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City of St. Augustine, Florida
San Agustín
From top, left to right: Castillo de San Marcos with the Francis and Mary Usina (Vilano) Bridge in the back, Wachovia building, St. Augustine Light, Lightner Museum, Flagler College, Statue of Father Pedro Camps at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Gonzalez-Alvarez House
Nickname(s): Ancient City
Location in St. Johns County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 29°53′39.35″N 81°18′47.55″W / 29.8942639°N 81.3132083°W / 29.8942639; -81.3132083
Country  United States
State  Florida
County St Johns County Fl Seal.png St. Johns
Established 1565
 - Mayor Joseph L. Boles
 - City 10.7 sq mi (27.8 km2)
 - Land 2.4 sq mi (21.7 km2)
 - Water 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)  21.99%
Elevation 5 ft (1.52 m)
Population (2007)
 - City 12,284
 Density 1,384.9/sq mi (534.7/km2)
 Metro 1,277,997
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 904

St. Augustine is a city in Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States.[1] Founded in 1565, it is the oldest continuously occupied European established city, and the oldest port, in the continental United States.[2] St. Augustine lies in a region of Florida known as The First Coast, which extends from Amelia Island in the north, south to Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Palm Coast. According to the 2000 census, the city population was 11,592; in 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that its population had reached 12,157.[3] St. Augustine is the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.




Early exploration and attempts at settlement!

The vicinity of St. Augustine was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon who was then the governor of nearby Puerto Rico. Ponce de Leon claimed the region for the Spanish crown.[4] Prior to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565, several earlier failed attempts at European colonization in what is now Florida were made by both Spain and France. Amongst the Spanish attempts to settle the area was one by Tristán de Luna y Arellano in 1559 in the Pensacola area.

The French attempt at settlement of the area began in 1562 under the Protestant Norman navigator Jean Ribault and under the colonial organizer Protestant French Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. The expedition departed from France in February of 1562 with 150 colonists and after exploring the river San Juan (St. Johns River) in May of 1562, renamed it as May River (as this was the month when he found it), landing in the area and claimed it for France, then sailed north where they established a settlement in the May River and built its primary fortresses at Port Royal Sound and Parris Island (South Carolina) were they started to build a large citadel. By July 1562 Jean Ribault returned to France and René Goulaine de Laudonnière, who had been Ribault's second-in-command on the 1562 expedition organized a new colonial contingent of around 300 new settlers and soldiers including women and children for Florida.

After Ribault left, much of his settlers' stores were burned, and Captain Albert's heavy discipline led to the tiny group attempting to return to France. They built their own boat and set sail, without compass, across the Atlantic. The survivors were rescued by an English ship, and some eventually reached France.

Unfortunately for the French settlers, France and Spain had a highly competitive and even hostile relationship with one another at this time. As Protestants and Frenchmen they were seen by the Spanish as both heretics and national enemies trespassing on sovereign Spanish territory. Shortly after the departure of the 300 new French settlers, Hernando de Manrique de Rojas was given command of a Spanish force from Cuba and ordered to eliminate the French fort. He proceeded to destroy the fort, and took captive the one Frenchman who had remained with the local Native Americans in the region of the fort.

In 1564 Laudonniere received 50,000 crowns from Charles IX and returned to Florida with three ships and 300 Huguenot colonists.

At Parris Island, the French extensively expanded the original fort which was now named Fort Caroline or Fort de la Caroline (Jacksonville, Florida) atop St. Johns Bluff on June 22, 1564. The fort was named for the reigning French king, Charles IX. For just over a year, the French colony battled Spanish attempts at blockades and Spanish inspired Indian attacks, and hunger and mutiny. However, the heroic steadfastness of the Hugenot settlers at remaining and their own reprisal attacks on Spanish shipping only further incensed Spanish authorities.

To help the fledgling colony, Ribault had organized another relief effort larger than Laudonniere's which included a large fleet to break the Spanish blockade and support the French privateers as well as several hundred soldiers and settlers including women and children to make the French colony permanent. These reinforcement had arrived by August and Ribaul quickly started entrenching the French position by scattering colonists and soldiers throughout the colony including Coligny. By late August 1565, the new French colonists and soldiers had finished their re-fortification of Coligny.

Nonetheless, despite these needed reinforcement the Protestant French settlers in the colony including Coligny were doomed. Foreseeing the long-term challenge by the colony, as well as the growing attacks of Protestant privateers on Spanish shipping throughout the Caribbean, by 1563 the Spanish Crown had readied a Catholic Crusade to wipe out all Protestant settlements both French and English whether temporary fishing settlements or permanent colonies in Florida, the Carolinas and Virginia and throughout the Caribbean. By 1565, the Florida flotilla of ships and men was ready to sail under Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sailed on its campaign.[2] On August 28, just days after French completion of the expansion of the Coligny fortification, Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted the colony. He immediately bombarded the settlement and launched a quick seaborne attack. By September 8, 1565, Admiral Menéndez de Avilés had destroyed the French colony and driven the survivors upriver.

Founding of St. Augustine

Immediately recognizing the geographical importance of the area, Admiral Menéndez de Avilés proceeded to found a settlement in the old Timucua Indian village of Seloy.[5] In honor of his victory and his discovery of the area in the name of Spain, Menéndez named the new settlement after saint Augustine of Hippo, the patron saint of his home town of Avilés, Spain, calling the settlement San Agustín.

After Menéndez moved northward pursuing the fleeing French, he met and engaged a hastily reorganized French counter-offensive near St. Johns and suffered a check on his advance forcing him to retreat back to his newly founded settlement of St. Augustine. Ribault then prepared his own attack and pursued the Spanish with several of his ships and most of his troops, but he was surprised at sea by a violent storm lasting several days. Meanwhile in a bold stroke, Menéndez marched his forces overland, launching a surprise dawn attack on the Fort Caroline garrison which then numbered several hundred people. In the subsequent assault the Catholic Spanish forces carried out their orders killing both men and women and slaughtering the entire male garrison. The only survivors were about 50 women and children who had hidden in the cellars and were taken prisoner as well as a few defenders, including Laudonnière, who managed to escape. Admiral Menéndez de Avilés then followed up his slaughter when he ordered the imprisoned women and children executed by burning at the stake.

As for Ribault's fleet, all of the ships either sank or ran aground south of Coligny during the storm, and many of the French sailors and soldiers onboard were lost at sea. Those who did survive were slowly reorganized by Ribault who also began searching and rescuing any surviving French women and children near Coligny. Alone and marooned, the surviving French soldiers, sailors, and colonists were later located by Admiral Menéndez, who summoned them to surrender. Apparently believing that his people would be well treated, and/or unaware of the horror visiting upon the French colony at Fort Caroline, Ribault capitulated. Admiral Menéndez gathered Ribaults command and subsequently captured French men, women, and children near the Matanzas Inlet. There in a deep betrayal to his fellow Western Europeans and in a portent of future Catholic action in the wars of Religion to come he and his men executed Ribault and the several hundred surviving French Protestants as heretics. This atrocity completed the genocidal plans of the Catholic Spanish Crown, shocking Europeans even in that bloody era of religious strife, but in turn steeling Protestant crowns and nations such as England in the coming religious wars.[1] A fort built much later, Fort Matanzas, is in the vicinity of the site but all attempts to memorialize the event have met resistance. As a result of this massacre, and the subsequent massacre of Protestants by Catholics in France, the new Catholic French crown agreed with the Catholic Spanish crown in ending all of France's attempts at colonization of the Atlantic coast of North America.

The 1565 founding of San Agustín (St. Augustine) makes this city the first permanent European settlement in what was to later become the continental United States. In the following year of 1566 one Martín de Argüelles was born in San Agustín, making him the first child to be born in the continental United States recorded to be born of European parents. Although the French colonists included families who during the three years of French settlement undoubtedly bore children, owing to the ethnic cleansing by the Spanish, no record exists of the names of the children. Those who were born were either were murdered by the Catholic Spanish as heretics or died in the wilderness. Argüelles was born in San Agustín 21 years before the English settlement at Roanoke Island in Virginia Colony, and 42 years before the successful settlements of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Jamestown, Virginia. Additionally, the first recorded birth of a black child in the continental United States is recoded in the Cathedral Parish Archives as a child named Augustin, born in the year 1606 (there were probably earlier black births, but this is the oldest one for whom a written record has been found—thirteen years before the conventional wisdom says that black people first arrived in the English colonies at Jamestown in 1619). As a result of both the French and Spanish occupations and settlements in the area of present day St. Augustine, in all the territory under the jurisdiction of the United States, only European-established settlements in Puerto Rico are older than St. Augustine, with the oldest being Caparra, founded in 1508, whose inhabitants relocated and founded San Juan, in 1521.

Spanish rule

There were no permanent organized non-Spanish settlements in the Americas for several decades. St. Augustine remained the sole European settlement in the continental United States and a forward outpost guarding the Spanish Americas. Its importance to Spain in helping to crush any Protestant and non-Spanish settlements along the Atlantic coasts in turn caused it to be the focus of competing Protestant and European interests. Therefore, French and later English attacks were later made on St. Augustine which came to represent in the eyes of the Protestant countries the epitome of Catholic cruelty and ambition. Thus, first the Protestant French and later the English made attacks and even occupations of St. Augustine.

Following the destruction of the French Carolina colony, the French immediately launched reprisals. Although the Spanish destroyed Fort Caroline, they built their own fort on the same site. Realizing that St. Augustine was too close to Spanish reinforcements, the French first attempted to retake Fort Caroline. In April 1568, Dominique de Gourgues led a French force which attacked, captured and burned the fort. He then slaughtered all his Spanish prisoners in horrible revenge for the 1565 massacre.[1] However, the Spanish forces in Florida were superior and managed to drive the French naval expedition out of the area. The Spanish rebuilt, but permanently abandoned the fort the following year. Additional French expeditions were primarily raids and were unable to dislodge the Spanish from St. Augustine.

Map of St. Augustine depicting Sir Francis Drake's attack on the city by Baptista Boazio, 1589

The English also believed Admiral Avilés and the Catholic Spanish were responsible for the disappearance of the English fishing settlements in America which had been established by John Cabot. Thus, following the disappearance of the Roanoke colony in Virginia, the blame was immediately leveled at St. Augustine. Consequently, in 1586 St. Augustine is attacked and burned by English privateer Sir Francis Drake and the surviving Spanish settlers were driven into the wilderness. However, lacking sufficient forces or authority for permantely establishing a settlement, Drake left the area.

St. Augustine again became an epicenter of Catholic Spanish hatred toward the Protestant Reformation and in particular the English, during the Spanish-Indian Wars and French-Indian Wars. During those wars, St. Augustine was the scene of large Spanish fleets and armies, arms and logistics, intrigues and spies, as the Spanish crown used it in supporting American-Indian raids by the Seminoles and Slave Revolts which massacred English colonists in the Carolinas and Georgia as well using it as a base for navy and army expeditions into the British colonies. As a result, in 1668 it was attacked and plundered by English privateer Robert Searle who in reprisal for massacres in Georgia and South Carolina killed most of the inhabitants. Despite this setback, the Spanish managed to force the English Crown to relinquish his control of the area. As a result, the Spanish returned to St. Augustin in force, rebuilding and extensively expanding and strengthening its walls as well as settling larger numbers of colonies.

The hatred of the English Americans for St. Augustine only increased in the following years. The Spanish didn't have as many slaves in Florida as the English Americans had in their colonies (see Atlantic slave trade). Additionally, the Spanish were distinctive among the major European powers in being not above inciting slave revolts in their opponents colonies. As such, St. Augustine is accorded the first Underground Railroad end junction although in its instance and reflecting the political realities on the ground, it actually was located south of the United States. Here, all blacks who whether slave or free were given sanctuary, arms, and supplies if they would join the Catholic Church and swear allegiance to the king of Spain. As a result, the Spanish actively engaged in encouraging and helping slaves escape the British colonies, using covert Catholic missionaries in converting slaves and fomenting revolts, and in arming escaped slaves for raiding back into the English colonies and massacring the Protestant English colonials.

As tens turned into hundreds and then thousands over the years, the escaped American slaves were implaced, organized, armed, and supported by the Spanish crown in St. Augustin. By 1738, the armed escaped slave population had grown into a significant community in its own right. Segregating the former slaves into a particular quarter of St. Augustine, known as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or Fort Mose, the community served as the northern defense of the city.

To defend this forward base of attacks into America, the Spanish put wealth and power into the walls of St. Augustine which by the early 1700s had become one of the most powerful in the world and withstood every single attack. In 1702 and 1740 it was unsuccessfully attacked by British forces from their colonies in the Carolinas and Georgia. The largest and most successful of these was organized by Governor and General James Oglethorpe of Georgia who managed to break the Spanish-Seminole alliance when he gained the help of Ahaya the Cowkeeper, chief of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe.

In the subsequent campaign Oglethorp supported by several thousand colonial militia and British regulars along with Seminole warriors invaded Spanish Florida and conducted the Siege of St. Augustine during the War of Jenkin's Ear. During this siege the black community of St. Augustin proved its worth when during the siege it proved decisive in stopping the city's take-over by the British. The leader of Fort Mose during the battle was the infamous Capt. Francisco Menendez, who was born in Africa, twice escaped from slavery, and was responsible for massacring several hundred Protestant American men, women, and children in his raids. The Fort Mose site is now owned by the Florida Park Service, and recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

A fanciful depiction of St. Augustine in 1760, while under Spanish control

British rule

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and gave Florida and St. Augustine to the British, an acquisition the British had been unable to take by force and keep due to the strong force there. With the change of flags, almost all the Spaniards—and particularly the free blacks who might be returned to slavery under British rule—departed from St. Augustine.

One great development effort of the British period was the establishment in 1768 of New Smyrna, a colony of indentured servants from the Mediterranean, including Greeks, Italians, and primarily former residents of Minorca by Dr. Andrew Turnbull. The conditions at New Smyrna were abysmal, and the settlers rebelled, walking all the way to St. Augustine in 1777, where the governor gave them refuge. The story of the Minorcan colony (as the entire group came to be known) is told, fictionally, in the book Spanish Bayonet by Stephen Vincent Benet, a prominent descendant of one of the leading Minorcan families of St. Augustine. The Minorcans, whose story bears many historic similarities to the Cajun settlers of Louisiana, stayed on in St. Augustine through all the subsequent changes of flags, to become the venerable families of the community, marking it with language, culture, cuisine and customs.

Second Spanish rule

The Treaty of Paris in 1783, gave the American colonies north of Florida their independence, and ceded Florida to Spain in recognition of Spanish efforts on behalf of the American colonies during the war.

On 3 September of 1783, by Treaty of Paris, Britain also signed separate agreements with France and Spain, and (provisionally) with the Netherlands. In the treaty with Spain, the colonies of West Florida, captured by the Spanish, and East Florida were returned to Spain, as was the island of Minorca, while the Bahama Islands, Grenada and Montserrat, captured by the French and Spanish, were returned to Britain.

Florida was under Spanish control again from 1781 to 1821, but St. Augustin since 1784. During this time, Spain was being invaded by Napoleon between 1808 and 1814 and was struggling to retain its colonies, after loosing the best of its Armada (Spanish Navy). Florida no longer held its past importance to Spain. Nonetheless, its role as a refuge for anti-American communities and a base for launching raids into Protestant English speaking America, remained in sufficient strength to keep St. Augustin in the focus of new American leadership. Because it continued to serve for Seminole and Black attacks into America, St. Augustin and Florida was considered vital to its interests. In 1821, following various conflicts and covert action, the Adams-Onís Treaty peaceably turned the Spanish colonies in Florida and, with them, St. Augustine, over to the United States.

American Rule

Public Square, St. Augustine, ca. 1858

Florida was a United States territory until 1845 when it became a U.S. state. In 1861, the American Civil War began and Florida seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. Days before Florida seceded, state troops took the fort at St. Augustine from a small Union garrison (one soldier) on January 7, 1861. However, federal troops loyal to the United States government reoccupied the city on March 11, 1862 and remained in control throughout the four-year-long war. In 1865, Florida rejoined the United States.

Freed slaves in St. Augustine established the community of Lincolnville in 1866. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, because of its origin, because it contains the city's largest collection of Victorian architecture, and because it was the launching place for demonstrations that led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Spanish Colonial era buildings still existing in the city include the fortress Castillo de San Marcos. The fortress successfully repelled the British attacks of the 18th century, though it came under their control (and was renamed St. Mark's) as a result of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. When the Americans acquired it in 1821, they renamed it Fort Marion, after Francis Marion the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution. During the Seminole War of 1835-1842 the fort served as a prison for the Native American leader Osceola as well as Coacoochee (Wildcat) and the famous Black Seminole John Cavallo (John Horse) in 1837, and was occupied by Union troops during the American Civil War. After the Civil War it was used twice, in the 1870s and then again in the 1880s, to house first Plains Indians and then Apaches who were captured in the west. The daughter of Geronimo was born at what was then called Fort Marion, and she was named Marion—though she later chose to change that. The fort was used as a military prison during the Spanish-American War of 1898. It was finally removed from the Army's active duty rolls in 1900 after 205 years of service under five different flags. It then began a career as St. Augustine's leading tourist attraction. It is now run by the National Park Service, and called the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

From Flagler to the present

The Ponce De Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, about 1901

In the late 19th century the railroad came to town, and led by northeastern industrialist Henry Flagler, St. Augustine became a winter resort for the very wealthy. A number of mansions and palatial grand hotels of this era still exist, some converted to other use, such as housing parts of Flagler College and museums. Flagler went on to develop much more of Florida's east coast, including his Florida East Coast Railway which eventually reached Key West in 1912. Flagler had Albert Spalding design a baseball park in St. Augustine, and the waiters at his hotels, under the leadership of Frank P. Thompson, formed one of America's pioneer professional black baseball teams, the Ponce de Leon Giants. It later became the Cuban Giants, and one of the team members, Frank Grant, has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The hot and flavorful datil pepper was brought from Cuba to St. Augustine in the 1880s by jelly manufacturer S.B. Valls. It flourished in dooryard gardens, and became a distinctive element of local cuisine, particularly associated with the Minorcan families. Minorcan clam chowder, pilau (a rice dish), tomato-based hot sauce, Minorcan sausage, and datil pepper vinegar are some common uses. In the late 20th century a number of commercial manufacturers began presenting datil peppers to a national audience, and there is an annual Datil Pepper Festival.

In 1918 the Florida Baptist Academy moved from Jacksonville to St. Augustine, and became the Ancient City's first college. Over the years it was known as Florida Normal, then Florida Memorial College, before it moved to Miami in 1968, where it is now a university. It made a major impact on the community while it was here, providing cultural activities, job training and employment for the black community. During World War II it was chosen as the site for training the first blacks in the U. S. Signal Corps—that branch of the service's counterpart to the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Among its faculty members was Zora Neale Hurston, the famous black novelist and anthropologist. There is now a historic marker on the house where she lived at 791 West King Street (it was there that she completed work on her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road).

The city is a popular tourist attraction, for its Spanish Colonial buildings (though, in fact, many of them were built in the 1960s and 1970s in the era when the city celebrated its 400th birthday) as well as elite 19th century architecture. The city's historic center, anchored by St. George Street, was until recently a fascinating collection of Spanish colonial homes of all economic strata but in recent years it has been turned into a shopping strip for tourists. Much of the historic ambiance has been lost.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm, incorporated in 1908, is one of the oldest commercial tourist attractions in Florida, as is the Fountain of Youth, which dates from the same time period. In 1938 the world's first oceanarium (because the term was coined for it), Marineland, opened just south of St. Augustine, becoming one of Florida's first theme parks and setting the stage for the development of this industry in the following decades. The city is one terminus of the Old Spanish Trail, a promotional effort of the 1920s linking St. Augustine to San Diego, California with 3000 miles of roadways.

Civil rights movement

In addition to being a major tourist destination and oldest European-settled city in the continental United States, St. Augustine was also a pivotal site for the Civil Rights Movement in 1963[6] and 1964.[7]

Efforts by African Americans to integrate the public schools and public accommodations such as lunch counters were met with arrests and Ku Klux Klan violence. Non-violent protesters were arrested for participating in peaceful picket lines, sit-ins, and marches. Homes were firebombed, black leaders were assaulted and threatened with death, and fired from their jobs.[8]

In the spring of 1964, St. Augustine NAACP leader Dr. Robert Hayling asked the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and its leader Martin Luther King, Jr. for assistance. From May until July 1964 marches, sit-ins, and other forms of peaceful protest took place in St. Augustine.

Hundreds of black and white civil-rights supporters were arrested and the jails were filled to over-flowing. At the request of Dr. Hayling and Dr. King, white civil-rights supporters from the north, including students, clergy, and well-known public figures came to St. Augustine and were themselves arrested. The KKK responded with violent attacks that were widely reported in national and inter-national media. Popular revulsion against the Klan violence generated national sympathy for the black protesters and became a key factor in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[8]


In modern times, St. Augustine has mostly been spared the wrath of tropical cyclones. The only direct hit was Hurricane Dora, which came ashore just after midnight on September 10, 1964. Hurricane Donna in 1960, and unnamed hurricanes in 1944 and 1950 also affected the area.

Geography and climate

St. Augustine is located at 29°53′39″N 81°18′48″W / 29.89417°N 81.31333°W / 29.89417; -81.31333 (29.89785, -81.31151).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.7 square miles (27.8 km²), of which, 8.4 square miles (21.7 km²) of it is land and 2.4 square miles (6.1 km²) of it (21.99%) is water. Access to the Atlantic Ocean is via the St. Augustine Inlet of the Matanzas River.


As of the 2000 United States Census,[10] there were 9,592 people, 4,963 households, and 2,600 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,384.6 people per square mile (534.7/km²). There were 5,642 housing units at an average density of 673.9/sq mi (260.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.21% Caucasian, 15.07% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.11% of the population.

There were 4,963 households out of which 18.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the city the population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 15.3% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,358, and the median income for a family was $41,892. Males had a median income of $27,099 versus $25,121 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,225. About 9.8% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.



Interstate 95 is the only major highway through St. Augustine, however it doesn't pass close to the historic district. Instead, visitors must exit at SR 16 and travel about 5 miles east on that road to reach the historic district. Alternatively, visitors may take SR 207 until it intersects U.S. 1, following U.S. 1 to the historic district. U.S. Route 1 and SR A1A are the main roads into the historic district. U.S. Route 1, commonly called Ponce De Leon Blvd or simply U.S. 1, snugs the east side of town while a local road branches off of it and runs directly into the heart of the historic district and the Bridge of Lions. A1A intersects the local road a mile south from the north end of it. From there, the road is double signed as A1A/Business U.S. 1 and named San Marco Blvd until the Bridge of Lions where A1A crosses over to Anastasia Island. What Business U.S. 1 becomes after that is vague. Signs take it through the streets of the historic district where it is assumed to end back at U.S. 1, however signs don't show it going that far. SR 312 mainly serves the business district on the southern end of town, and is also an other connection to Anastasia Island. SR 207 lies just south of the historic district. SR 207 connects St. Augustine with the farming communities of Hastings and Palatka.


Bus service is operated by the Sunshine Bus Company. Buses operate mainly between shopping centers across town, but a few go to Hastings and Jacksonville, where one can connect to JTA for additional service across Jacksonville.


St. Augustine has one public airport 5 miles north of town. It has 5 runways (2 of them water for sea planes), and was once served by Skybus, however Skybus ceased operations as of April 4, 2008. Only private flights and tour helicopters use it today.

Points of interest

Flagler College
Lightner Museum and City Hall
The Avero House-a former shrine that doubled as a house of worship established by the ex-settlers of New Smyrna

Sister cities


Notable residents


Additional reading

  • Abbad y Lasierra, Iñigo, "Relación del descubrimiento, conquista y población de las provincias y costas de la Florida" - "Relación de La Florida" (1785); edición de Juan José Nieto Callén y José María Sánchez Molledo.
  • Colburn, David, Racial Change and Community Crisis: St. Augustine, Florida, 1877-1980 (1985), New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Deagan, Kathleen, Fort Mose: Colonial America's Black Fortress of Freedom (1995), Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  • Fairbanks, George R. (George Rainsford), History and antiquities of St. Augustine, Florida (1881), Jacksonville, Fla., H. Drew.
  • Gannon, Michael V., The Cross in the Sand: The Early Catholic Church in Florida 1513-1870 (1965), Gainesville: University Presses of Florida.
  • Graham, Thomas, The Awakening of St. Augustine, (1978), St. Augustine Historical Society
  • Harvey, Karen, America's First City, (1992), Lake Buena Vista, FL: Tailored Tours Publications.
  • Landers, Jane, Black Society in Spanish Florida (1999), Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Lyon, Eugene, The Enterprise of Florida, (1976), Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  • Manucy, Albert, Menendez, (1983), St. Augustine Historical Society.
  • Nolan, David, Fifty Feet in Paradise: The Booming of Florida, (1984), New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  • Nolan, David, The Houses of St. Augustine, (1995), Sarasota, Fla.: Pineapple Press.
  • Porter, Kenneth W., The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People, (1996), Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  • Reynolds, Charles B. (Charles Bingham), Old Saint Augustine, a story of three centuries, (1893), St. Augustine, Fla. E. H. Reynolds.
  • Torchia, Robert W., Lost Colony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930-1950, (2001), St. Augustine: The Lightner Museum.
  • United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1965. Law Enforcement: A Report on Equal Protection in the South. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
  • Warren, Dan R., If It Takes All Summer: Martin Luther King, the KKK, and States' Rights in St. Augustine, 1964, (2008), Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
  • Waterbury, Jean Parker (editor), The Oldest City, (1983), St. Augustine Historical Society.


  • Freedom Trail [1] information about the civil rights movement in St. Augustine and the Freedom Trail that marks its sites.
  • St. Augustine Pics Daily pictures of St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Twine Collection Over 100 images of the St. Augustine community of Lincolnville between 1922 and 1927. From the State Library & Archives of Florida.

External links

Government resources

Local news media


Higher education

Simple English

St. Augustine
Cathedral Square in St. Augustine
Location in St. Johns County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 29°53′39.35″N 81°18′47.55″W / 29.8942639°N 81.3132083°W / 29.8942639; -81.3132083
Country United States
State Florida
County St. Johns
Established 1565
 - Mayor Joseph L. Boles
 - Total 10.7 sq mi (27.8 km2)
 - Land 2.4 sq mi (21.7 km2)
 - Water 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)  21.99%
Elevation 5 ft (1.52 m)
Population (2004)
 - Total 12,157
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States begun by Europeans and filled with people since it was started. The admiral from Spain, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, started St. Augustine in 1565. There was fighting between England and Spain in 1586, 1702, and 1740 over the city. Spain won each time. In 1763, St. Augustine was given to the English as part of the Treaty of Paris which ended the French and Indian War. After the American colonies became independent from England, another Treaty of Paris, this one in 1783, returned the area to Spain. In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty gave all of Florida to the United States.

The largest sign of the years under Spain is the Castillo de San Marcos, a large masonry fort built between 1672 and 1695. This fort still stands.


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