Palm Beach's sunny and idyllic shores had humble beginnings as a wilderness of sawgrass and swamps only braved by the hardiest of souls. Two such adventurers were Fred and Byrd "Birdie" Spilman Dewey, who pioneered in central Florida before discovering the tropical beauty of Palm Beach in 1887. Though their story was all but lost, this dynamic couple was vital in transforming the region from a rough backcountry into a paradise poised for progress. Authors Ginger Pedersen and Janet DeVries trace the remarkable history of the Deweys in South Florida from their beginnings on the isolated frontier to entertaining the likes of the Flaglers, Vanderbilts, Phippses, Cluetts, Clarkes and other Palm Beach elite. Using Birdie's autobiographical writings from her best-selling books to fill in the gaps, Pedersen and DeVries narrate a chapter in Florida's history that has remained untold until now.
|Publisher:||History Press, The|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Ginger L. Pedersen is a Palm Beach County native. She writes a local history blog and serves on the City of Boynton Beach Historic Preservation Board as Vice Chair, is the VP for membership for the Boynton Beach Historical Society, and is a member of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Janet M. DeVries serves as the historian and archivist for both the Boynton Beach City Library and the Boynton Beach Historical Society. She is also the curator for the Children's Schoolhouse Museum in Boynton Beach, and the author of four books. Harvey E. Oyer III is the President of the Lake Worth Pioneers Association. He previously served as the Chairman for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Table of Contents
Foreword Harvey E. Oyer III 9
The Spilmans and the Taylors 19
"One Awful Night in My Tenth Year" 24
Westward to the Land of Lincoln 30
"Begin to Talk Florida" 35
The Dreamer of Dreams 42
"Night in a Long White-Draped Room" 50
The Lake Worth Country 53
The Hermitage 60
The Blessed Isle 69
The King Arrives in the Jungle 83
The Great Freeze and the Orphaned Town 94
A New Century and New Challenges 102
The Bird Whisperer and the Journey Home 110
About the Authors 127
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Pioneering Palm Beach; The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier. The authors tell a compelling story about a, somewhat recent, pioneering adventure. Actual History, old photos, and compassion leads the reader on an adventure with found gold, new lands, and intregue. A great story filled with real history entertains even the most fastidious reader.