Beth Rogero Bowen’s St. Augustine in the Gilded Age takes a look at the city during its heyday as a tourist destination. Using her collection of postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century, Beth provides a remarkable tour of our town. Many of the postcards are familiar, but there are many more I’ve never seen – including photos of the flames and aftermath of the 1914 fire that destroyed several blocks of the downtown area.
Another juicy tidbit from those days is the Hotel Ponce de Leon and Alcazar sketchbook available online at Florida State University’s Digital Library Center. This booklet was used to announce the opening of these grand hotels and provides a tantalizing look at the hotels and some local attractions. This little watercolor sketch comes from the back cover.