The Final Years
A project that had personal significance for Wentworth was the Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora, Florida . Mt. Dora is in central Florida, approximately thirty miles northeast of Orlando set within a series of lakes.
The owner, Charles Edgerton, enlisted Wentworth and a member of Wentworth’s wife’s family, Archie Hurlburt of Massachusetts as partners and investors. Wentworth provided financing from over one hundred local citizens and people from Paterson, NJ. The group became known as Lakeside Inn Hotel Company with Edgerton as President, Hurlburt as Vice President and Wentworth as Secretary Treasurer. Hurlburt served as the Inn’s manager.
The new ownership took on a comprehensive program to upgrade and expand the property to make it a full service resort hotel in the late 1920s. Over a period of about five years, the Inn was significantly expanded and modernized. Two new Wentworth designed buildings, known as the Gables and the Terrace were constructed in an English colonial Tudor style with art deco detailing. The buildings are two story buildings with steeply pitched roofs. The design recalls a British “colony” in a Florida lakeside setting.
Hurlburt had served as an aide to Calvin Coolidge, who became a guest of the hotel, along with other notables. Socially, the hotel operated with a regular staff and was noted for the quality of its dining room. The Wentworths spent a significant portion of each winter at the Inn.
The Depression was a difficult time for the hotel with occupancies off and revenues falling. The Inn managed to survive the Depression years and the Wentworths spent their winters there throughout the thirties and forties. In 1940, the couple celebrated their forty-seventh anniversary there and a few months later, Mrs Wentworth died at the Inn.
The operations and ownership transitioned into members of the Edgerton family, who continued to operate the Inn until 1980. Despite several changes in ownership, the property is now restored and operating successfully, taking advantage of its historic design. Although a great deal has changed, the basic upgrading that Wentworth designed in the 1920s remains in tact.
Wentworth spent his final years at the Inn, his home in Paterson and a summer cabin in the Catskills. He became ill in 1943 and returned to Paterson. He died on October 5th at his home.
At his request, he and his wife are buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, New Hampshire.