Palm Beach Daily News: Where the ‘it’ crowd mingled among the cocoanuts
Just after the turn of the 20th century, perhaps nowhere but in Palm Beach did a grove of coconut palm trees become the “it” place for the financial and social elite wintering on the island.
At sunset each day, captains of industry and commerce in their straw skimmers and dinner coats thronged the grove with their socially fluent wives in long silken skirts, pearl broaches and adornment-freighted wide-brimmed hats. Before long, they’d dance.
Over the years, the fashions changed, but the frond-shaded lakefront grove, considered a Palm Beach “institution,” remained a teeming see-and-be-seen mecca for more than a quarter century.
Welcome to what was aptly named the Cocoanut Grove (coconut typically was spelled with an “a” in Palm Beach back then). It was an al fresco expanse — located between today’s Royal Poinciana Plaza and the Flagler Museum — filled with tall coconut palms whose crowns were far enough apart to give the subtropical sky its due.