Then and Now — 1926 & 2021 — 619 65th St. So. (Pasadena on the Gulf)
From a 1937 Sales Ad: “This beautiful Estate located in the quiet, peaceful, and select section of Pasadena, convenient to the golf course and beaches, is now offered for sale at an attractive price. Situated on a large and well-kept lawn of oval shape, having over 400 feet of frontage, planted with a profusion of tropical shrubbery (117 trees), including a full bearing citrus grove. The residence with a double garage attached is strictly modern, of Spanish-Moorish design and in first class repair throughout. The main swelling has many unique and desirable features not usually found in the finest homes. You will like the attractive living room with its imported tile floor, high cathedral ceiling and Spanish balcony, library, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, and patios. The large and airy bedrooms, private sun porches, baths etc., in addition to servants’ quarters of three rooms and bath attached to residence with private entrance to second floor. Everything planned for convenience and comfort, completely furnished in exquisite taste, and equipped with automatic oil heating system, having radiators in every room.”
This house was designed and built by Mr. and Mrs. Wellington Lake in 1925. Wellington Earl Lake was born in Clyde New York on December 16, 1867. Wellington was educated in the local schools of New York and by age 23 was working as a stenographer. It was while working as a stenographer in New York that Wellington met Ella Keate of Salt Lake City, Utah. The two fell for each other and were married on June 24, 1891, in Salt Lake City, where they made their new home. Wellington took a position in the local bank. Wellington and Ella had a daughter, Irma, on April 10, 1894. Wellington worked hard at the bank making his way up the ladder until tragedy struck and Ella succumbed to pneumonia and died on April 4, 1901, at age 33, leaving Wellington to raise his 10-year-old daughter. Wellington did the best he could, continuing his work at the bank when in 1906 he met Carlotta Mixer Clasby. Carlotta had lost her husband in 1904. Wellington and Carlotta, who went by Lotta, were married on April 27, 1907. Wellington was now 40, Lotta 39, and Irma 13. Wellington had continued to work at the bank and worked his way up to supervisory and management positions.
In 1913, Irma left Salt Lake City to attend Cornell University in New York and graduated in 1917. In late 1918 Irma was visiting friends in Cleveland Ohio when she contracted the Spanish Flu (during the pandemic) and died on February 22, 1919. Wellington spent the next few years as a successful banker in Salt Lake City. He and Lotta decided in 1922 that they would retire and chose St. Pete as their retirement location.
In 1923 they packed their car and drove from Salt Lake City to St. Pete, a trek that can only be imagined during those times of few paved roads. When they arrived in St. Pete, Wellington and Lotta began looking at property and decided upon a location just of the 14th green of the Pasadena on the Gulf golf course, on the north side of Bear Creek. Wellington had the house built by Schooley and Murphy in the Spanish- Moorish style for the cost of $60,000.
Wellington, not one to be able to sit idly by in retirement, became extremely active in the Masonic fraternity here in St. Pete and served many years as secretary of St. Pete Masonic Lodge No. 139, Royal Arch Masons Chapter 31 and Commandery No. 20 all at the same time.
Wellington and Lotta never had children and were living alone in this grand home which was obviously a large residence for just the two of them. In 1937 they put the house up for sale citing it was too large for them. The house however did not sell before Wellington passed away on June 29, 1939, at the age of 72.
Lotta did finally sell the house and downsized to a home in old northeast. Lotta died on December 1, 1944, at the age of 76.
As a side note, for anyone out there familiar with the Unity Church movement. Wellington and Lotta were lifelong friends of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, the founders of the Unity Movement. On March 7, 1935, the Fillmores came to St. Pete and spent their stay at Wellington and Lotta’s house (featured here). The Fillmores were here on a lecture tour of Florida and were to speak at Mirror Lake Junior High.
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