Prior to the arrival of automobiles and a community of roadways in the area, switch-of-the-20th-century Palm Beachers often relied on boats to get all over — and from time to time to get relief from a toothache.
Just hop aboard the “Dentos,” a floating dental office helmed by a genial and grey-mustachioed dentist, Dr. F.H. Houghton, “whose skillful get the job done is properly recognized,” neighborhood newspapers assured.
“He went up and down the (Florida east) coastline and everyone waited for him,” the late Palm Beacher Marjorie Potter Stewart, daughter of island pioneer George Wells Potter, was quoted as recalling yrs later on.
The 53-foot Dentos yearly visited the Palm Seashore location for months at a time in the late 1890s and early 1900s as part of Dr. Houghton’s itinerant dental observe traveling from Daytona to Palm Beach and back.
At the time, many small communities along the way didn’t have big enough populations to support a lasting resident dentist.
Nonetheless, dentistry in Florida experienced come into its have. Dentists, once tradesmen, had been trained professionals with degrees after dental colleges started opening in the state setting up all-around 1840.
The Florida Condition Dental Society, fashioned in 1884, served usher in the 1887 generation of a point out Board of Dental Examiners to set standards, according to the Condition of Florida Archives.
But even as advancements ongoing, dentists generally experienced to journey to their sufferers who lived far absent from massive cities.
Right before the strategy of a floating dental office came to Houghton, “my suggests of achieving men and women … (was) by rail or steamer, necessitating the loss of useful time in transit and packing and unpacking outfit,” he wrote for a trade journal in 1898.
The Dentos was customized-built — with 16,000 toes of cypress, Ga pine and other lumber — in accordance to Houghton’s technical specs.
The yacht highlighted a large reception area, fashionable plumbing, brass and bronze fastenings, bathrooms with marble washstands, and an operating area with a dental chair. The medical doctor said he put in “several thousand dollars” on the vessel.
Houghton, who summered in Westerville, Ohio and maintained a Daytona dental business, place Dentos in support in 1897, touring alongside the Halifax, Hillsborough and Indian rivers and then farther south.
To provide Palm Seaside and West Palm Beach, where by the first dentist in the region was Dr. J.A. Pugh, the Dentos stopped at several locations, but Houghton often tied up for weeks at the pier of the now-long-absent Holland Household resort in downtown West Palm Beach front.
The hotel, on Evernia Street and what would later on become Flagler Push, was well-liked with winter season guests and was owned for 20 many years by Lewis Lockwood.
Lockwood’s son, L. Trevette Lockwood, served as the Town of Palm Beach’s manager from 1922 until his demise in the early 1950s.
Houghton insisted he made use of modern methods on his boat to “meet the needs of an intelligent people.”
“On a number of occasions I have operated at the chair for people in transit (and) it is actually novel and like a dream,” he wrote in 1903. “As you seem from the window and check out the stately palm trees and other tropical plants … I can really say there is almost nothing monotonous about lifetime on the Dentos,” including “the passing … of a lot of launches, the two steam and naptha, interspersed with the white wings of sailing yachts.”
By 1906, in accordance to then-newspaper accounts, a further dentist, Dr. J. Edward Urich, led working day-to-day operations of the Dentos he’d keep on to do so through at minimum 1911.
Urich’s stewardship of the Dentos arrived as Dr. Houghton’s long-lasting office in Daytona had grow to be progressively active. Florida’s coastal populations ongoing to expand, quickly supporting their possess resident dentists.