15 May 2008

Walking in St Augustine (part Uno)

Ok, so this is just a handfull of pictures taken walking from the Oldest house (cheapest parking in town) to the next stop. Above is a view of the town square.
Marker on the St Francis Barracks near the Oldest House. Built around 1600, burned on Dec 15 1915, reconstructed 1922.
Headquarters of the Florida National Guard, on the Matanzas river down the street from the Oldest house.
Marker at the sea wall on the Matanzas river, near the FL Nat Guard. "The portion of the St Augustine sea wall extending from King street to the south end of Francis Barracks, was constructed during the period 1833 to 1844. The coquina wall with granite top served as protection for the homes and businesses ont he waterfront. Stone for the walls was quarried across the Matanzas River on Anastasia Island. The granite coping came from Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Together with the refurbishing of the Castillo de San Marcos, renamed Fort Moultrie by the Army, this project was an early example of the work assigned to graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the first engineering school in the United States. This was one of the earliest federally funded projects in the territory of Florida. The West Point graduates who designed and supervised the work were: 1st LT Stephen Tuttle (1797-1835; Class of 1820), 1st LT Francis L. Dancy (1806-1890; Class of 1826), 1st LT Henry W Benham (1818-1884 Class of 1837) and 1st LT Jeremy F. Gilmer (1818-1883; CLass of 1839)."
Showing the sea wall, Matanzas River, and the Lions Bridge in the distance. The following is from Wikipedia: "The Bridge of Lions is a bascule bridge that spans the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, Florida. It leads to Anastasia Island. Lions made of marble used to guard the bridge, built in 1926 and 1927 across Matanzas Bay. The lions were removed in February of 2005, and are expected to return about five years from that date. The Department of Transportation declared the bridge "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete" in 1999, prompting heated debates on what to do with the structure. A restoration plan was approved, but opponents continued to voice their opposition.
A new "temporary" bridge has been constructed adjacent to the original "bridge of lions", and as of May 18, 2006, traffic started using this temporary bridge while the original bridge is being rehabilitated and reconstructed to look like its predecessor.[1] After nearly 80 years of service, an official closing ceremony for the original Bridge of Lions was held on May 26, 2006.
Several components of the original bridge are either being rehabilitated or returned (as lost components) to the rehabilitated bridge. Primarily, the exterior or fascia steel girders are being rehabiliated along with the bascule tower piers. Once the rehabiliation of the original bridge is completed, at a total project cost of 77 million dollars, the temporary bridge will be removed and used as part of an artificial reef just offshore."
Marker at the "Slave Market". "From 1605 to 1765, There stood on this site a guardhouse and watchtower. Under British rule, it became the market and place of public auction ever since called the Slave Market."

The St Augustine War Memorial Marker at the Public Market Place. "The first public market was established in this plaza by Governor Mendez de Canzo in 1598. Here, for the first time a standard system of weights and measures was introduced in this country for the protection of the consumer. On this site a market for the sale of meats and produce was erected in 1824, and in use until 1878. This structure was rebuilt by the city in 1888 following a disastrous fire in this area April 11, 1887." Marker telling about Florida history. "Colonized by Spaniards, 1559. Site of first permanent settlement in US 1565. Acquired by US from Spain 1819. Admitted as 27th state 1845. Now nations fastest growing state. 1963 population 5,639,900. State song: "Old Folks at Home". State Bird: Mockingbird. State Tree: Sabal Palm. One of the world's great resort areas. 30,000 named lakes. 600 varieties of fish. Over 1,000 miles of sandy beaches. Site of famed Cape Kennedy moonport.Boasts versatile and expanding economy based on its factories, forests, farms, and mines. Manufacturing employment has doubled in last 10 years." Marker for Aviles Street. "In Spanish times this was the Street of the Royal Hospital. It was renamed in 1923 in honor of the birthplace of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, founder of St Augustine, FL." (See Mission Nombre de Dios post)Marker for Trinity Parish Episcopal Church. "The Church of England was established in Florida during the British occupation (1763-1783). The Reverend John Forbes held services first in the Spanish Bishop's House then on this site. Later, the ancient Spanish church a short distance south on ST George Street was renovated and renamed St Peters. There Anglican worship continued until the Spanish returned to Florida in 1784. Shortly after Florida became a US territory in 1821, the Reverend Andrew Fowler of Charleston, SC founded the Protestant Episcopal church in St Augustine and held first services in the Government house. The cornerstone of the original church, which forms the north transept of this building, was laid June 23, 1825. The church was enlarged to its present form in 1902." Last view of the town square for now, including the Trinity Churchin back. On the left is our next stop, in the town history museum.

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