The Greatest Railroad Story Ever Told is about Henry Flagler & the building of FEC Key West Extension.
Although several people had considered constructing a railroad to Key West beginning in the early 1800s, it took a bold industrialist with unparalleled vision to make it happen. In 1902, Henry Flagler made the decision to extend the Florida East Coast Railway to “the nearest deepwater American port.”? In this book, renowned Florida historian Seth H. Bramson reveals how the Key West Extension of the Flagler-owned FEC became the greatest railroad engineering and construction feat in U.S., and possibly world, history, an accomplishment that would cement Flagler’s fame and legend for all time. Join Bramson as he recounts the years of operation of this great railroad, what it did for the Florida Keys and what it meant to the resident conchs.
This is the first book written on the great project that not only explains how and why the route to Key West was chosen and who the important figures were during the railroad’s construction. The books also examines and discusses the daily operation of the railway, and how it was maintained, along with the reason for the Flagler System’s opening of the Long Key Fish Camp, originally founded by, among others, Zane Grey. At the time, it was the only casual inn or resort built by the railroad. The railroad would go on to Key West and later (1918-20) construct of the Casa Marina Hotel, that served as the winter destination for northern tourists for years. It was later sold and became a school and training center after 1940.
The chapters include, for the first time in print, photos of many of the stations, rights of way and of course, the bridges as well as views from Trumbo Island, Key West terminal, in effect bringing the operation of this great railroad to life.
Seth Bramson is Miami’s foremost local historian. He is America’s single most-published Florida history book author, with sixteen of his twenty-two books dealing directly with the villages, towns, cities, counties, people and businesses of the South Florida Gold Coast. Bob Jensen retired in Homestead as a Navy Commander after serving 28 years. He served in Germany, the Philippines, the US Embassy in Cyprus, Iceland, and twice at the National Security Agency and at Naval Security Group Headquarters in Washington D.C.