19 May 2008

Walking in St Augustine (part deux)

Ok, this is everything from the town gate, back to the Flagler college area, my next major stop. This cemetary seen above was started during a yellow fever epidemic in 1821, as detailed in the marker below. A nearby sign says "Before Florida became a US territory in 1821 this land was owned by the Spanish government. In 1807 parcels of land north of the city gate and east of the San Sebastian River were conditionally granted to people interested in farming outside the city gate. Governor Enrique White initiated this action as a defense measure requiring that the land be cleared and low lying crops grown. the defense perimeter extended 1,500 yards from the Castillo de San Marcos. Each grantee was allowed one small thatched palm shack but had no claim for damages if his property had to be burned for military necessity. This land was first granted to Jose Barrera who transferred it to Lorenzo Capella in 1819."

This fountain, called the Fuenta de los Canos de San Francisco, has a sign nearby that says "The set of masks that decorate ths fountain was a gift to the city of St Augustine by its sister city in Spain, the city of Aviles, birthplace of Pedro Menendez, founder of St Augustine in 1565. Presented in 2005 to the people of St Augustine by the mayor of Aviles, the Hon. Santiago Rodriguez Vega, the masks form part of the historic and cultural munuments that occupy the grounds of the Visitor Information Center. The masks are reproductions of the six faces that serve as water spouts for the municipal fountain or canos in the San Francisco neighborhood of Aviles. Constructed in the late sixteenth century as part of a public works project channeling water to Aviles, the Canos de San Francisco is one of that city's most renowned historic landmarks. Since the early twentieth century, St Augustine and Aviles have maintained close ties, exchanging gifts and visits by citizens, public officials and students. In the 1920s, Aviles gave St Augustine the casket and burial headboard of Pedro Menendez and in 1972 a statue of the founder, which since then has stood before the front entrance to city hall. In 1997, At Augustine donated the anchor of the seventeenth century Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Senora de Atocha, to the Anchor Museum Philippe Cousteau, on the Asturian Coast near Aviles."

"For three hundred years up to 1885, this street then called Tolomato, was the west boundary of St Augustine protected by seven redoubts. On this site stood El Rosario built of stone defending the governor's residence."
Monument to William Loring, whose gravestone below reads "William Wing Loring. Hero of four wars, fought under three flags, traveller, author. Born in Wilmington, New Hanover Co, North Carolina Dec 4 1818. Became a resident of Florida in 1823, volunteer in Seminole Indian War in 1831, Second Lieutenant Florida Volunteers June 16 1837, Representative in Florida Legislature 1842-1845, admitted to the bar in 1942. United States Flag: Volunteered in US Army in 1842, Captain of mounted riflemen in 1842, lost left arm in battle at Mexico City in 1847, LT Col mounted rifleman mar 15 1848, Commander Department of Oregon in 1849, escort of six hundred mule teams across western plains in 1849, Commander department of Rio Grande in 1851, Colonel in 1856, toured the old world in 1859-1860. Confederate States Flag: Brigadier General may 20 1861, Major General 1862, Banker in New York City 1866-1869. Egyptian Flag: Grand Commander, the Osmantli, by the Khedive of Egypt in 1869, Brigadier General Lewan Pacha in 1869, Inspector General 1870, Commander in chief of army and navy 1870, Fereek Pacha, highest military grade in Egypt and Turkey dec 1 1875, Grand Officer the Medjidieh 1875. Author of book on Egypt in 1884. Died in New York City december 30 1886. Buried at St Augustine, Florida March 18 1887. Tablet placed at his grave, by the Florida State Museum May 5 1920."

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