Author Karen Harvey

Karen Harvey is a local authority of Florida History. She has been a resident of St. Augustine, Florida, since 1978. She is the author of nine books in print, numerous articles, museum text panels and videos. She is an historic interpreter with knowledge spanning the centuries of cultural changes in St. Augustine. She also is available for specialty tours. She has taught at the college level and provides fourth-grade history tours for the required Florida history classes. Her teaching background includes substitute teaching in the local school system. Karen has appeared on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and in numerous documentaries about “spiritual activity” in St. Augustine. She provides dramatic presentations of five women about whom she researched and wrote. She is a member of the St. Augustine Historical Society, the Romanza festival organization and the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  She is active with the Florida Heritage Book Festival and has served on local citizens’ boards including the Historic Architecture Review Board and the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.  She was a board member for the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Inc.

The author is a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church, an historic structure built in memory of Henry Flagler’s daughter Jennie Louise Benedict.  Florida’s First Presbyterian’s covers the history of the congregation and church from 1824 to the present.

For her mastery of history, she is a recipient of the 2008 Tourism Employee of the Year Award. Her most recent publication St. Augustine Enters the Twenty First Century won the 2010 Florida Writers Award for first place in the history category.

Born in Flushing, New York, Harvey was transplanted to Florida when she was 11 years old. She holds degrees from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and American University in Washington, D.C. Her travels include living in Viet Nam, Guatemala, Bolivia and Ireland. She provided lectures about Florida history in Trinity University (Dublin) and the University of Dublin. She continues to visit countries that expand her knowledge of history.

Harvey’s latest publication, St. Augustine Enters the Twenty-First Century, arrived in stores in June 2010. The 222 page book contains more than 200 photos and discusses the changes in the city and county over the last three decades. It is a companion piece to St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Pictorial History, a popular coffee-table publication now in its ninth printing. She has lived in St. Augustine since 1978. Additional available works include America’s First City: St. Augustine’s Historic Neighborhoods a book focusing on historic and architecturally significant sites and houses; Oldest Ghosts, a fun read about spiritual activity selling well to ghost hunters; Daring Daughters: St. Augustine’s Feisty Females; and Five Women Five Stories. She scripted the DVD documentary about St. Augustine’s Lighthouse titled First Light St. Augustine’s Lighthouse.

Harvey’s play Conquest and Colonization ran for five spring seasons from 1996 through 2000 entertaining school and tour groups with the story of the founding of St. Augustine and the settlement of Florida. She was the arts and entertainment editor for The St. Augustine Record for seven years and continues to write for the paper as a contributor.

Awards and Recognitions

Karen Harvey’s book St. Augustine Enters the Twenty-First Century won the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award, placing first in the non-fiction history category in 2010.

In 2007 the Ponte Vedra Chapter of the Florida Writers Association selected her unpublished novel Run Away Home as a first place winner in the young adult category.

While working at The St. Augustine Record in1989 her feature story about Lewis Sanks’s black history tales won third place in a state-wide competition sponsored by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.

In 2013 Harvey was given the title of “Condesa de Velasca” in recognition of her outstanding service to San Augustin Antiqua.

She was one of the original winners of the ROWITA award.  ROWOTA (Recognizing Outstanding Women In The Arts) represents lifetime achievement and is awarded to women who have made significant contributions to the St. Johns County arts community. Harvey received the award in 2009, the year the award was established.