During the Civil War, Clay County, along with other parts of Florida, served as a resting place for convalescing Union soldiers, many of whom wrote home about the area’s tropical winters and natural wonders. They returned after the war and became some of Florida’s first tourists. Soon, small boarding houses along the banks of the St. Johns River invited Northern residents to enjoy the balmy winter climate, while Green Cove Springs enticed thousands to its warm sulfur spring. At Magnolia, once a Union fortification, a large and prosperous hotel was constructed that housed almost 800 guests. Clay County grew with the tourist industry and continued to develop with the farming community that later became Penney Farms and the Pennsylvania-settled town of Keystone Heights. These and other locations were captured by Isaac Haas, Clay County’s most prolific 19th-century photographer, who was born in Middleburg and is responsible for many of the images in this volume.