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.
Florida was still Spanish territory at the time of the Revolution, but was acquired by the United States, from which it seceded in 1861. Railroads became the fastest transportation for people and the most economical for goods during the 19th century.