Beyond Tourism: America's Yesteryear

A blog of American History

Friday Finds May 4, 2012

Yamato: More than Just a Colony: Read a little bit about how Yamato Rd. and the Morikami colony in Boca Raton from a native Japanese.

Norman Studios: Read about the first white film director to create all black-cast movies during the silent movie era without using the stereotypes of the times.

Florida Monthly Blog The blog for Florida Monthly Magazine. It covers Florida culture for Floridians.

Floripedia An online encyclopedia about Florida.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum The official site of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum located in Palm Beach.

Historic Pensacola Village T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. Their mission statement- West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Northwest Florida.


Friday Finds March 26, 2010

Quilting Natural Florida– Check out this blog post about an upcoming Quilt exhibit featuring Natural Florida. The exhibit runs until April 25, 2010. Links provided in blog post for further information.

Florida Highwaymen– Another article about our native artists. Article has a photo of still living Florida Highwaymen and one Highwaywoman.

Where’s the Beef– Cattle Ranching wasn’t just for the wild west. Read this article to learn more about Florida’s Cattle industry.

The History of FAU– Read about the history of Florida Atlantic University. From the time it was an air force base to the college it is today. It is located on the southeast coast of Florida in the city of Boca Raton.

Fort Foster– Read about Fort Foster where the Second Seminole War began.

Florida’s Forgotten Rebels– Read another writer’s take on John Horse, Florida Maroon. Amy Sturgis shows how the Second Seminole War was not only about the independence of the Seminole Indians but also the largest slave revolt in American History.


Trains, Trains, Trains June 30, 2009

Flagler with his first wife Mary (back) and her sister Isabelle in the 1850s

Flagler with his first wife Mary (back) and her sister Isabelle in the 1850's

In my previous post I wrote a little bit about the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and how it destroyed the Miami/Key West line of his railroad.

December 31, 1885: Flagler purchased railroad between Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

1892: Charter from the State of Florida to allow building of railroad to Miami

May 28, 1892: Incorporated the Florida Coast and Gulf Railway

March 22, 1894: Railroad reaches Lake Worth

April 2, 1894: Railroad completed to West Palm Beach

September 13, 1895: Railroad name changed to Florida East Coast Railway

April 16, 1896: Railroad completed to Miami

January 22, 1912: First official train arrives in Key West Florida

September 2, 1935: Labor Day category 5 hurricane rips through the keys destroying the Miami/Key West line of the Florida East Coast Railway.

1935: Florida East Coast Railway sells railway to state in order recoup losses from theĀ  unrepairableĀ  rail line. It was later converted to a bridge for car travel and then shut down when the Overland Highway was built.

Flagler died a year after the Miami/Key West was completed and so never learned of the destruction the hurricane caused and the subsequent selling off of his company to the state. If you want to learn more about Henry Morrison Flagler beyond the railroad you can go here.

Now you can take a tour of Flagler’s Florida by visiting Sarasota History Alive. They have a postcard slide show which follows the Florida East Coast Railway from Jacksonville, Florida all the way to Key West. It ends with a map of the railway. Each postcard slide has a short but informative captions explaining what is in each postcard and the view it is taken from.

Want to ride a real train? Check out these places to take a tour and ride a real train:

*1. Seminole Gulf Railway: Home of Florida’s Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Ft. Myers, Florida

2. Inland Lakes Railway Florida in Eustis, Florida

3. Conch Tour Train in Key West, Florida while it’s not an actual train it is a nice way to tour the island.

Not interested in taking a train ride. Try visiting a railroad museum:

1. Boca Express Train Museum in Boca Raton, Florida

2. Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, Florida

3. South Florida Railway Museum in Deerfield Beach, Florida

4. Whitehall Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida.

*With the exception of the Conch Tour Train I have never been on any on any of these tours or museums. The last time I was on the Conch Tour Train I was around 6 years old. Drop a line if you’ve been on any of these tours and if they are worth it or if you know of any other Florida train tours. This is not an exhaustive list of museums or tours just a little something to get you interested. If you do go or have been on any of these tours or visited any of these museums drop a line and let me know if you enjoyed it.