Story of the Restaurant
The Fellsmere Estates Buildings was built in 1926 as the land sales office for the Fellsmere Estates Corporation founded by E. Nelson Fell. After the 16 inch floods in 1927 and the Depression in 1929, the Florida land boom crashed, as did the corporation. The building later became the headquarters for the Florida Crystal Sugar Company as sugar was the main commodity grown here through the early 1960’s.
A handful of Fellsmere residents remember getting their paychecks at the pay window that is still located at the southern outside door.
Subsequently the building was used as a municipal building. The City Council meetings were held in the large interior room that is now the main dining room and the police department occupied the north end of the building where the kitchen and office are now located. The concrete vault previously in that area was originally built to hold important documents for the corporation but while it was the police department, it reportedly held prisoners awaiting morning transportation to jail.
After a variety of other uses the building was sold and boarded up. After many code enforcement actions the City received the building back in the late 1980’s. In October 1995, Fran Adams bought the building at public auction for historic restoration purposes.
The building has elegance unmatched by modern buildings. The wood windows and door frames are the original cypress frames made from trees that were logged locally and cut in nearby lumber camps. The wainscot around the interior walls is the original tongue and groove ceiling. The wainscot was covered in years of old paint that was planed off then varnished to reveal the rich golden hues of the original wood. Most of the doors are original. Every effort was made to refurbish the building similar to the early days. The banquet room at the south end of the building was sectioned off the main room just as it is now and the two private dining rooms mimic the early executive offices of the sugar company.
We bring to you the early Florida boom and bust times when folks lived off the land and were still settling the wild yonder. We hope you enjoy your step back in time.
Thank you for dining with us!
Bio: Chef Larry Bass
Larry started cooking at a young age with his mother in Georgia. After graduating high school and serving time in the Army, Larry went to culinary school in Macon, Georgia. After completing culinary school, Larry went to work as the Sous Chef at Capri Restaurant in Perry, Georgia, before moving on to the Perry Country Club, where he gained knowledge of banquet planning and fine dining. Larry then moved to the Treasure Coast, taking a job as Executive Chef at Vista Meadows for 5 years. Looking for an environment that would allow him to utilize his love of southern food and southern cooking, Larry joined the Marsh Landing team first as Sous Chef, before being elevated to Executive Chef by owner Fran Adams.
Marsh Landing is owned and operated by mother and daughter team, Fran and Susan Adams. Fran Adams grew up in the restaurant business in Wilson, North Carolina, specializing in the local fare of fried chicken and barbeque. A Peace Corp volunteer in the early 70’s and an elected official for 12 years, Fran has spent her life in the service business. Susan Adams grew up in Fellsmere, enjoying the rural lifestyle of the area. After high school Susan attended FSU earning her law degree. The lure of restoring an old landmark and bringing the world to see brought Fran and Susan back to the restaurant business where they are working to preserve native Florida cuisine and culture and having a ball doing it!