Hastings, Florida began as a settlement established by Henry Morrison Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway in the late 19th century to support agricultural development in the region.
Henry Morrison Flagler
Henry Morrison Flagler - Visionary
When Henry Morrison Flagler built Hotel Ponce de Leon he recognized the need to have fresh produce readily accessible for his guests’ meals. Flagler realized the agricultural potential of Hastings and enlisted a distant cousin and land developer, Thomas Horace Hastings to assist in this endeavor. With the establishment of the Florida East Coast Railway, Flagler facilitated the transportation of agricultural goods from Hastings to St. Augustine, ensuring a reliable supply chain for his hotels. This connection between St. Augustine's luxurious accommodations and the agricultural productivity of Hastings played a crucial role in the success of both locations, solidifying Flagler's influence and legacy in the development of both areas.
Thomas Horace Hastings
Our Namesake -Thomas Horace Hastings
Thomas Horace Hastings was an instrumental figure in the establishment and development of Hastings, Florida. Born in 1847 in Michigan, Hastings was a visionary entrepreneur and land developer. He recognized the potential of the fertile lands in the area and saw an opportunity to create a thriving agricultural community. In 1890, Hastings purchased a large tract of land and founded the town that would bear his name.
Hastings's vision for the town was ambitious and well-planned. He understood the importance of infrastructure and transportation for the success of an agricultural community. As such, he worked closely with Henry Morrison Flagler, the founder of the Florida East Coast Railway, to ensure that the town would have easy access to transportation and markets. The railway connection played a crucial role in the growth of Hastings, as it facilitated the transportation of crops to larger cities.
Beyond his contributions as a land developer, Thomas Horace Hastings was also an advocate for education and community building. He established the Hastings Academy, a school that provided quality education to the children of the settlers. The school served as a central gathering place for the community and played a significant role in fostering a sense of unity among the residents. Hastings's dedication to education and community development laid the foundation for a strong and cohesive town that would thrive for generations to come. Today, his legacy lives on in the town that bears his name, as Hastings continues to honor its agricultural heritage and maintain a strong sense of community.