Books by Karen Harvey represent nearly four decades of writing about St. Augustine, Florida, the Nation’s Oldest City.  St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Pictorial History was published in 1980 and covers more than 450 years of history.  The coffee-table size book contains photos, maps and illustrations beginning with the discovery of La Florida by Juan Ponce de León in 1513 and the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 by Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.

Chapters cover the First Spanish period (1565-1763), the British period (1763-1784), the Second Spanish period (1784-1821), territorial period (1821-1845), statehood (1845 to the present) and the Victorian era of Henry Morrison Flagler (1883-1920s).  Minorcan families brought over as indentured servants are highlighted in the British history chapter. They form the core group of the St. Augustine having remained in Florida through the changes in government from the British period to territorial days.

Thirty years after writing the first pictorial, Harvey researched and wrote a companion volume about the extraordinary changes occurring in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.  St. Augustine Enters the Twenty-First Century contains more than forty color photos and describes the transformation occurring over the thirty years from 1980 to 2000. It is a must read for long-time residents, newcomers and visitors alike.

The two pictorials serve as symbolic bookends to seven other books of historic content. The neighborhoods of America’s oldest city (America’s First City), women’s history (Daring Daughters) covering tales of women often overlooked in history books, Legends and Tales, and true ghostly encounters (St. Augustine Haunts) are all presented for curiosity readers.  A booklet (Five Women Five Stories) showcases the interpretations painted by talented artist Marianne Lerbs. The original paintings are displayed in the elegant Casa Monica Hotel.

All these books reflect the history of America’s First City, a settlement preceding Jamestown, Virginia, by 42 years and Plymouth colony by 55 years.

Karen Harvey continues to work on various projects to include the ongoing restoration of American Legion Post 37.