Florida United Methodist Children’s Home

Over the years, the Brock House had hosted numerous religious assemblies including the Methodist Missionary Conferences. The Methodist concern for orphans resulted in the beginnings of the Children’s Home. In 1908 Mother Hattie Brooks, widow of a Civil War doctor who died in the yellow fever epidemic, was brought from Tampa to help found an orphanage in Enterprise.

A handful of little girls arrived soon after and were kept at Mother Brooks’ home in the “old yellow hotel” on Main Street. Upstairs was a thriving saloon for the steamboat clientele. A few years later, the Florida Methodist Orphanage was relocated further south on Main Street to the old Arcade Building across from the present entrance to the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. Housing only a handful of children, it occupied the top floor of an arcade building above a line of shops. Later, Lt. Col. William Bodine, a Civil War officer, donated his home, the large and beautiful Bodine House, to accommodate the growing enrollment.

At some point during the early 1900s, the Brock House Hotel was renamed the Epworth Inn, and became a Methodist retreat for those seeking spiritual haven from the world and for those studying at the Methodist Training Center in town. The Brock House property was eventually acquired by the Methodist Children’s Home.

 

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