Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Last Train to Paradise

Flagler. The name is reminiscent of someone who did something, but what? That association would be common among those who were not familiar with either the history of Standard Oil or Key West.

Les Standiford plunged into discovering exactly what Henry M. Flagler did both as the driving force in Standard Oil and more importantly as the implacable dreamer who wanted to see his dream of a railroad that reached from Miami (then a hiccough on the east coast of Florida) to Key West (then the most metropolitan city in Florida). The only others who were remotely interested in a link between these two cities were either lacking sufficient funds, expertise or political clout to get the first steel tied to a wooden tie.

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