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.
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.