The interesting history of the new Oasis Club neighborhood


Ponte Vedra has a rich history, filled with many great stories. That history really begins begin around 1914 with the discovery of minerals such as titanium, zircon and rutile, in the Beaches areas. Ultimately, these minerals were mined by the Buckman and Pritchard Mining Company.

Appropriately, the area became known as Mineral City – a name that stuck through the end of World War I and into the 1920s. Then the National Lead Company, which purchased the mining company in 1921, decided to redevelop the area as a resort destination. This work fell to Colonel Stehlin and his wife, Elizabeth, who thought a resort town needed a new name. After researching possible names in historic St. Augustine, they sought a name that would pay homage to the period in which Florida was under Spanish rule.

Searching old maps, they discovered a small coastal town in Spain at roughly the same latitude as Mineral City named Pontevedra. Around the same time, Ponte Vedra added its first golf course – a nine-hole course designed and built by one of the founding members of the PGA, Herbert Bertram Strong. Today, of course, Ponte Vedra is a true golf and luxury resort destination, home of the PGA Tour, THE PLAYERS Championship and its crown jewel, the TPC Stadium Course!

By 1934, Ponte Vedra would be purchased, managed and further developed by a local company named Stockton, Whatley, Davin & Co. At the same time, a local legend named Fred T. Woolverton moved to Ponte Vedra when he was awarded the Chevrolet dealership for Jacksonville. Woolverton had rowed for the varsity crew at Princeton, graduating in 1922. He would be instrumental in improving Ponte Vedra by founding Christ Episcopal Church and becoming the first president of the community association.

Woolverton acquired 1,000 feet of beachfront property south of Sawgrass that included the property to the west of Ponte Vedra Boulevard. An active boat enthusiast, he founded the Beach Marine service.

A new Oasis

A century after Ponte Vedra’s founding, the new Oasis Club is an assemblage of two parcels previously owned by Fred Woolverton that had been used to build a small boat manufacturing operation. He and another local named Buddy Dishane would build many boats on this same property over the years for their own use and sale. One such boat was a 22-foot runabout named Miss Rocket. The old road to the boat building shop can still be seen today as the gravel entrance on the north end of property at what was then 992 Ponte Vedra Blvd.

Today, the 5.93-acre parcel has been redeveloped as an eight-lot luxury home development that includes private beach access about 50 feet north of the property line. The name Oasis Club was selected to pay homage to an old Navy haunt that had the same name (but was likely more infamous than famous) reported to have been located just south of The Lodge on the beach in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The owners have worked hard to preserve the integrity of the land and taken extensive measures to protect the old growth trees and ensure the project adheres to the idea that less is more – as in larger lots with a detention pond that is an asset and focal point for the community.

Instead of asphalt, they have built their entire road with large, thick pavers and a divided median that contains multiple Sylvester Palm Trees and a cul-de-sac with a nice multi-trunk live oak. They have also partnered with well-respected local builder Glenn Layton. His company, Glenn Layton Homes, was the signature builder for Paradise Key and is perhaps best known for building the local HGTV Smart Home.

The first Oasis Club home is under construction and was designed by well-respected architect Michael Stauffer. With seven lots available and summer fast approaching, it is expected that Ponte Vedra will have a beautiful new neighborhood and a few new residents in the coming months!

If you are looking for a custom home site on Ponte Vedra Boulevard with large, old growth oak trees, well-sized lots and private beach access, then this historic, unique and spectacular project may be just the place.

The Oasis Club is represented by RE/MAX Specialists, listed by Michael McAfee and Katie Hughes, with lot prices starting in the $500s.