog! {Smile} Don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate the book reviews, but I happen to love trip-reports, too. I always have. Maybe it’s from all the Hawai’i Geographic Society travelogues my parents took me to as a kid; I’m not sure. Anyway, if this move means more trip reports, I, for one, am delighted! {BROAD SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. Tia

    Thanks Anne! There are lots of road trip photographs waiting in the background. As you know from my other blog, I’m writing a time travel historical novel based in this area, and these abandoned places–especially the motor hotels–are what inspired it.

  3. Raven

    How were you able to tell what some of the places were, such as the tourist office? Where I grew up we had a number of abandoned houses scattered around, but unless someone knowledgeable was there to tell me what they were, I just saw a sad old house.

    One of them was actually a free black commune way back, and it made me sad that a house with such an interesting history was now falling apart. I grew up just down the road from an old, old black community.

  4. Tia

    If you’ll click on the tourist office photo, you’ll see the neon sign over the doorway. That’s the only way I knew. I didn’t even know what the sign said until I took the picture and was able to blow it up.

    The “general store” had a sign, and just before they tore it down, it was an antique store.

  5. Raven

    Oops, I didn’t notice the sign. *blush* I didn’t click to enlarge the photos.

  6. Tia

    I should have mentioned something about clicking the pictures to enbiggen.

  7. That’s neat that places like this inspired your story. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  8. Raven? I’m trying to figure out what you mean by “a free black commune.” It does sound interesting; I’m just not familiar with the term. Could you explain? {hopeful Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  9. Raven

    To be honest, I’m not sure of all the details myself. I’m not even sure of the dates, but my understanding is the house was owned and lived in by a group of unrelated blacks trying to make lives for themselves after slavery. Wish I knew more. πŸ™

  10. Thanks, Raven. I’d like to know more, too. I’m often curious, and that little extra description makes me suspect this house wasn’t entirely unique. I wonder where I could find more information about houses like that. {smile}

    I’ll try to remember to tell you if I actually find some information. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  11. So sad to see a place like that go. Especially that tourism office!
    Okay, I’m trying to get my link to you fixed. Blogger being tempramental at the moment! Oddly it’s not taking, but I’m keeping trying. Aren’t you glad you glad you have this nifty new site??

  12. Tia

    I must say that I don’t miss the Blogger outages at all! Thanks for the link, whenever you can get to it.

  13. Raven

    Anne Elizabeth, thanks, I’d appreciate it. πŸ™‚

  14. Phil Raynor

    Thanks for the pics this morning. I grew up in different parts of South Florida in the late 60’s/early 70’s (Pehoke, Belle glade, Mount Dora, etc). I think about those times often and these old pics (especially the old motel) really take me back. It was a different world than now.

  15. I really enjoyed this piece. Those pictures capture such atmosphere and there’s really something special about a ghost town. You can see what was once there and almost see the people.

  16. Tia

    Wow; thanks everyone! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed this new feature because I loved writing it! I have lots more material, and I’ll put up another post soon!

  17. Ray Dominey

    Hi, I am very interested in obtaining digital images of anything Bayard.

    Can you help with this request?

    Thanks,

    Ray

  18. Malcolm Main

    What was the name of the truck stop in Bayard during the seventies?

    1. Tia Nevitt

      I don’t know. I didn’t live in this area back then.

  19. Priscilla West

    Malcolm,
    My mom and dad said they believe the name of the truck stop was Steve’s Truck Stop.
    Priscilla

    1. Neil Targonski

      Yes this was Steve’s trucks stop who was my grandfather Steve Targonski…I still live in Bayard, and some of the old homes are still there. My family were the 1st settlers in bayard, and have built almost everything there… The old building with all the posts in front was the old post office…

      1. Tia Nevitt

        I love that this post is still attracting comments almost 2 years later! There’s a lot of knowledge accumulating in this post.

        I’m surprised that the building with the posts was a post office! I was sure it was a house because of the swing set.

  20. Loved your pics….I am a Mandarin resident for over 20 yrs and remember all those buildings…ironically I was in Bayard yesterday at the old bungelows from the 30’s that now serve the communities as antigue shops! I peeked into one cottages bathroom and manthat was an old sight!

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Oh, yes–we walk all through that “antique mall” but I forgot to get pictures of them.

      I really need to do another one of these posts. I was getting a picture of an old hotel north of Jacksonville once when an old man–who must have owned the place–started yelling at me!

  21. Linda

    I have been thinking about Bayard for a week now wanting to go back and visit the old antique store. Somehow I stumbled on your website. It saddens me to hear all this is gone. I just knew that was the old post office.I lived and grew up on Baymeadows rd. when it was a single lane dirt rd and didn’t cross Philips highway or Goodbys creek to San jose Blvd. I was told my grandmother used to live in Bayard a short time when she was a young girl but I’m not really sure. Sad to see so much history leaving. I’ll have to drive that way and see the changes. Althought I’d probably cry.

  22. Neil Targonski

    The motel is still there..as I live in there..just not motel room.s.one long home..

  23. jane milles

    I am sitting in the Mexican restaurant now across in strip mall from the old inn

  24. Jon Laverne Targonski Johnson

    My father, John Targonski, was Steve’s brother, (Parents Stanislaw and Anna Targonski.) My father moved to Indiana as a teenager and had 2 children. My brother is deseased and I live in Louisville. We stayed in the motel, when we visited in the 1950’s and ate in the restaurant. Many fond memories.

  25. neiltargonski

    lotshavechanged

  26. neiltargonski

    that.old.house.use.to.b.the’postoffice.for.bayard

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