St. Augustine in the Gilded Age
By Beth Rogero Bowen
St. Augustine was more than three centuries old when tourism awakened the sleepy Spanish village. Soon after Standard Oil partner Henry Flagler brought the railroad to town in the 1880s, well-heeled visitors began flocking to Flagler’s luxury hotels as St. Augustine became known as the “American Riviera.” Tourists walked the quaint, narrow streets and visited the city gate, the old Spanish fort, the alligator farm, the Fountain of Youth, and the four houses all claiming to be the oldest in the country. Postcard History Series: St. Augustine in the Gilded Age depicts the oldest city in the United States from the beginning of the picture postcard era to 1914, when a fire destroyed several downtown blocks. The volume presents more than 200 images from the archives of the St. Augustine Historical Society and the author’s personal collection.