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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.


Five Women Five Stories – Karen Harvey

Five Women Five Stories

Five women from Karen Harvey’s book Daring Daughters: St. Augustine’s Feisty Females were selected as subjects for five historic portraits. Artist Marianne Lerbs was commissioned by Richard Kessler, founder of The Kessler Enterprises Inc., to create themed works for the Casa Monica Hotel in downtown St. Augustine.  The women chosen by Ms. Lerbs spanned five centuries and represented five diverse cultures. All are reflected by different historic sites in and around St. Augustine.

Antonia, the Indian bride of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, begins the sequence. She is followed by Mary Evens known as “Maria” associated with the “Oldest House” in St. Augustine. Abbie Brooks wrote about Florida in the late 1800s and died in St. Augustine in 1914. Anna Kingsley is the black women, a former slave, who became the wife of a plantation owner and a wealthy woman in her own right. Her story is told at Kingsley Plantation, Jacksonville, Florida. The last of the five is Luella Day McConnell known as “Diamond Lil” who, more than a century ago, created the Fountain of Youth attracting visitors from all over the world.

The story behind the paintings accompanies the images in Five Women, Five Stories. More can be learned about these women and others important to St. Augustine’s history in Daring Daughters.

Marianne Lerbs – Artist

Marianne Lerbs is a Venezuela native who arrived in St. Augustine in 1992. Her work was seen by hotelier Richard Kessler, of The Kessler Enterprise Inc., who commissioned her for a portrait of Seminole Indian leader Osceola, which is now displayed in the Celebration Hotel in Orlando, Florida. In 1997 Kessler purchased the former St. Johns County Courthouse on Cordova Street and restored it as the Casa Monica Hotel. He approached Lerbs about using her designs and flare for color to enliven the décor of the Casa Monica.
She is a graduate of the Instituto de Diseño Neumann in Caracas, Venezuela, and has attended schools in a wide variety of art fields. Her commissioned artwork in Venezuela and the United States is an eclectic mixture of materials creating murals, sculptures, paintings and fabric furnishings. Her artwork in Florida and Georgia includes such diverse creations as marble horse heads and bronze sculptures. In Jacksonville she painted trash cans with colorful designs portraying St. Augustine’s Lincolnville musicians, and designed “ethnic door murals” on St. Jose Elementary School doors. For two years she was Artist in Residence for the Duval County School System.


St. Augustine Enters The Twenty-First Century

St. Augustine Enters The Twenty first Century

From this book, one can learn what is indeed old and what features have been introduced over time. Sections on black history, religion and our precious coastline are included along with a look at traditional historic sites and evolving landmarks. An entire chapter is devoted to the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway. Archeological discoveries over the decades provide new insights into our history.

The volume covers the past three decades of change covering the ’80s, ’90s and into 2000. It is a companion piece to St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Pictorial History published in 1980 covering the five decades leading to the founding of St. Augustine and the subsequent survival of America’s first continuously occupied European settlement.

The volume of 224 pages and 233 color and black and white photos provides insights into recent changes in the Oldest City. While striving to preserve its history and heritage, the town continues to keep in step with inevitable growth and development.

Black history is covered with the new Freedom Trail featured. Religious growth and changes in the ever changing St. Johns County is described.  The World Golf Hall of Fame and the Tournament Players Championship (TPC) at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra came about during this time period.


Florida’s First Presbyterians

Florida’s First Presbyterians

 A Celebration of 175 Years in St. Augustine. (1824-1999)

Florida’s first Presbyterians formed St. Augustine’s Presbyterian church in 1824 as the second Protestant religion in the territory acquired by the United States in 1821. (The Episcopalians were first.) Florida’s First PresbyteriansThe little congregation numbered around 40 when Henry Morrison Flagler came to town and ushered in the Golden Era. His memorial to his beloved daughter Jennie Louise became the new home to the Presbyterian congregation. The unique Venetian Renaissance sanctuary now houses a congregation of approximately 800.

The book tells the history of the congregation as well as the church with several home-spun tales from long-time members included as spice.

All proceeds from sales of this book go directly to Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine, FL.


America’s First City – St. Augustine

America’s First City: St. Augustine’s Historic Neighborhoods

 

America’s First City was based on a survey of historic and architecturally significant sites and houses within the city limits of St. Augustine. It was conducted from 1970 to 1981 by the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. America's First City - Karen HarveyThe results were compiled into a 33-part series inThe St. Augustine Record which ran from September 1980 to May 1981 written by Harvey and later edited into book form. It is divided into neighborhoods permitting readers easy access to information they walk through the historic streets of St. Augustine.

In addition to specific houses and sites, the book covers a number of topics including family-run businesses, women, walls, streets and monuments.


Daring Daughters – A History of Women in St. Augustine – Karen Harvey

Daring Daughters

St. Augustine’s Feisty Females

Daring Daughters brings to life the timeless stories of women who over the centuries have faced adversity with courage, character and often humor. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, awakened the Western world to the atrocities inflicted on Islamic women. Daring Daughters - Karen Harvey, St. AugustineThough far less shocking, this collection of 20 stories spans a wide spectrum of time putting the plight of the oppressed into perspective.

The book opens with Antonia, the first Native American woman to be mentioned by name in European history journals. Lola Sanchez performs a heroic ride during the Civil War and Manuela Mickler is the poker-playing Minorcan Mama. Enterprising “Women Within” prove their worth at the Ximénez-Fatio house, and Lucy Abbott develops North City’s Abbott Tract. Kat Twine is a black woman who gets thrown into jail during the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Ramelle Petroglou fights City Hall to become the first female mayor and Peggy Reddy takes her place as the first female County Court judge.

The women presented in Daring Daughters found a way to live their lives as they desired. Some overcame obstacles; some created their own road blocks while seeking a dream. Whether their historic contributions were by default or intent, they left their mark. All of them were survivors.  Daring Daughters – a history of women in St. Augustine.


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

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

This coffee-table style pictorial 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. 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.


Oldest Ghosts – Karen Harvey, St. Augustine

The Oldest Ghosts of St. Augustine

Sometimes the best part of a story lies behind the scenes. Oldest Ghosts tells of actual phenomena occurring during tours conducted by the author or strange events revealed by friends. Tales of paranormal activity deal with unexplained fires, spiritual awareness through the senses of touch and smell as well as sight and hearing, ghost animals and spiritual experiences. A glossary of terms is included for reference.

This book tells the story behind the ghost tales of the long and illustrious history of the city of St. Augustine, the Ancient City