BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
Intersection of US 441 and CR523. Small
population in a Semi-Ghost Town
REMAINS: Webbs Heartbreak Hotel, Kenansville Bank Building, Cohens General Store, several Abandoned Houses.
|Kenansville was an late 1800's cattle town on the now defunct Okeechobee spur of the Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad. The railroad did run right through town but the tracks and the depot are gone (see picture). The place was given the name Kenansville in 1914 in honor of the third wife of Henry Flagler who was the former Mary Lily Kenan. Legend holds that the hotel is the hotel that inspired a young Elvis Presley to write his hit "Heartbreak Hotel". (note the painted sign on the hotel archieve picture) The town, as in other towns along the Okeechobee RR Spur, died when the railroad was pulled out. There is a small resident population of farmers and cattlemen in the area. The hotel is being renovated by a local land owner. Notice the dirt road which went to St. Cloud in the downtown picture. The old hotel is on the left and the Kenansville Bank is on the right. Further west on CR523 you can tour the old Kenansville Cemetary. Turn left there and follow the road til it dead ends at a left turn dirt road. This is the Old Peavine Road which runs out through the Florida scrub and Hammocks. This road is one of the old pioneer roads of Florida that few know about. The road is dirt but good and you can get a feeling of what the old Florida looked like. It dead ends on US 60 so you cannot get lost. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin