EARMAN HOUSE HOTEL

The Earman House Hotel was located on the block where the Meyer Amphitheatre is now located.  It was built around 1885 and was pulled down to make way for theSalt Air Hotel about 1913.  The Salt Air Hotel stood until about 1960  when it was pulled down to make way for the Town House Hotel which would later become The Holiday Inn Town House.  That too would be pulled down in 1993 to make way for the current Meyer  Meyer Amphi-theater.

JOHN SITES EARMAN - FIRST MAYOR
                 WEST PALM BEACH

Banyan Street 1895

Carrie Nation in West Palm Beach

Brothels, booze in Banyan Street’s past

 

 

BANYAN STREET   Twenty-five years ago.  West Palm Beach voted to switch the name of First Street back to Banyan, ending 64 years of exile for the city’s most notorious road. From 2002 and 2009:  From 1925 to 1989, it was First Street. Before that, it was Banyan Street. The reason for the change all those years: sin.

 

     Brothels, booze in Banyan Street’s past.   It was renamed First Street from 1925 to 1989, when the original name was restored.In the 1890s, if you wanted whiskey, women or trouble in the fledgling city, Banyan Street was the only place to go.  It was the only street in town where alcohol was permitted — at least officially — and it earned the notorious nickname “Whiskey Street.”

 

     Its saloons, gambling halls and brothels operated around the clock, luring the laborers building the Palm Beach resorts.Post Time:

 

Temptation often crosses class lines. West Palm Beach’s first mayor, John Earman, was nearly booted from office in 1895 when he was charged with being “in a state of intoxication” in the company of a lady of the evening who went by “Specks.” Earman denied the charges and they were dismissed a month later.

 

     In 1904, fed-up local women called in the “Kansas Cyclone”: Carry Nation, the 6-foot-tall, black-clad, Bible-clutching matron of temperance who smashed saloons across America with her holy hatchet.There’s no indication she smashed any bars on Banyan, but the city finally decided in 1925 to change the street’s name to First Street.

 

That backfired when locals began calling it “Thirst Street.”On Nov. 6, 1989, apparently satisfied that time had buried Banyan’s sordid reputation, West Palm Beach restored its name.

Clematis Street  1916