Lucille's Home on Ward Basin

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Lucille Hudson-Stangeland 1940-79
Lucille Hudson-Stangeland 1980-96
Lucille's Home on Ward Basin

Over the years there were several "Old Home Places" that were very important in the Stangeland family history. One of them was Lucille Stangeland's home on Ward Basin. A few years after Lucille and Ernie divorced, early 1970's, Lucille met Nick Nichols and moved to his home on Ward Basin, a bayou south east of Milton Florida. They were very happy together but unfortunately a few years after they got together Nick died. He left his home to Lucille and she lived there until the late 1980's


During the years Lucille and Nick had together she surrounded their small block home with beautiful flower gardens. This tiered rock garden was in front of the open garage and small utility room attached to the side of the house, the sidewalk lead to the pier.   ....the other end of the rock garden, the old pier, and a view of the mouth of Ward Basin about 1974


Lucille and Phillip enjoying a drink in the patio among the gardens about 1975


Here's the original pier about 1975, Shawn and Daniel Stangeland are playing with a small boat.  Not long after this picture was taken a hurricane came through, dislodged the pier, and rammed it through the living room of the house.   During the next few years after the hurricane Lucille completely remodeled the home adding a bedroom where the old garage was with an upper story that had 2 additional bedrooms. She also added a living room to the front of the home with a new deck and new pier. Phillip Stangeland did most all of this work.


The new pier with the new fishing deck at the end.   Lucille's new deck


View of the deck from inside the new living room


Lucille was a great landscape artist, everywhere she lived over the years she turned the grounds into a wonderland of beautiful gardens, walkways, pools, and ponds. It was her greatest joy and she was a true master of the art form.   Lucille's pond and gardens


Lucille's gardens


Lucille collected old glassware for years and when she built the new living room on the Basin side of her home she built a wall of shelves and displayed her collection.   Janice and Lucille on the new deck. Jan lived with Mom at Ward Basin on and off for several years.


Lucille and her record collection. She installed a great speaker system on the deck and would often play music as the sun went down in the evening and her friends came over for drinks. Lucille had many many friends and every evening the house was full of guests.


The new pier is complete and the deck at the end is under construction. The boat tied at the end has a long and sordid history. (See next photo)   This catamaran (nicknamed "The Soggy Dog") was built by some young guys in Miami. They tried to sail it to the Bahamas, got caught in the Gulf Stream that flows 6 knots northward between the Florida and the Bahamas and got sweep far out to sea. They were rescued and somehow the boat found its way to Milton over the years. A family friend owned it and while rebuilding it allowed it to fall on his wife killing her instantly. Phillip and Mike Stangeland bought it from him, launched it at Lucille's Ward Basin home and finished the rebuilding and tried to make it seaworthy. Not knowing anything about boats or sailing they didn't realize that the foam filled hulls were saturated with water making the boat extremely heavy and thus impossible to sail. Even with a strong wind it drifted along like a big log instead of sailing. This bad experience had a silver lining, Mike Stangeland's family became interested in sailing went on to buy commerically made catamarans and sailed them for many years.


After everyone realized that the "Soggy Dog" was a total flop it was retired to Lucille's yard and she made it into another flower garden filling its cockpit with dirt and growing gourd vines up the mast.   Lucille's Gang at the Ward Basin Home 1980
Lucille retired from nursing and decided to rent rooms in her home to help make a living.  Janice lived there for many years and most of the people in the photo are her friends.
Left to right: Sue Wright and her son, a boyfriend, Lynn Wright, Bruce, Joshua Pacella, Janice Stangeland, Lynette Pacella, Lucille Stangeland and unknown girl


Mark and Pamela Stangeland enjoying a beautiful day on Lucille's deck   Mike Stangeland's family became very avid catamaran sailors and kept their boats at Lucille's home. Almost every clear day from late spring to early fall from the mid 1970's until 1984 someone was launching from Lucille's yard, sailing Ward basin and out into Blackwater and East Bay. It was a great time for the Stangeland family.


Bruce (don't remember his last name) repairing a net. Bruce was a very good friend of Lucille and Janice Stangeland. He rented a room in Lucille's house for several years. He died a few years after this photo was taken from what appeared to be AIDS. He served in the Army in Vietnam and was an agent in the CIA for several years, owned a bar in Davis, West Virginia for a while then moved to Florida and worked as a waiter in a French restaurant when he lived with Lucille.   Mike and Shawn "riding the hull". One of the more challenging things to do on a catamaran is standing on the side of the hull in canvas "butt buckets" that are attached by cable to the upper mast, then adjusting the sails and boat trim to get the boat to stand up on it's side and stay there for as long as possible. For several years in the late 70's we often sailed out of the Basin and sailed along the shoreline outside the point in the late afternoon waiting for the "evening zephyr", a very steady southern breeze of about 12 knots that developed close to sundown in the high summer. Becasue of its very even velocity and very steady direction it allowed us to sail for many minutes, very slowly, with the hulls almost vertical, we were almost standing upright on side of the hull. It took very precise sail and rudder adjustments to keep the boat balanced and was a thrilling experience when we did it well. This is one of our best sailing memories.


Shawn and a friend launching their SolCat catamaran   Roy Patterson and Shawn Stangeland going for a sail on the Solcat


During the winter months in about 1978 Shawn and Mike built this boat for Shawn from an old set of SolCat hulls and various parts they found and made. It turned out to be a very seaworthy and fast boat and they enjoyed many days of match racing in Blackwater and East Bay. They also sailed in many local races and won a good number of trophies.   Mike and crew on the Solcat and Shawn and crew on the Shawncat coming home into Ward basin from a day's sailing. Shawn generally won our match races because he was a better sailor.


Mike Stangeland at Lucille's about 1981   Marina Stangeland and Phyllis Euler - 1984


When Gail and Mike Stangeland divorced in 1982 Mike lived with Lucille for 3 months. Soon after this picture was taken in 1983 the old Solcat was sold and a decade of "sailing at Lucille's place" came to an end.   Shawn Stangeland in a perow at Lucille's


Lucille and Marina Stangeland on the deck at the end of the pier fishing 1982. Mom dropped dog food off the end of her pier to feed the mullet every day.  When you wanted to catch a few all you had to do was put a small piece of dog food on your hook and drop it into the water and you immediately caught a fish.   Shelley Stangeland and a group of friends having a swimming party 1985


Lucille's pier, Petersen Point, and the inlet to Ward Basin about 1986. during the 15 or so years Lucille lived at Ward Basin.  Many family members lived there for short periods and enjoyed this beautiful view. It was a wonderful period in the family history. In the late 1980's Lucille sold the home and moved on, most of us were upset that she did but in the end it proved to be a wise move. (see below)


This cold slab is all that's left of Lucille's Ward basin home and all her beautiful gardens and ponds. In September 2004 Hurricane Ivan roared through the Milton area bringing a 14' tidal surge that completely wiped out every home on this part of the basin.   Lucille's palm tree survived but most everything else is gone


A remnant of Lucille's pier   An apartment building owned by Alvin Hudson, Lucille's cousin, once stood behind the row of palms on the left.


Only 3 poles survived of Lucille's pier


Thanks to a wonderful mother many of the happiest years in Stangeland history were here on the shores of Ward Basin. We sure miss you Lucille.


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