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Fort Lauderdale Restaurants Postcard Collection

Identifier: 1996.97

Scope and Contents

The Fort Lauderdale Restaurants Postcard Collection contains four color photographic postcards of Fort Lauderdale restaurants. The collection consists of one postcard each of Creighton's restaurant and Williamson Restaurant, and two postcards of Mai-Kai.


  • Circa 1970 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

The Fort Lauderdale Restaurants Postcard Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Wilson Creighton was born on March 2, 1900 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Creighton served in World War II and married his wife, Somers. They had three children: Joyce, Carol and Didi. Upon moving to Florida Creighton opened the Sunrise Shopping Center in 1954. A year later, he opened Creighton's Restaurant next door and it became famous for its ''World's Best Apple Pie.'' His Fort Lauderdale restaurant, a tourist attraction, sat on the west bank of the Intracoastal Waterway on Sunrise Boulevard where the Doubletree Hotel now stands. Over the years, Creighton filled the restaurant with antique Russian paintings, French chandeliers, tables and paintings from Napoleon's palace, Chinese jade and other art and artifacts. Mr. Creighton sold the Fort Lauderdale restaurant and shopping center in the late 1970s for an estimated $13 million. The shopping center was rebuilt as The Galleria. Creighton was also one of the Founders of Holy Cross Hospital. He died on February 27, 1991.

The Mai-Kai, which constitutes a restaurant, bar, gift shop and garden, was created by Bob Thornton and his brother Jack. Their original design cost 300,000 dollars and was the most expensive restaurant built in 1956. In its first year it earned over one million dollars. For many years it sold more rum than any location in the United States. Famous for its Polynesian Revue dance show, The Mai-Kai was added to the National Historic Register in 2014. Over the years The Mai-Kai went through several renovations and temporary closures at its 3599 North Federal Highway location.

Joseph A. Williamson, Sr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1914. Williamson was a Fort Lauderdale "snow bird" who began his career in restaurants as a busboy at the age of fourteen. At around 18 years old he married his wife Emma and they would go on to have seven children. By the age of 35 he had three restaurants in Pennsyvania. He opened Williamson Restaurant in 1972 on US-1 and SE 14th Street in Fort Lauderdale. He sold the restaurant ten years later. Williamson died in Villanova, Pennsylvania in the first week of June 1991.


1 Flat File

Language of Materials


Processing Information

This collection received container level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions as well as acquisitions to the collection.

Rochelle T. Pienn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Broward County Historical Archives Repository

100 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301 United States