At the very northern edge of Flagler County where Pellicer Creek and the Matanzas River meet is an old homestead with an interesting past.

The property dates back to a late 18th century land grant from the king of Spain and became known as Cherokee Grove in the early 1800s when orange trees were planted on portions of the 1,100-acre plot.

In 1886, Henry Mason Cutting purchased the land and built a large hunt-style lodge facing the water for he and his young bride, Angela. Cutting didn’t have long to enjoy the house. He died in 1892 from appendicitis and an overdose of codeine while traveling on his boat.

Angela took ownership of the estate and went on to marry an exiled Russian prince by the name of Boris Scherbatoff. Angela assumed a royal title and Cherokee Grove soon became known as Princess Place.

Subsequent owners were careful to preserve the integrity of the lodge and it looks much as it did at the turn of the last century with its two-story living room and massive pillars made from unfinished tree trunks. While tours of the house are only given on weekends, you can sit in one of the comfortable rocking chairs anytime and take in the magnificent views of the water.

There’s also a livery stable and Florida’s first in-ground swimming pool. The property was purchased by Flagler County in 1993 and turned into a preserve offering family campsites, equestrian activities, kayaking, hiking trails, and a bird rookery.