Friday, July 24, 2009
St. Augustine, Florida
Old photo's from the "Oldest City". St. Augustine in Florida is the first permanent European settlement in the U.S. (These old poor quality photo's are from the dark ages, my honeymoon back in 1972, taken with a little Instamatic then scanned).
There is so much to see and do here in this beautiful city. Spanish influence is most apparent as you tour the city. Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon first came ashore here in 1513. Though the word here has broad meaning. The exact location really isn't known, but thought to be in this area. He didn't come with a mission to make a settlement, rather his mission was to explore. The area wasn't well thought of, poor land, infested with insects and alligators, humid uncomfortable weather and hurricanes. Ponce de Leon continued on to other places in his explorations.
French Huguenots attempted to colonize the area in 1562, unsuccessfully as they ran out of food and pulled out. The French tried again in 1564 with a larger more well equipment group that included women. Trouble between France and Spanish ensued. I could tell you more about how Menendez rooted out the Spanish, was imprisoned and.......but, instead let me suggest that you schedule a trip to this fascinating city and find out first hand.
A wonderful place for families with beaches to enjoy, parks for those traveling with pets, Lighthouses to explore, Missions, Museums, and lets not forget the Fort. Ft Mantanzas is a National Monument, all children love cannons. History truly comes alive in St. Augustine.
As we continued on up the coast we spotted Ponce de Leon Inlet Light. This lighthouse is 175 feet tall, the tallest in all of Florida. It's located between St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral Light. Though it's history began in 1835, that structure was in a slightly different location, and was burned down during one of The Seminole Wars. The newer structure was constructed in 1883 and in 1998 was noted as a National Historic Landmark.
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