St Augustine is so gorgeous. Just driving Hwy A1A was fun. Awesome architecture, beautiful colors, & the magnificent Atlantic. Anastasia State Park will be our home for a few days. It is lovely, quiet & private. Soo tempting to stay & enjoy the tranquility, but we do realize we must head to the city!
The lighthouse was our introduction to civilization & it was really fun. We spent nearly three hours there! St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a completely privately funded & volunteer manned organization! Hurray for the people! We did climb the 219 steps to the top & I can not imagine doing that every three hours carrying a 30 lb bucket of melted lard to keep those lamps burning!
We didn’t realize the stripe pattern & width as well as the light signal are unique to each lighthouse on the east coast! Ship captains could tell where they were by observing these differences. Guess those storms could blow a ship pretty far off course.
The commercial shrimp industry started right here with the Italian immigrant family of Mike Salvador in 1898. Move over Bubba Gump. Between 1943-1985 over 3000 shrimp boats were built in St Augustine.
Florida changed hands so many times in the 18 & 19th century, I really can’t keep it all straight. But…. The Treaty of Paris (7 yrs war) gave Florida to Great Britain. British loyalists began moving south because of encroachment by the Patriots. Spanish settlers relocated to Cuba & South Carolinians sailed down to Florida. Apparently, they had trouble navigating the waters; a great many ships went under. Sixteen went down in one storm! The Lighthouse Museum employs four divers & one archeologist. who are slowly bringing artifacts up from these boats & piecing together history.
Tomorrow we are going to the old part of St. Augustine & brush up on some more history. It will be interesting to learn the Spanish history of this area!