Today marks our last day of sightseeing on this trip. We took advantage of it to see St Augustine. First we visited the old jail, set up as it was in 1908.
Mark and Sheriff Joe Perry
One of the inmate trustees was admiring Mark’s hat a little too much! Mark wouldn’t trade it for something questionable in a canteen.
Inside the old prison that was still in use until 1953. There was no glass in the windows, no electricity, no plumbing other than a bucket in each cell.
Breakfast was grits, lunch was hardtack on the chain gang or boiled pinto beans in the jail, and dinner was boiled pinto beans. There was coffee at every meal to keep the prisoners awake and working
There were four bunks, but often eight prisoners in a cell. The cell was barely wide enough to stand in.
Prisoners were forced to watch every hanging.
In the meantime, Sheriff Joe Perry and his family lived in a house adjoined to the prison. The house and their food were free, plus he was paid to work at the prison. If he needed more money, he could rent out some of the prisoners for hard labor.
His wife had their first child three weeks after they moved into this house. Six years later, she had another. Both were girls.
The girls knew the prisoners were on the other side of the wall, and they said their prayers every night.
After the jailhouse tour, we toured another museum:
An early form of RV called a tin can.
Tin Can Tourists: Mark’s favorite display.
There were displays of things that have been brought up from various shipwrecks that have been located.
Then we hopped on a tour trolley.
We got off to walk the alley of colonial buildings.
I saw this woman walking down the alley and she saw me with my camera and posed.
A fountain in the Spanish style
Castillo De San Marcos
One of the turrets of the fort
Then we ducked into the Pirate and Treasure Museum.
Because Spain and England both wanted sole ownership of America, the governments originally hired crews to pirate the other country’s ships. At some point, the pirates began working for themselves.
The original Jolly Roger from 1850
World’s oldest surviving pirate chest — four hundred years old!
When we came out of the pirate museum, we caught the trolley for the rest of the tour.
A man named Flagler wanted to build a ritzy hotel in St Augustine, but he wanted a piece of property on which a church stood. He kept asking them to sell it to him and they wouldn’t, until he built them a beautiful new church elsewhere. Then he built his hotel.
Soon other churches were asking him to build churches for them.
Window from one of the churches
Memorial Presbyterian Church, built by Flagler
A window from the Presbyterian church
Turns out Spanish moss is neither Spanish nor moss. It’s an air plant!
This hotel was built by a competitor, but he could only furnish five of the rooms because he tried to ship furniture from New York on the train. Flagler owned the train company and the competitor’s furniture never arrived. He went bankrupt and Flagler bought his hotel for cents on the dollar.
This is one of the two church Martin Luther Kings march started from.
Flagler’s Hotel has become Flagler College.
Several sailing ship replicas that are used for tours.
The striped lighthouse
Another view of the Castillo De San Marcos
A really tall golden cross
This tree is called the Senator because it was big enough that the whole town could gather under its shade for meetings. There is a palm tree growing from its heart. I think the guide said it is about four hundred years old.
We got off the trolley again at the entrance to the Fountain of Youth.
Mark and Ponce de Leon
There were all different kinds of peacocks walking around the grounds. This was my favorite.
We went into the spring house. They actually know from Ponce de Leon’s charts that this is where he declared the Fountain of Youth to be.
There is an actual bubbling fountain coming up inside the spring house. We got to have a drink of the water from the Fountain of Youth.
Do we look any younger?
There was a globe presentation. Did you know Columbus actually sailed to the New World twice? And that he brought Ponce de Leon with him the second time?
There was a cannon demonstration
It was pretty loud!
One of the tour schooners sailed by.
We had to exit through the gift shop.
This is for you, Delores!
We walked back to our truck because the trolleys weren’t running any more, but the Fountain of Youth entrance was right next to the old jail where we started.
On our way back we stopped for dinner and talked about all the places we’ve seen on this trip. It’s hard to believe the trip is almost over!
As we were wending our way through the jungle on our way home, we caught an armadillo in our headlights.