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David M. Tavernier’s career has been in banking, but history has been his avocation since he was a student at Florida Atlantic University. He resides in Aiken, South Carolina, with his wife, Patrice, and their four dogs.
Aiken was a small, relatively obscure southern town until the arrival of an aristocratic New Orleans family with strong societal ties. And it didn’t take long before there was a seasonal flood of winter visitors—with names like Hitchcock, Vanderbilt, Whitney, and Astor. This South Carolina town was drawing the country’s wealthiest and most powerful families, beginning in the 19th century and continuing on past World War II. Every fall they came by private railcar to play polo and golf, race thoroughbreds, and hunt fox. They held high tea, musicales, balls, and dinners, and every spring the “Winter Colony” migrated north again, leaving behind mansions and traditions that still resonate in Aiken 100 years later. Author David M. Tavernier has woven a fascinating collection of stories around the people and places of this era. Based on fact, fiction, and years of historical research, the stories of “the Newport of the South” are masterfully and vividly brought to life.