ickie Anderson and Adrienne Burke talk about the history of Fernandina Beach
Posted by Tim Wombles
on May 16, 2013
Recently, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club enjoyed a presentation about the city’s Historic District given by local author Dickie Anderson and City of Fernandina Beach Preservation Planner Adrienne Burke. Anderson talked about the Golden Era of Fernandina – a period in the late 1800s when the area was a vacation destination for wealthy tourists. The booming economy generated by these influential visitors allowed a number of local entrepreneurs and businessmen to build the beautiful Victorian-period homes and buildings that now comprise the 50-block Historic District. Anderson explained that when Henry Flagler’s railroads and resorts opened in St. Augustine and points south, tourism died in Fernandina leaving the Historic District frozen in time. Adrienne Burke went on to discuss the importance of historic preservation to Fernandina’s downtown area. Preservation efforts begun in 1973 have maintained the historical significance and integrity of the Golden Era homes and buildings that might otherwise have been torn down – as many were before the Historic District was created. Burke noted that in addition to the downtown district, the National Register of Historic Places has designated the Old Town Site, the Amelia Island Lighthouse and the Palmer House/Oxley-Heard Funeral Home as part of the Historic District. Anderson closed the presentation by sharing photos and anecdotes from her newest book Great Homes of Fernandina – Architectural Treasures of Amelia Island’s Golden Age.