Thursday, March 20, 2014

North East Florida Coast 2/23/14 - 3/1/14

Before heading north we spent a few days on the East Coast of Florida.  St. Augustine, FL is always a favorite stop for us.  St. Augustine, FL, founded in September 1565, is the oldest city in the Continental US. The city is full of so much history, good food and neat old buildings. This short trip we enjoyed our stay at St. Augustine State Park with its beautiful beach, cardinals and various other treats right in our campsite. Having been to Castillo De San Marcos fort on a previous St. Augustine trip, this trip we headed to a less visited fort, Fort Matanzas which is a short ferry ride out to visit, located on Rattlesnake Island.  This fort was established to guard against British invasion from the southern river entrance into St. Augustine.  Construction began in 1740 and was completed in 1742.  The fort is built from coquina, a common shell stone building material used during this time.  The fort was used for approximately 40 years.

We also spent a couple of days near Ormond Beach, FL.  At Ormond Beach we visited the Casements.  The Casements was the winter home for John D. Rockefeller.  The mansion was built in 1910 and purchased by Rockefeller in 1918.  He was 78 years old when he moved in.  John D. Rockefeller was known in the area for his elaborate Christmas parties and also the dime that he gave to most he came across along with a short poem he was thought to have written. 

I was early taught to work as well as play; My life has been one long, happy holiday--Full of work and full of play--I dropped the worry on the way, And God was good to me every day.

It is in this home that he died in 1937.  On the third floor of the house we also visited a Hungarian folk art museum, small yet interesting as well as one of the world's largest Boy Scout memorabilia museums.  This museum originated as an Eagle Scout project for John Slaughter in 1980.  It is quite extensive and we bet he had no idea when he started just how much memorabilia others would send him!  It is truly a feel good story.

While in this area we also visited the Halifax museum which is housed in the 1910 Merchants Bank building.  It is a small collection but contains an interesting display of local treasures. 

 St. Augustine State Beach
Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine
Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine
Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine
John D. Rockefeller winter home
1948 Handmade Long Board, made of Birchwood
Halifax Museum


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