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Contact: Brittany Lesser

Historian Thomas Neil Knowles Speaks at the Museum of Florida History

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of State’s Museum of Florida History hosts a discussion and book signing with historian Thomas Neil Knowles on April 22 at noon.  Knowles presents a slide show titled “The Long Key Fishing Camp: Henry Flagler’s Most Unique Resort” and signs copies of his recently published book about the resort and his earlier book about the hurricane that destroyed it. Copies of the books, Long Key: Flagler’s Island Getaway for the Rich and Famous andCategory 5: The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, are available in the Museum gift shop and may be purchased prior to and during the event.

The talk and book signing are part of the special exhibit The Lure of Florida Fishing, on display until August 26 and chronicling the rise of sport fishing in the Sunshine State.

“As an angler myself, I am excited to have this program as part of our exhibit The Lure of Florida Fishing,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “The exhibit is on display all summer long and we have a number of great programs planned, and I welcome all to come learn more about Florida’s history from Mr. Knowles.”

Flagler opened nine resorts for the wealthy down Florida’s east coast from 1888 through the first decade of the 20th century. Long Key was the last to be opened during his lifetime and was radically different from its palatial sister resorts.  Despite plain facilities and the lack of many amenities, the fishing camp attracted an amazingly diverse clientele including New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig,  Pulitzer prize-winning poet Wallace Stevens, renowned author Zane Grey, and British nobility.  The remote resort in the Florida Keys boasted some of the best fishing in the world and served as a retreat for such famous dignitaries as Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt.

The talk and book signing will take place in the Museum on the ground floor of the R. A. Gray building in downtown Tallahassee. Parking and admission are free. For more information contact the Museum of Florida History at 850.245.6400 or


About the Museum of Florida History
The Museum of Florida History is part of the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and is located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida.  Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and  holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m.  Free parking is available in the garage next to the R. A. Gray building.