Brownie Museum

January 1951: Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach appears in Our Dumb Animals

Back in September, I wrote a post about “Our Dumb Animals”, a publication that was mentioned in an article in “Daytona Today”. The author said that “Our Dumb Amimals” published a story about Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona in the “mid-50s”.

After lots of searching, here is the article! It was published in January 1951.

January 1951 - Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach appears in Our Dumb Animals
January 1951 – Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach appears in Our Dumb Animals


  • Although a brief mention, I really love that image of Brownie spending hours a day with an elderly woman who knitted baby items to make a living. It’s touching to think Brownie, a homeless dog, enjoyed comforting people who didn’t have easy lives.
  • The meeting between Elsie the cow, Beauregard and Brownie is clarified. Brownie only met with Beauregard – NOT Elsie – for the photo op. This makes sense since Beauregard was a calf and thus small enough to sip sodas with Brownie in a drug store.
  • The year of this meeting – a publicity stunt for Borden Dairy – was in 1950 – far from the previous article that stated the meeting happened in the “mid-50s”. Brownie died in 1954. I can now start searching for some mention of this event in 1950. That’s still looking for a needle in a haystack, but at least we have a year.
  • Brownie must have been quite well known in 1951 for Borden to want to have him in a photo op. Heck, there could even be video of the event.
  • Elsie and Beauregard stayed at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach. I will post the history of this hotel below.

The History of the Plaza Hotel

The Hotel Clarendon in Daytona Beach, Florida, the current location of the Plaza Resort and Spa.

The Hotel Clarendon was built in 1895, when Charles Ballough combined his Daytona Beach cottage property with a local businessman to turn the properties into a hotel. The hotel was complete with a casino, porches overlooking the ocean and a stable for horses and carriages.

In February of 1909, a fire broke out and the entire hotel was destroyed. A new Clarendon, designed and built to be fireproof, was opened on New Year’s Day in 1911.

In 1942, The Clarendon Hotel closed down for the war effort. For two years, the hotel served as a barracks for the Woman’s Army Corps (WACs). The hotel reopened in June of 1944 with a new owner, and a new name, the Sheraton Plaza.

The hotel was later sold and renamed again as the Craig Hotel. In March of 1963, the Craig Hotel went the first of many renovations by then owners at the time, Jacob Fine and Milton Pepper.

In 1974, the bank foreclosed on Jacob Fine. Many of the furnishings of the hotel were sold, and the top floors of the hotel were removed. In 1998, the hotel was purchased by Charles Bray and Joe Gillespie.

The hotel was reopened as the Ocean Waters Spa was opened in 2000.

Today, it is the Plaza Resort and Spa.