The culture of philanthropy founded during America's Gilded Age has made museums, libraries, universities, and other nonprofit corporations an essential and unique feature of American culture. When asked if the idea of creating the Standard Oil joint-stock corporation was his, John D. Rockefeller remarked, "I wish I'd had the brains to think of it. It was Henry Flagler." A key figure in the evolution of the American corporation as we know it today, Flagler's innovative ideas for structuring Standard Oil made multi-state corporations a reality and made Standard Oil the most profitable corporation in history.
In addition to helping build Standard Oil, Flagler literally invented Florida. Through Flagler's efforts, tourism and agriculture became the foundation blocks of Florida's economy. Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway — and the luxury hotels he built along the way — eventually linked the entire east coast of Florida from St. Augustine to Key West, establishing Daytona, Palm Beach, Miami, and many other cities along the length of Florida's east coast. Flagler's philanthropy is most obvious in Florida where he established at least 10 churches, three hospitals, and the public works systems for four cities.
In 1902, Flagler built his Gilded Age estate, Whitehall, in Palm Beach. Today, Whitehall is preserved as the Flagler Museum, a nonprofit corporation that has provided unique educational experiences for millions of people since it opened in 1960.
By joining the Museum as a Corporate Member, not only will you be able to enjoy visiting the Museum and participate in its vast array of programs, but you will also play an important role in preserving this National Historic Landmark and continuing the legacy of corporate philanthropy created during America's Gilded Age.