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Two Graves in Palm Beach

Posted by Lorea Thomson on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 at 5:01pm.

Did you know that there are only two marked graves in Palm Beach?  Hidden among the dense green ferns of the Pizza Al Fresco courtyard off Worth Avenue, you will find the only cemetery in Palm Beach proper. Side-by-side in a lushly landscaped courtyard, down a Via, just off Worth Avenue you will find to old headstone markers. Neither belongs to a human being.

The more famous of the little-known pair is Johnnie Brown, the “Human Monkey”. Johnnie Brown was the pet spider monkey of Addison Mizner. According to Palm Beach history and folklore Mizner was an eccentric Palm Beach character of the roaring twenties. Johnnie Brown was just one of Mizner’s exotic and unusual pets. The monkey accompanied Mizner to all his Gilded Age high society events.  Johnnie Brown would sit on one of Mizner’s shoulders and a parrot on the other.

Mizner lived on Worth Avenue, in a castle-like villa that moored the Via Mizner shopping center. When Addison Mizner died in 1933, Via Mizner was purchased by socialites Rose and Morton Sachs.  The Sachs lived in the villa for the next fifty years with their beloved pet Laddie.  Buried next to Johnnie Brown is the Sachs' dog, Laddie, who died on December 1, 1959.

It is rumored that the ghost of mischievous Johnnie Brown and his doggie graveyard-mate, Laddie, playfully haunt the plaza and boutiques along Worth Avenue.




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