Celebrities and Sun Dances

Frederick C. G. Eden and a passenger

Okay, this guy just looks like he should be famous, right?  Unfortunately there are quite a few photos that I just have no clue regarding the identity of the people.  Of course, if you've been following along, Frederick C. G. Eden is on the right, but until some internet magic happens (someone sees the photo and tells me), he'll have to remain anonymous.

Now, in the next photo we have Ivan, and a group containing one gentleman marked, 'Gannett'.  I couldn't get out to research this one as much as I'd like, but I'm betting it's the newspaper mogul, Frank Gannett.  He would be around 40 in 1916, and this guy looks like he could be 40. Why would Ivan write in, 'Gannett', if it wasn't significant in some way?  Any Gannett experts out there?  My apologies to the lady on the right, I couldn't fix her nose.

Ivan P. Wheaton, Frank Gannett, and others with a Curtiss Flying Boat

Finally, these next few photos will wrap up Ivan's flying lessons in Palm Beach.  Beginning in 1916, some area businessmen came up with the idea to hire "real live Indians" to come to Palm Beach and perform "The Sun Dance".  Apparently it was a week long festival with dances, parades and floats.  The first photo shows a few of the dancers gathered, but I posted it since you can see fragments of the words "Seminole" and "Dance" over the woman's shoulder in the upper right.  That ties the event firmly in the history book.  I have my doubts about the last photo.  I looked at some actual photos of "war bonnets" and this one comes up a bit lacking.  Perhaps they just made a simple one for the show.

Seminoles in Palm Beach, Florida, 1916

Seminoles in Palm Beach, Florida, 1916

In my next post, Ivan heads out for the Curtiss factory in Newport News, Virginia.  This is pretty exciting stuff for me, since there are so many famous aviators in the coming photos!



  1. Great pictures! I'm intrigued by the mystery man in the first photo. He DOES look famous. The group in the second picture look like they could be from the entertainment industry. A few films were shot there. Is it possible Wheaton was hired to do some work for them? Just a theory.

    The Seminole Sun Dance was a popular waterfront festival held in West Palm Beach at the edge of downtown- directly across from the Hotel Royal Poinciana in Palm Beach. That's a very nice, rare photograph.

    The Semnioles lived just a couple of miles west of the area.

    As for the bottom pic- hilarious! I have no idea why he's dressed as a Plains Indian but he's standing on the beach of the Breakers Hotel (Palm Beach) perhaps advertising the event for the tourists.

    Great blog! I hope you're compiling it all into a book.


  2. Hi Pat, Ivan was only in Palm Beach for the flying lessons as far as I can tell.

    I love your Royal Poinciana Hotel blog! What an amazing structure it was, and your site does it justice. Keep up the good work!