Florida History

We're going to explore the life of Barron Gift Collier with local author Marya Repko. Her new book, "The Story of Barron Collier" tells the story of Collier, who made a fortune with his advertising business before investing in Florida. He became the largest landowner in Florida, bought hotels, operated telephone systems, published newspapers, and undertook a road-building project across the swamps of the Everglades. At the same time, he was keeping up his New York interests as a civic leader, generous with his creativity and wealth. This is the third in a series of History for Younger Readers and is based on the Repko’s research for the adult version "Everglades Entrepreneur," all published by ECity Publishing.

Chuck Coker via Flickr

From the fountain of youth to the Skunk Ape, Florida’s folklore is rich and sometimes pungent.  Few know that better than Dr. Caren Neile- a professional storyteller and the Director of the South Florida Storytelling Project.

She’ll share some of Florida’s memorable tales this week at the Marco Island Historical Society, and in advance of that performance, we’ll have a sneak preview on Gulf Coast Live.

Photos: State Library & Archives of Florida

What motivated early Floridians to move into the swampy, mosquito-infested area of South Florida? How did the Seminoles and other Native American peoples thrive in such a demanding environment? Questions from Curious Gulf Coast listeners spurred a look at life in Florida before modern conveniences.

Images: State Archives of Florida

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau through 2016 shows Florida continues to grow: nearly 2 million new people arrived in the state since 2010, a nearly 10 percent boost. In the last year alone, more than 340,000 new Floridians flocked to the state. Historians are asking what Florida could lose as that growth continues, and how to best preserve state history amid a seemingly endless boom.

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Meeting in some form since 1962, the Florida Conference of Historians covers all historical fields and gives historians in and of the Sunshine State the opportunity to share their scholarship and new developments in the field.

A federally-recognized non-profit, the group now includes more than thirty colleges, universities, and other institutions. This year's 57th annual conference is being hosted by Florida Southwestern State College and meeting in Punta Gorda this weekend, and is free and open to the public.

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