Wednesday, November 28, 2007
St Augustine, FL
26 November 2007
Historically, St Augustine is best known as being the oldest European City in the New World. The city and surrounding country has seen centuries of conflict due to its important location. First visited in 1513 and settled as a Spanish settlement, it has gone thru two Spanish periods, a British period and finally absorbed by the United States after the Spanish were unable to entice Spanish settlers to colonize the area in 1821. During these years not only were there conflicts between nations, but the aggressive pirates and other criminal elements raided the area for profit.
Now the area is best known as tourist stop and growing population of those seeking the sun year around. This all started and was made possible by the interests of one man-Henry Flagler-who was an oil tycoon who made his fortune with his share of the Standard Oil Company. He not only opened St Augustine, but much of Florida to tourists from the north and provided many of the locals with work. His name is everywhere in St Augustine.
The big highlights of the area include the Spanish fort and the historic district with buildings that date from 1703 to 1898. Among then the oldest school house in the United States. I must say that the historic district is one giant tourist trap selling all the things you can buy in any tourist trap in America, but all the T-shirts say St Augustine.
Never the less, we enjoyed our day in the area. Certainly the weather was wonderful and walking the streets pleasant.