Monthly Archives: December 2015


Anecdotal Histories of St. Augustine, Legends and Tales – Karen Harvey

Anecdotal Histories of St. Augustine

Legends and Tales I is a collection of anecdotal histories written and originally published in newspaper form before book publication. These memories reveal that the history of St. Augustine is not always in the recorded facts, but rather in the hearts and minds of the local citizens.
From stories about the early days of baseball and St. Augustine’s strongest man, to the history of the area’s African American population and the civil right movement.  L.O. Davis offers insights in the police work as well as many humorous stories.Anecdotal Histories of St. Augustine

Norton Baskin talks about his wife, the famous Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her book, The Yearling. Baskin recalled the making of the moved “Cross Creek” staring Mary Steenburgen as Marjorie and Peter Coyote as Baskin.  Legends I offers insight from a unique, often-overlooked perspective.

This second volume of anecdotal histories continues to uncover the multilayered history of St. Augustine. These historical vignettes, originally published in the St. Augustine Record will delight and entertain residents and visitors alike.

Written in a conversational style that is accessible and easy-going, Harvey brings the reader face to face with some of St. Augustine’s most interesting characters.  The resulting narrative allows the storyteller to paint a picture of the “oldest city” that is rarely found in other written histories.

Included in the compilation are sections about the history of the African American community in St. Augustine and accounts from the city’s legendary “Mr. St. Johns County,” Dan Mickler. Legends II continues to open doors to St. Augustine’s vast history.  If you enjoy anecdotal histories, these two volumes will fill your time with some of the most colorful recollections you can imagine.


St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Pictorial History – Karen Harvey

A Pictorial History of St. Augustine and St. Johns County

This coffee-table style pictorial history of St. Augustine and St. Johns County was first published in 1980 (now in its ninth printing) by Donning Company Publishers of Norfolk, Virginia, the largest specialty pictorial history publisher in the United States. It is a summary of the rich history spanning more than four centuries of survival and success in St. Augustine, the Nation’s Oldest City. Well-documented text succinctly describes historic events with maps, charts and illustrations depicting the earliest centuries and photographs focusing on life after the camera.

Pictorial History of St. Augustine and St. Johns County
The book is divided into the natural time periods of St. Augustine’s history. The story of the arrival of the founder, Don Pedro Menédez de Avilés in 1565 lends credence to the claim of this settlement being older than the British counterparts of Jamestown, Virginia (established 1607) and Plymouth Colony (1620).

The short twenty-year British Period of 1763-1784 is given substance with attention placed on the families of the group known as Minorcans who arrived in St. Augustine in 1777 and to this day remain the core group of St. Augustine’s population.

The return of the Spanish and the arrival of the peninsula into the fold of the United States bring the book up to the Gilded Age of Henry Morrison Flagler.   Flagler was a legendary in the development of Florida’s history.  Having made himself wealthy  in a partnership with John D. Rockefeller, he came to Florida and envisioned the potential we see today.  His histroy in the railroad business only made it all the more rich. The story of growth and change continues until 1980.

The book remains popular with residents whose roots are deeply planted in the soil as well as newcomers eager to familiarize themselves with the town and with visitors wishing to take a bit of history home with them.