Volunteer docents, front row, left to right, Rebecca Corbitt-Hudson, Linda Beck,
Laurie Broadway; middle row, Myhra Tubridy, Brandon McKinney; and back
row, Frank Repass, Carole Pope and Mary Repass wear period clothing as they
bring the historical home to life during regular tours.
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“He spent much of his time promoting and leading the
community,” Pope said.
In his later years, he established the Brevard Telephone Co.,
the first telephone service in the county.
A huge fan of education, Williams included a schoolroom in
the family home, where his offspring, Myra and Sydney, were
joined by other area youngsters.
After her father died in 1921, Myra remained at Lawndale to
run his citrus groves and other businesses. She later donated
some of the groves for the Wuesthoff Hospital, now Rockledge
Regional Medical Center. The remaining land became housing
subdivisions. Of the acreage that once encircled Lawndale,
only two acres, adorned with giant live oaks and magnolia
ONLY A FEW REMAIN
Both historically and architecturally significant, Lawndale is
one of a handful of ornate Queen Anne-style houses in Central
Florida. It fortunately survived with most of its architectural
features intact, including the finely carved mantels attributed
to Williams’ abilities as a carriage maker. Lawndale remained
in the Williams family continuously until it was sold to
the county by Williams’ granddaughter, Margaret Williams
Rainwater, with a stipulation.
“Margaret sold the property to the county with the
understanding that it was to become a museum,” Pope said.
Williams so believed in
education that he designed
a dedicated schoolroom,
where docent Laurie
Broadway greets visitors,
when he built Lawndale.