When industrialist Henry Flagler arrives in Florida in the late 19th century, the state is a wild jungle with few people. But that changes quickly as Flagler builds hotels and railroads down the Atlantic Coast - with the help of teenaged Charlie Piece. Along the way, Charlie and his family realize that building the future means saying goodbye to the Florida they know and love.
Charlie Pierce isn't looking for an adventure when he agrees to help out his friend Ed Hamilton. Hamilton's job is to walk the U.S. Mail from Palm Beach to Miami and back, following a dangerous route over land and water. When Hamilton goes missing, it's up to Charlie and Lillie to find out what happened to the missing Barefoot Mailman.
When famous scientist Dr. George Livingston shows up in the steamy jungles of Florida, he makes teenage Charlie Pierce a very generous offer. He'll pay Charlie $5 a day to guide him and his young assistant deep into the Everglades in search of the rare ghost orchid. But it doesn't take long before the expedition discovers that the swamp is hiding much more than a rare flower as the oldest legends suddenly spring to life.
In the late 19th century, hunters killed millions of birds in the Florida Everglades to supply the booming trade in bird feathers for ladies' fashion. As teenagers, Charlie Pierce and his friends traveled deep into the unexplored Florida Everglades to hunt plume birds for their feathers. They never imagined the challenges they would encounter, what they would learn about themselves, and how they would contribute to American history.