Black Gold and Silver Sands, with 247 photographs from museums and family collections, tells the dramatic history of Palm Beach County farming from the days of the hardy pioneers who grew pumpkins and pineapples on the shores of Lake Worth. In this handsome coffee table book, you’ll read diaries, letters and personal interviews that describe:
• How the first farmers endured sun, spoilage, fickle waterways and lumbering steamboats in their struggle to bring crops to northern markets.
• The first attempts to farm the black gold (muck) around Lake Okeechobee when its only other inhabitants were hunters, “cow catchers” and catfishers.
• The hurricanes of 1926 and 1928: how they swallowed up whole islands in Lake O and how they spurred action to create what would become one of the world’s most intricate systems of canals, locks, dams and ditches.
• How the first mechanized farming helped feed a hungry Europe during World War II, and why Palm Beach County soon came to lead the nation in several key crops.
• How hard working families in Palm Beach County transformed their farms into agribusinesses that now help feed the nation in the Age of Wal-Mart.