Sandman Book Co. was hopping on Saturday May 6th. Most of the seats were filled by 10:45 in anticipation of author / speaker DL Havlin. (“Readers are thinkers” is his mantra.) It was standing room only!
Havlin's topic was The Forgotten Years in Florida, 1865-1915. This period immediately followed the Civil War. Somehow, when thinking of southern states, Florida does not stand out. States like Virginia, North Carolina or Kentucky are more apt to come to mind. Florida was treated as a “Forgotten State” in this time period, yet it was a fascinating one.
Some of the challenges facing Florida's post-war development were distance, mosquitoes, heat and swampy terrain. The area was sparsely populated, making the distance an even greater burden. Finances were extremely tight after the Civil War. Money was always an issue. One out of 4 people died of malaria / yellow fever each year. Florida was not for the weak or timid.
Julia Tuttle was an American businesswoman who originally owned the land that Miami, Florida was built on. She is known as the “Mother of Miami.” She is the only woman to have founded a major American city.
Some of the other important names in Florida during this time period included Summerlin, Collier, Edison, Plant, and of course Ringling.
To learn more about the pioneers who shaped Florida, visit Sandman Book Company and pick up a copy of one of DL Havlin's books, which are housed among the local history titles near the front windows. You won't be disappointed!