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62 Scotland, and in 1962 when it was delivered to them, it was the biggest privately owned yacht ever built. The Drexels lived at Journey’s End through the end of World War II, and they would frequently find wreckage from ships sunk by German submarines littering the beach. When Anthony Drexel died and then the couple’s son Tony was killed, Mrs. Drexel had no incentive to stay at Journey’s End any longer, and the property was sold once again in 1948. Judge John A. Bolles and his wife Nelle of Irvington-on-Hudson N.Y. were the next owners of Journey’s End, from 1948 to 1957. Nelle began a tradition involving a New Year’s Day champagne party that was unrivaled for its time, and they were known to be very funloving, social people. One day in 1950 they met Dr. Jim Ingram, the new island doctor, and they became friends. The Ingram family stayed at the home frequently over the course of their 12-year “The property surrendered to underbrush, and the banana patch behind the house grew rapidly to fill the whole backyard. In 1921 the area’s worst hurricane rolled the Gulf in from the west and over the island.Whatever windows, doors and furniture had not been taken from the house by vandals were blown to the mainland.” friendship, and quite often Dr. Ingram would stay there. In 1951 Judge Bolles passed away, and in 1958 Nelle allowed the home to be used by ichthyologist John E. Randall and his research team from the University of Miami as they studied tarpon. By that time, Nelle had given Journey’s End to her daughters, Marjorie Cotton and Frances Hughes. When her daughter Marjorie died in 1961, Mrs. Bolles decided she needed to get away from Journey’s End, and she sold the house to her good friend Jim Ingram in 1962. As he prepared to renovate the home, Dr. Ingram found the original plans for the house hidden within its walls. According to those plans, the railroad had originally been routed directly behind the home, near the shoreline, but it was later moved. Ingram actually found the old railroad bed during the renovation period. In an old Boca Beacon article, Michael Ingram explained the ghost stories that surrounded the old railroad. Sometime between 1923 and 1924, a man named William Johns of New York bought the property for $500, and he was the first to call it Journey’s End. Johns had a fishing guide friend named George Knight, and he asked George to live on the property and help him clean it up. George agreed, and he and his family moved in. After a long and extensive renovation process, Johns built his family a small cottage on the grounds in 1926, and they stayed until 1948. As William Johns’ family grew, more cottages were built around the property, and at one point the home even featured a nine-hole putting green in the front yard. The cottages all had names, such as “The Caretaker’s Cottage,” “The Circle Cottage,” “The Redroof Cottage” and “The Seaside Cottage.” Beach erosion forced Johns and the Knight family to move the house twice, 45 feet east and 14 feet north in 1926 and again 65 feet east prior to the construction of a seawall in 1935. William Johns sold and repurchased the property in a $1 transaction with the Boca Grande Corporation in 1926 in order to allow the platting of a large area of the island north of the village. Dr. Jim wrote, “The new plat appears to have been based on the position of Journey’s End, as 18th Street is the only street on the plat of 1926 that does not directly terminate at the beach.” The Knight family stayed for 25 years, and during that time George and his wife had six children. One of them was a son they named Johns Knight, after William Johns. Another, named Margaret, was the only child born on the grounds, but in a horrible accident she died of burns at the age of 7. In 1944 William Johns died, and the property was sold to a couple from Philadelphia, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Drexel. After the death of William Johns, his wife, Florence, moved into The Gasparilla Inn & Club, where she spent the remaining 10 years of her life. The connection between tarpon fishing and Journey’s End continued on from George Knight to Mrs. Drexel, as she caught a 187-pound tarpon in the Pass to set a women’s all-tackle world record for that time, in 1943. An interesting fact about the Drexels is that they had their own private yacht built in


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