Then and Now — 1934 & 2022
From 1934: “A spacious screened front porch with tile floor, large attractive living room with big fireplace, dining room, a lovely kitchen and butler’s pantry, bedroom, and bath downstairs. There are three large bedrooms and a tile bath upstairs. Steam heat. Large 75-foot corner lot with tropical shrubbery and fruit trees. Garage with cement floor. Just two blocks from school and shopping center and a pleasing view of picturesque Boca Ciega bay. This home is exceptionally well built and can be sold furnished or unfurnished. The price is amazingly low at $2,850 unfurnished.”
This 1925 home was lived in the longest by Major Bernard W. Patton and his wife Jessie and their four children Wiley Ralph, Charles Currie, Richard, and Patricia. This house was owned by the Patton family from 1945 until 1976 when it was sold to people connected with the Sunset Hotel. Interestingly the Sunset Hotel folks sold the house to a Patrick J. Patton who in turn sold it to Charles C. and Claudia Patton who still own it today. It is very possible that this is the very same Patton family that purchased it in 1945, “Charles C.” being the name of one of Bernard Patton’s children.
Bernard Washington Patton was born on November 25, 1908, in Bells Tennessee, the 6th of 8 children, his father was Postmaster. Bernard received his schooling in Bells Tennessee and upon graduation entered the University of Tennessee where he received his medical degree in 1933. Bernard met Ms. Jessie Lee Belote, who was from Memphis, and the two were married on November 10, 1934. They had 5 children, Wiley (1935); Charles (1937); Ronald (1940-died same year); Patricia (1944) and Richard.
When WWII broke out Bernard joined the US Army and was assigned to the 249th Medical Hospital where he spent 4 years in the Philippines and New Guinea. When the war ended (Major) Bernard accepted a position at Bay Pines VA Hospital as a member of the MD staff and the family purchased this featured home. In 1950, Bernard became the Chief of Domiciliary Medicine at Bay Pines. Bernard worked at Bay Pines until his retirement in 1968.
Bernard was active in the local Masonic Lodge, the Lions Club and was a member of the Florida National Guard.
On December 15, 1976, Bernard and Jessie sold the house to the Sunset Hotel and Residence Club., Inc. with Richard R. Patton serving as their attorney. One month later Jessie died (January 30, 1977) at age 62. Bernard died on January 15, 1979, he 71.
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