The Grand Plan: 1905-1912
Historical Overview of Boca Grande
It was in fashion during this time for railroad tycoons to build railroads to carry passengers as well as haul payloads. Grand hotels were erected and towns designed.
Henry Flagler built hotels in St Augustine as well as in other towns on the east coast of Florida. Henry Plant (a cousin of Peter Bradley of the AACCo) did the same in Tampa when he opened the Tampa Bay Hotel.
Not to be outdone, Mr. Bradley and his company, the AACCo, simultaneously built a railroad, a grand hotel (the Gasparilla Inn) and town, constructed a power plant and erected one of the most modern loading elevators in the country on Gasparilla Island. All of these activities occurred in a period of only six years, 1905-1911. The town of Boca Grande became one of southwest Florida’s first planned communities.
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