Tropical Surge: A History of Ambition and Disaster on the Florida Shore

Overview

Engaging historical narrative covering many significant events in the history of south Florida, including the major developments and setbacks in the early years of Miami and Key West, as well as an in-depth look at Henry Flagler's amazing Overseas Railway. This well-written history tells the story of the dramatic battle between human ambition and the reality of the West Indian hurricane. By 1935, at least, the hurricane had won. Includes gripping narratives of the 1919, 1926, and 1935 hurricanes in south Florida ...

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Overview

Engaging historical narrative covering many significant events in the history of south Florida, including the major developments and setbacks in the early years of Miami and Key West, as well as an in-depth look at Henry Flagler's amazing Overseas Railway. This well-written history tells the story of the dramatic battle between human ambition and the reality of the West Indian hurricane. By 1935, at least, the hurricane had won. Includes gripping narratives of the 1919, 1926, and 1935 hurricanes in south Florida and the Keys.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561643301
  • Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 351
  • Sales rank: 524,527
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Reilly received his B.A. at New College of the University of South Florida before venturing north to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in European history at the University of Pittsburgh, but despite the change of scenery, he retains a keen interest in Florida history. Dr. Reilly's other works have appeared in several scholarly publications, including the Social Science History Journal and French History. He currently lives with his wife and son on the Persian Gulf, where he teaches history at Carnegie Mellon University's new overseas branch campus in the petroleum-rich state of Qatar.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Shipwrecked Train
1 A Land Apart 1
The founding of Key West
Turtling, sponging, and wrecking
Years of prosperity
First proposals for an "overseas" railway
2 Salvage, Starch, and Seminoles 35
Early life on the Biscayne Bay frontier
The bizarre saga of old Fort Dallas
Seminole Indians and Seminole Indian traders
3 Sails and Rails 64
The arrival of the "yachting set" in Biscayne Bay, c. 1880
The life and times of Henry Flagler
Completion of the first railway to Biscayne Bay
4 Dusty Old Town 91
Cubans and Cuban cigars
Key West's golden age, c. 1890
Key West's growing economic problems
Revival of interest in an "overseas" railway
5 A Perfect Wilderness 123
The taming of the Biscayne Bay wilderness
The founding of Miami, 1896
Miami's violent early history
Dawn of the Miami tourist age
6 Eighth Wonder 150
The construction of Flagler's marvelous Overseas Railway, 1906-1912
7 American Frontier, American Riviera 184
The saga of John Ashley, early Miami outlaw
Everglades drainage and the founding of Moore Haven
Carl Fisher's Miami Beach dream
George Merrick's Mediterranean vision for Coral Gables
The passing of John Ashley and the coming of the boom
8 Castles in the Air 210
The Great Miami Boom and the bust that followed, 1925-1926
9 Recurving Disturbance 238
The Great Miami Hurricane of September 1926
The destruction of Moore Haven
Casualties and consequences
10 Poverty in Paradise 274
Key West's economic collapse, 1912-1934
The Key West hurricane of 1919
Hemingway in Key West
Contemporary developments in Miami
Down and out in the Florida Keys: tramps and "bonus marchers"
The FERA and the foundations of modern Key West, 1934
11 No Return 299
The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
The fate of the last train
The death of the Overseas Railway
Epilogue: September, Remember 335
Index 339
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