Flagler's St. Augustine Hotels

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By Thomas Graham

Near the end of the nineteenth century Standard Oil millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler ventured to St. Augustine, Florida, America's Oldest City, and transformed it into an exotic travel destination for the social elite. He raised magnificent, fanciful Spanish Renaissance hotel palaces on what had been orange grove and salt marsh. Then he connected his creation with the outside world by building a modern railroad system.

Graham is a professor of history at Flagler College in St. Augustine, where he has taught since 1973. He is a native of Miami and can trace his ancestry back to early Spanish Colonial times in Florida. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida and received his M.A. and B.A. from Florida State University.