Henry Morrison Flagler

1830 b. Hopewell, New York.
1844 Flagler leaves home
Henry Flagler, first wife Mary, and
Isabell Harkness, 1850s. Courtesy
Florida State Archives.
1853 Flagler marries Mary Harkness
their children:
Jennie Louise (1855-1889)
Carrie (1858-1861)
Henry (Harry) Harkness (1870-1952).
1862 Saginaw, Michigan — Flagler founds the Flagler and York Salt Company
1865 Salt Company closes as the demand for salt continues to decline.
Improvement in refrigeration, makes less necessary, salt, in the packaging of meat.
1870 John D. Rockefeller and Henry M. Flagler form a partnership
Standard Oil
1878 Henry and Mary Harkness Flagler visit Jacksonville, Florida, for the first time.
1881 Mary Harkness Flagler dies of illness.
1883 Flagler marries Ida Alice Shourds; St. Augustine Honeymoon
1885 Flagler buys three railroad lines:
Jacksonville —
St. Augustine —
Halifax —
FLorida East Coast Railway (FEC)

After possibly content in Palm Beach, Julia Lures Flagler to Miami, and while Collins, Fisher, and the Lummas Brothers fought over the barrier Island that would become Miami Beach, Flagler had his eyes on another Island … KEY WEST, the Prized Pearl at the end of a string of small islands tropical islands rising above the surface of North America’s Great Barrier Reef.

INGREDIENTS — Ingrediently Speaking: What is Florida made of?
Peninsula  — shallow limestone shelf
southeast corner of the North American Continent
Sand/ Silt/ Shell/ Coral/
Prehistoric Skeletal Remains
extending some 400 miles into the ATLANTIC OCEAN
separating it and THE GULF OF MEXICO.
Limestone so porous, it creates a maze of caverns.
Dry Caves in the Pine Forest hills in the north (on today’s Georgia line)
Fast-running underground rivers (Prehistoric Bullet Train)
Connecting massive, and calm, Underwater channels.
SPRINGS, where Florida life is pumped to the surface.


Life Springs Eternal
“Please treat the water in Florida’s Springs as if your life depended on it.”
Imagine that, It Does.

(Land Land) — for many, especially in the south, evolution slowed.
b/ Bill Hicks

The Jewel hanging from at the end of a string of coral pearls, the map makers called the Keys.

1888 Flagler opens his first hotel in St. Augustine, the 450 room Hotel Ponce de Leon; he also buys the Hotel Casa Monica and re-names it Hotel Cordova.

The Hotel Alcazar. Courtesy Florida State


1889 The Hotel Alcazar opens, Flagler’s third hotel in St. Augustine.

1890 In Ormond Beach, Flagler opens the Hotel Ormond

1893 Flagler visits Lake Worth for the first time and likes what he sees as a “veritable Paradise;” his agents begin buying land setting off a small land boom.

1893 Flagler has what becomes West Palm Beach platted.


The Hotel Royal Poinciana.

1894 Henry Morrison Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railway to what was later incorporated as West Palm Beach. Six weeks earlier, the Hotel Royal Poinciana opened. The hotel became the world’s largest resort and included a dining room that could seat 1,600 guests. Hotel Royal Poinciana was also touted as the world’s largest wooden structure. © Flagler Museum 2009.

1896 Flagler’s second Palm Beach Hotel, Palm Beach Inn, opens on the beach front; it is re-named The Breakers in 1901.

1896 Flagler extends the FEC to Miami.

1897 In Miami, Flagler opens the Hotel Royal Palm.

1898 Henry Flagler’s Model Land Company owned more than 2 million acres of land
from Jacksonville to Key West. The Palm Beach County History Museum and
1916 Courthouse, the Norton Museum of Art, Morikami Museum and Japanese
Gardens, and Woodlawn Cemetery all rest on land made available by Henry
Flagler’s Model Land Company. © Flagler Museum 2009.

1901 Another Flagler hotel, the Hotel Continental, is completed in Jacksonville.


Henry Flagler and his third

wife, Mary Lily Kenan.

1901 Henry Flagler marries Mary Lily Kenan after the Florida Legislature passes a bill that made incurable insanity grounds for divorce; His second wife, Ida Alice Shourds, has been institutionalized since 1895.

1902 The New York Herald Tribune described Henry Flagler’s newly completed Palm Beach residence, Whitehall as, “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world…” Henry Flagler and his wife, Mary Lily Kenan, spent winters at Whitehall from 1902 until the time of Henry Flagler’s death in 1913. © Flagler Museum 2009.

1903 The Breakers is destroyed by fire; it is re-built and opens for the next winter


Flagler eixts the first train to

Key West, January 22, 1912.

Courtesy Florida State Archives.

1905 Construction of the Over-sea Railroad begins to Key West.

1912 Flagler rides the first train over the Over-sea Railroad to Key West.

1913 Henry M. Flagler dies in Palm Beach and is buried in St. Augustine.

1925 The Breakers burns for a second time and is re-built for a second time and opens the following year.


The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum,

Palm Beach.

1959 Jean Flagler Matthews, Henry Flagler’s granddaughter, established the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum as a nonprofit corporation. The Museum’s extensive collection of art,
furniture, and historic objects related to the life of Henry Flagler and America’s Gilded Age are on display. The Flagler Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and designated a National Historic Landmark. © Flagler Museum 2009.

A Florida Journalist, Photographer, and Art Director with an eclectic client list of individuals and organizations with musical, visual, educational, and editorial interests.

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