After a journey of eight days, the Plants arrived in Jacksonville in March and spent several months at a private home near Jacksonville, then a tiny hamlet. After some discussion with French authorities, an unusual resolution was reached as he was issued a French passport declaring him a U.S. citizen residing in Georgia which allowed him to travel extensively across Europe and later re-enter the United States when he returned to New York by way of Canada. Henry began his professional life at the age of 18 working as a captain’s boy for the New Haven Steamboat Company that ran between New York and New Haven. Among his various duties was the care of express parcels. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. At the approach of the Civil War the directors of Adams Express, fearing the confiscation of their Southern properties, decided to sell them to Plant for his promissory note of $500,000. Thanks to the Plant System, Florida’s young tourism industry also boomed as the untamed wilderness became more accessible to travelers seeking the healing properties of the temperate climate, refuge from harsh northern winters, and a romp in the exotic landscape. He reconstructed and extended several small railroads so as to provide continuous service across the state, and by providing better connections with through lines to the North he gave Florida orange growers quicker and cheaper access to Northern markets. He built a golf course, tennis courts, boathouse, and horse racing track for the amusement of his guests. The couple had two children, but only Morton Freeman Plant survived to adulthood. Not only are the minarets of the Tampa Bay Hotel the premier architectural icon of the city, the City of Tampa seal bears a rendition of Plant’s steamship the Mascotte. In 1882 he organized, with the assistance of Northern capitalists (among whom were M. K. Jesup, W. T. Walters, and Henry Morrison Flagler, who himself would be instrumental in the development of Florida's east coast) the Plant Investment Company, a holding company for the joint management of the various properties under his control. Today, much of the Amtrak and CSX rail lines that run through Tampa are formerly Plant System rail beds. When in France, he was informed that his Confederate passport was not valid. Laurys Station, PA: Garrigues House. Plant’s lasting legacy was. Select an amount and donate with our shopping cart or contact us direct. With the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Tampa Bay Hotel closed. He is a builder – a creator.

1837 18 year-old Henry begins work as a captain’s boy for the New Haven Steamboat Company plying the waters between New Haven, CT and New York. A whole State blossoms at the touch of his magic wand." Henry Bradley Plant (October 27, 1819 – June 23, 1899), was a businessman, entrepreneur, investor involved with many transportation interests and projects, mostly railroads, in the southeastern United States. A good physical inheritance, preserved by temperate habits, made it possible for Henry Plant to keep working until almost eighty years of age. Connect with us on the following social media platforms. It was purchased by the city of Tampa 1905. (1898). Brown, C. (1999). He constantly promoted Florida’s attributes at world’s fairs and expositions and published thousands of promotional materials to advertise Florida and its attributes. Before his death in 1899, Plant helped to develop Florida with railways, steamships, and luxury hotels. Copyright © 2020 Henry B. Streets in Tampa and Port Tampa bear the names of Plant family members and Plant System officers. 45(October): 118-131.

Plant born in Branford, CT to Betsey (Bradley) and Anderson Plant, a farmer. The Florida Historical Quarterly has gone Digital!

The opulent Tampa Bay Hotel continued operating even after Plant’s death. These significant contributions to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay are why Success magazine dubbed Henry Plant “the King of Florida” in 1898. At the age of six, he lost his father and younger sister to typhus fever and was raised by his mother, step-father and grandmother. Plant understood the potential and opportunity waiting to be realized and that a network of railways was the key. To schedule a small group tour of the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science, please email holly.baker @, or call 321-632-1830. Before his death in 1899, Plant helped to develop Florida with railways, steamships, and luxury hotels. A postcard from the Tampa Bay Hotel, circa 1902.

Plant is particularly known for connecting the previously isolated Tampa Bay area and southwest Florida to the nation's railroad system and establishing regular steamship service between Tampa, Cuba, and Key West, helping to spark tremendous population and economic growth in the region. Plant Museum in Tampa. The Plant system of railroads, steamships and hotels.

Built at a cost of $3 million, it was said to be an attempt to compete with fellow industrialist Henry M. Flagler, who was developing Florida's east coast. Tampa, then a village of a few hundred inhabitants, was made the terminus of his southern Florida railroad and also the home port for a new line of steamships to Havana. His first wife died in February 1861, and in 1873 he married Margaret Josephine Loughman, the daughter of Martin Loughman of New York City, who with one of his two sons survived him. His most prized hotel was the Tampa Bay Hotel, a lavish resort built right across the Hillsborough River from Tampa. He built luxury hotels along his train route, stimulating tourism.

Plant branded his network of railroads and steamship lines The Plant System.

He had one surviving son that lived in New York City, and when Henry Plant passed away, there was no one really to carry the torch for him. “It was a sleepy little town going nowhere. By 1821, Florida was named a United States Territory, and in 1845 it became a state. Plant Park, Tampa’s first public park, continues to offer a relaxing refuge along the Hillsborough River. He went south in 1853 and established express lines on various southern railways, and in 1861 organized the Southern Express Co., and became its president.

The hotel now serves as the main building for the University of Tampa and houses the Henry B. Ford believed that increasing the pay would make the workers happier and encourage them to … As he linked and laid more than 1,196 miles of tracks across the state, he standardized his network with standard gauge track, increasing ease and efficiency of train travel. He opened the Waycross Short Line in 1881, a short cut between Waycross, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, taking the first steps toward opening the state. Plant was born in 1819, Florida was still under Spanish control.

Turner, G.M., & Bramson, S.H.

The front porch of the Tampa Bay Hotel in the late 1800s. By 1821, Florida was named a United States Territory, and in 1845 it became a state.

Plant was transferred from steamboats to railroads. 211. Underwood Archives/Archive Photos/Getty Images. At that time, no other person had dedicated as much time, energy, and money to the advancement of Florida. In that same year, Plant lost his wife Ellen. This line of business, hitherto neglected, he organized effectively. Thank you for your support. Flagler created the town of Palm Beach, and provided opportunities for development in south Florida. After a few years he was put in charge of the old York office of the company. (1966). Plant: Developer of Florida’s sun coast," Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 58-61.

Glover, F. H. "Henry B. When Henry B. This decision made possible the consolidation of his railroads with other properties to form the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, today a key portion of the Florida operations of CSX Transportation. Plant reorganized and renamed it the Southern Express Company, with rail lines running through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Jesup, and W.T. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the Adams Express Company sold their southern express line holdings to Henry. Henry Plant built or bought eight hotels, including several in Tampa, Florida and the new town of Port Tampa, which he built at the end of his rail line. | “I think the reason that Henry Plant doesn’t get quite as much recognition as Henry Flagler is that Henry Flagler’s personal money was in Palm Beach.”. Florida Memory. “They were equally as important,” says Sally Shifke, Museum Relations Coordinator for the Henry B.

To schedule an appointment to access the Library of Florida History, please email archivist @, or call 321-690-1971 ext. On the other hand, Henry Plant came to the west coast of Florida, but he always remained in New York and Connecticut. In his will he attempted to prevent the partition of his properties to the value of about $10,000,000 by forming a trust for the benefit of his grandson, Henry Plant II (born 1895), but the will was contested by his widow and son and declared invalid under the laws of the state of New York. After the war, Plant returned to the South in February, 1865 to reclaim his business interests, primarily the Southern Express. Plant Museum members are admitted at no charge. From 1853 until 1860 he was general superintendent of the southern division of the Adams Express Co., and in 1867 became president of the Texas Express Co. Henry immersed himself in his network of southern railroads and began purchasing bankrupt railroads in 1879. The first hotel that he built was the Inn of Port Tampa which was only 40 rooms, and then he went on to build this colossal palace with over 511 rooms, the Tampa Bay Hotel.”. These improvements benefited the Plant Line that sailed from Tampa to Havana, Mobile, and Jamaica. Plant Biography The significant contributions to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay are why Success magazine dubbed Henry Plant “the King of Florida” in 1898. Plant Museum. Plant’s network of railroads and steamships enticed many industries to Tampa, most notably Vicente Martinez Ybor’s cigar industry. By 1890, he began to develop the Plant Steamship Line sailing between Boston, Halifax, Cape Breton, and Prince Edward Island. Henry Bradley Plant (October 27, 1819 – June 23, 1899), founder of the Plant System of railroads and steamship lines, was born into a modest farming family in Branford, Connecticut. His first hotel was The Inn at Port Tampa. In 1863, claiming a serious illness, he left his home in Augusta with a safe passage document signed by Jefferson Davis and sailed to Bermuda. (2004). Florida Memory. Plant Museum. He eventually secured a position in the Adams Express Company’s New York office.

In discussions of railroads and their impact on Florida’s growth, Henry Flagler … All FHS Members receive our newsletter, The Society Report, a 10% discount in FHS and Museum stores, and early notice of all events, including our Annual Meeting and Symposium! Johnson, D.S. He was part owner of the Philadelphia baseball club in the National League, and sole owner of the New London club in the Eastern League. Plant’s eight hotels throughout western Florida provided tourists with luxury accommodations in a tropical haven. Plant was born in 1819, Florida was still under Spanish control. Similarly, Henry Plant linked central and west Florida to the rest of the country with his railway. He went south in 1853 and established express l… He was born in October, 1819, at Branford, Connecticut, and entered the railroad service in 1844, serving as express messenger on the Hartford and New Haven Railroad until 1853, during which time he had entire charge of the express business of that road. In this situation, he found his opportunity. "Henry B. Plant was impressed with the possibilities of the future development of Florida. In discussions of railroads and their impact on Florida’s growth, Henry Flagler usually is the first person mentioned. Henry Bradley Plant (October 27, 1819 – June 23, 1899), was a businessman, entrepreneur, investor involved with many transportation interests and projects, mostly railroads, in the southeastern United States.

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