May 28, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance
Completed in 1888, the exclusive luxury hotel in St. Augustine, Florida was built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler. Designed in the Spanish Renaissance style it was constructed entirely of poured concrete. From the very beginning, the hotel also was wired for electricity with power being supplied by D.C. generators supplied by Flagler's friend, Thomas Edison and was one of the first buildings in the nation to have electricity.
During World War II the Hotel was used as a Coast Guard Training Center and in 1963 the Hotel was one of several St. Augustine sites involved in the civil rights movement. In the late 1960's the hotel and grounds became the focal point of the newly-established Flagler College.
From Shorpy: "St. Augustine, Florida, circa 1890s. 'The Ponce de Leon, rear view.' Henry Flagler's grand hotel, with the street traffic none too artfully stippled out. 8x10 inch glass negative by William Henry Jackson."
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November 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Let the countdown begin. In just one week's time, the S.S. Amelia Gingerbread Pirate Ship-- made from 1,200 pounds of sugar and 3,000 eggs-- will dock in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. And it's little wonder they're televising the event live; the gingerbread pirate ship will be 17-ft high! The S.S. Amelia will serve as a backdrop for all the festive holiday events the resort has scheduled- from Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts to holiday wagon rides on the dunes, beach bonfires, and Santa tuck-ins. The annual Christmas Tree Lighting on November 23 at 5:30 pm kicks off the holiday season; the 40-ft tree will be beautifully illuminated and some 200,000 lights will glitter throughout the resort grounds. There will be plenty of hot apple cider for imbibing, and fireworks for ogling. Immediately after the Christmas Tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will host a dinner the whole family will enjoy. Santa's elves and reindeer will be hanging out, too.
September 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Foodies in Florida, get thee to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a special dinner reception with local farmers on October 7. The resort-- home to the award-winning restaurant, Salt-- is gathering the local farmers and fishermen who supply the kitchens for a culinary extravaganza in honor of the fall harvest. Starting at 6:30 pm with a reception (chock full of hors d’oeuvres and craft beer tastings), the dinner continues with an appetizer bar featuring fresh Mayport shrimp, smoked flounder, deep fried soft shell crab, local cheeses, breads and Florida honey. The main course will include Atlantic white shrimp in variations, Trigger fish, two selections of Florida beef, farm fresh vegetables and house-made pasta. Let's not forget dessert: apple cinnamon Beignets, chocolate mousse and vanilla beer float. The price is $79 per adult, plus gratuity.