Eustace Edgecombe: A Lifetime at Vizcaya

Black and white photo of Eustace Edgecomb changing the music roll in the player organ.

Meet Eustace Edgecombe, a Bahamian teen who started working at Vizcaya as a waterboy in 1913 and dedicated the next 52 years to the estate.

Edgecombe continued as a caretaker of the estate even after Deering’s death in 1925. In the summer of 1969, he was asked about possible retirement. He replied, “my heart belongs here,” and shared he had no plans to do so. 

Wearing every hat

Edgecombe’s tenure at Vizcaya is unparalleled. His intimate knowledge of the estate and personal experience during the Deering era were indispensable when Vizcaya opened as a public museum in 1953.  

Throughout his long career, he covered positions that would today be referred to as: Collections Care Technician, Assistant Curator, Maintenance Chief, Operations Manager, Security Officer, and Historic Preservation Specialist.

Eustace’s story is all the more special because — although the museum has a strong interest in the people who worked here 100 years ago — we do not have a lot of information on this topic. 

His is one of the few detailed histories we have been able to piece together to date.  



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