American Beach, Florida

American Beach is a historic beach community located on Amelia Island in Nassau County on Florida's Northeast coast. The Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It commemorates the founding of the area in 1935 by Florida's first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis and his Afro-American Life Insurance Company. The area was a segregated area for black-only beach swimming that was designated during the Jim Crow era when African Americans were not allowed to swim at most beaches in the area. The area became less popular when the Civil Rights Act was passed. Then in 1977, A.L. Lewis' great-granddaughter MaVynee Betsch, also known as "The Beach Lady", returned to he area and began the fight to preserve American Beach and raise public awareness to the history of the black Americans movement. Several years before her death, she achieved her goal and the American Beach Historic District was added as a historic site by the National Register of Historic Places.