500 Brightwaters Blvd NE 33704

Then and Now — 1928 & 2021 500 Brightwaters Blvd. NE

From 1928: “A total of 100 feet frontage, and a corner lot facing Tampa Bay. 7 bedrooms and 5 tile baths. Double garage and servants’ quarters. 2 showers and laundry. Designed be Kiehnel and Elliott. Attractive in color and design. Large, commodious, and well-proportioned rooms. Hardwood floors. Tile kitchen. Copper screens. Best Hardware.”

This house was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Rollin T. Reefy from 1925 until 1950.

Rollin Reefy was born on February 25, 1865, in Roanoke Indiana and was the second oldest of 5 children, and the only boy. The Reefy family moved to Ohio and where all the Reefy children attended and graduated from Oberlin College. After graduating from Oberlin, Rollin started work as a reporter and assistant-editor (his father was owner and editor) of the Elyria Democrat in Elyria Ohio. Rollin’s father died in 1911 leaving Rollin as Editor and Owner of the newspaper. In 1912 (at the age of 47) Rollin married Blanche M. Strauss, a recent widow (she was 49) and four years later, in 1916, Rollin closed the newspaper and retired to St. Petersburg with Blanche. In 1925 they purchased the house at 500 Brightwater Blvd. Roland and Blanche were extremely active in the St. Petersburg social scene and hosted many parties at their home.  Blanche died in 1947, at age 85. In 1948 Rollin, age 83, married Alice Gale Worthen who was 20 years his junior. Two years later (September 5, 1950 ) Rollin died, aged 85, and is buried next to Blanche at Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Pete.

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