Florida’s Spirited Amelia Island

Named for Princess Amelia, the daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Ireland, this waterfront haven has long welcomed visitors from every walk of life, including Gilded Age socialites like the Carnegies and Rockefellers. Most notably, the island also welcomed Black guests during the era of Jim Crow restrictions, in large part due to the work of affluent philanthropist Abraham Lincoln Lewis.

Lewis spearheaded the 1935 establishment of American Beach on the island’s southern end, which is now distinguished as a stop on the Florida Black Heritage Trail. The A.L. Lewis Museum illuminates the area’s historical significance thanks to lifelong efforts by Lewis’s great-granddaughter MaVynee Oshun Betsch, known as The Beach Lady.