Land of Sun and Shadows: Florida During the Gilded Age (1)

From Florida Memory

Oil magnate Henry Flagler took his earnings from Standard Oil, which he founded with John D. Rockefeller, and channeled that vast sum – $10-$20 million at the end of the nineteenth century – into Florida hotels and railroads. Essentially one of the so-called “robber barons,” Flagler did much to open up the vastness of Florida to more settlers, who still come in droves to one of the most unique places on earth.

Of the hotels that Flagler built, the Hotel Ponce de Leon of 1888, still stands in St. Augustine, although it is now Flagler College and not a hotel. The menu here illustrates what was on offer on March 25, 1889.

(Featured image – Hotel Ponce de Leon today. Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

3 thoughts on “Land of Sun and Shadows: Florida During the Gilded Age (1)

  1. We used to eat at the Ponce de Leon on my parents’ anniversary. As a child I thought it was the only place that served pheasant under glass! Then one year we arrived to find the dining room had closed (ca 1964?) We ended up eating at the Holiday Inn restaurant (called the Dutch Pantry or Kitchen.) What a dressed up disappointed family we wee!

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