REMEMBERING ANNE EATON
(1922 - 1992)
Oh, if there were just more people in the Keys like Anne Eaton! Anne was always willing to fight and fight hard for the things she believed would make the world a better place. She loved the quiet and serenity of the Keys when she first came to Cheeca as a visitor in 1962. Seven years later she had a home in Islamorada. For several decades, Anne remained determined to assure the fragile environment was considered with every vote taken by the Monroe County Commission.
She retired to her home on Lower Matecumbe, and became a vocal advocate for slow growth, way before the rest of the Florida Keys understood the importance of conservation. Anne entertained continuously, inviting a steady parade of friends and neighbors daily for drinks, a game of croquet, and heated debates about local politics. She often sat at her piano entertaining guests, inviting them to sing along. She composed her own parodies about politics in the Keys.
Click here to read more about Anne's Beach - the park named after her because of her efforts.
The Lower Matecumbe Home
While the Starck home was the first home built on Lower Matecumbe, it is not the oldest home on the island. The oldest home on the island was not built on Lower Matecumbe – it was moved to the island by Anne Eaton in 1969. The house was already 60 years old at the time and in need of a major face lift. But what a grand story that “move” was!
On one expedition, when the Realtor had parked the car and left Anne in it while she got some coffee, Anne looked up and found herself right next to a derelict, abandoned old frame house. As her daughter, Lissie reports, “As she was looking at it, a shutter fell off one of the upstairs windows: ‘the house winked at me,’ she said. And it was all over. In that moment, she fell for the Old Albury House--later The Last Resort.”
Cyrus Stephen Eaton, was born Dec. 27, 1883, in Pugwash, Nova Scotia; died May 9, 1979, near Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. He was a U.S.- Canadian billionaire industrialist and philanthropist, founder of the Republic Steel Corporation.
While a student, Eaton met with John D. Rockefeller who became a significant mentor to Eaton. As a result, instead of getting into ministry, Cyrus became a businessman, building several electric power plants in western Canada within a few years, and then getting involved in other utilities, banking, and steel in the United States. Eaton lost much of his fortune during the Great Depression but made a second one in the securities industry, banking, and railroads.
Eaton became prominent in the 1950s and ’60s as an advocate of nuclear disarmament and improved U.S.-Soviet relations. In 1957, he started the Pugwash Conferences, at his lodge in Nova Scotia, inviting leading scientists and scholars from many countries to meet to exchange ideas and promote international understanding.
Cyrus married Anne Kinder in 1957. Earlier in the year, she had been his hostess at the 1957 Peace Conference in Pugwash, and her grace, wit, and empathy charmed guests who were there to discuss nuclear disarmament. She and Cyrus traveled the world, promoted peace, women's rights, and racial equality. In 1979, they were jointly awarded the Canadian World Federalist Peace Award. Cyrus, via his Pugwash Conference, also won a Nobel Peace Prize.