The February 11 launch will feature Palm Beach County-based Donn R. Colee, Jr. author of Legends & Lore of Fort Lauderdale’s New River (Arcadia Publishing/The History Press) to be released this month. Upcoming authors will be announced. Viewers may register at http://bit.ly/HFLMeetTheAuthor.
Colee Jr. is a seventh-generation Floridian and a direct descendent of George Colee, who immigrated to the St. Augustine area from England in 1821. Donn grew up in Orlando but frequently visited relatives in the ancient city, where his curiosity was piqued by stories about a massacre of long-ago family members at Fort Lauderdale’s New River. While the “Colee Massacre” story was later debunked, it refused to die. His Legends & Lore of Fort Lauderdale’s New River began as an attempt to finally resolve the last vestiges of that myth, but the power of New River quickly propelled the book to become a history of the river, its fascinating people, and the transformation of its wilderness into a metropolis. This is his second book. His first, Towers in the Sand, is the history of radio and television stations in Florida and the people who brought them to life. His family has been engaged in Florida broadcasting for three generations. Colee is a member of the Florida Historical Society, History Fort Lauderdale, St. Augustine Historical Society and Historical Society of Palm Beach County. He is a former commissioner of the Florida Inland Navigation District, the state agency responsible for maintenance and improvements of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Fernandina Beach to Key Biscayne. It was built by a company that was cofounded in 1881 by his great-great-great-grandfather, who became its civil engineer. Donn and his wife, Martha, reside in Palm Beach Gardens.