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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Royal Poinciana: 1910

Royal Poinciana: 1910

Palm Beach, Florida, circa 1910. "Lake Worth and the Royal Poinciana." Henry Flagler's giant hotel, named after the flamboyant flowering tree, holds a place in the record books as the planet's largest wooden structure. At the other extreme: Snell's Menagerie. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Lake Worth

At the time this photo was taken Lake Worth was an actual lake. It became a "lagoon" after the Palm Beach and Boynton Beach inlets were dug. Until that time it was a freshwater lake. And it wasn't until some time in the 80's that the all wise Palm Beach County commission decided to start calling it a lagoon.

Even harder to believe:

This hotel did not burn to the ground one fatal evening (like its companion, The Breakers), but survived to be razed as unprofitable by its owners. That's an awfully large mass of seasoned timber piled in one place.

I would not be here without it.

I live in the City of Lake Worth, which would not exist if that hotel had not been built. I think the building to the right of the hotel is Whitehall, which was he home of Flagler and still stands as the Flagler museum. Interestingly, Lake Worth is not a closed shore lake, but rather a lagoon, and is part of the Intercoastal Waterway.

Short lifespan

It's hard to believe that such a magnificent building was demolished after standing for barely 40 years.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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