Villa Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
5959 SW 28th St, Miami, FL 33155
Charles Daniel Boulton (July 11, 1896 - December 9, 1984) was an Englishman trained as a landscape architect who was listed as one of Casa Casuarina’s two builders.
Charles Daniel Boulton. He was born in 1896 Cheltenham Gloucestershire UK. He was landscape architect for two properties in Santa Barbara, California - Montarioso and Silwan Gardens during the period 1926-1930, before moving to Miami Beach in 1930.
Alden Freeman’s relationship with Boulton is perhaps one of the greatest indications that Miami residents were clued in to the former’s open secret homosexuality. According to several Miami reports, Freeman adopted Boulton—who was thirty-four years his junior—when the latter was an adult. Although the record is unclear about the nature of the men’s relationship. It is possible Freeman adopted an adult-aged Boulton to help the foreigner obtain U.S. citizenship. Boulton married a woman named Nora Hattie (born 1898) in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1927. Considering she was a U.S.-born citizen, Freeman’s sponsorship may have no longer seemed necessary, although it could have certainly strengthened his case before U.S. immigration officials, especially in an era of rigid quotas—even for England. It is also entirely possible that Freeman never formally adopted Boulton. Neither Freeman’s last will and testament from 1936 nor Boulton’s naturalization records from 1938 suggest a formal adoption. It is likely Freeman made such claims as a means of supporting the Boultons. Freeman’s will listed the Boulton's three daughters as beneficiaries to his estate. The public knowledge or belief that Freeman had adopted Boulton only added depth to the unconventional ways this “eccentric” and “peculiar” bachelor conducted his personal and business matters in the city. The men’s unusual relationship both confirmed and added greater intrigue to Freeman’s open secret in Miami. Boulton and his biological family lived alongside Freeman in Casa Casuarina. In fact, evidence seems to suggest that Freeman built the property for Boulton. It is certain that Boulton was an heir to Freeman’s estate, including Casa Casuarina. When the property opened up to tourists in December 1930, several local businesses dedicated space in the Miami Daily News to congratulate the partner-owners: Freeman and Boulton.
Charles and Nora sold Casa Casuarina in 1939. Nora died as a consequence of the injuries she suffered due to a fire at their house at 5959 SW 28th St in 1982.
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE