The Breakers’ Historian Needs Your Vote!
The Breakers’ esteemed historian, Mr. James Ponce, has treated US and global visitors to weekly walking tours of the Palm Beach resort for the past 28 years – and now he needs your help!
Mr. Ponce is a finalist for the Providencia Award and the public will choose the winner. The prestigious award is given by The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau annually to a local business, organization or an individual that has made an extraordinary contribution to the vitality and prosperity of Palm Beach County as a desirable tourist destination.
This year marks the first time in the award’s 22-year history that the recipient will be selected by public vote. Your vote!
History on the Historian:
Mr. Ponce is the local authority when it comes to Palm Beach history, and numerous national and local media outlets have prominently featured him for many years. He is 94-years-old and takes pride in sharing many anecdotes about the pioneers and developers of the island, particularly the life of founder Henry Flagler who originally built The Breakers in 1896.
Between The Breakers and monthly historical tours of Worth Avenue, Mr. Ponce has shared his knowledge about the early days of Palm Beach with nearly 50,000 people over the decades.
Mr. Ponce was raised in St. Augustine, the city from which Flagler masterminded the development of a railroad down Florida’s east coast. His father, Raymond A. Ponce, was Flagler’s undertaker.
After high school, Mr. Ponce went into the hotel business, but then entered military service with the US Navy during World War II and the Korean War. At the end of his duty in 1952, he worked at the front desk of The Breakers. He then continued his career in Palm Beach with The Colony and Brazilian Court hotels, and in 1977, he returned to The Breakers as an assistant manager until his retirement in 1982, when he became The Breakers’ historian. He is also the official historian of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Thank you for voting for Mr. James Ponce, our team couldn’t be more proud of him and his accomplishments!