A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

February 2008 Archives

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February 19, 2008

MARC High School Students Dive on Historic Shipwreck in America's Oldest Port

Menendez High School student Ricky Stratton makes a giant stride entry as LAMP intern Lindsay Jones, fellow student David Pouliotte, and Menendez High teacher Ken Jones look on.

One of LAMP's more exciting educational activities is the MARC program. MARC=Maritime Archaeology Research Class. Founded in 2000, LAMP's high school program was initiated at Nease High School, and later moved to Pedro Menendez High School just south of St. Augustine. With the inception of LAMP's First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project (FCMAP), the MARC program was reorganized and expanded. Starting last September, the students enrolled in this class interact with archaeologists five times a week, including 2 hours of pool training for each student every week for NAUI scuba diver certification. Through our FCMAP grant, 10 new sets of dive gear were purchased so that these students can dive with LAMP archaeologists first as student divers and later as project volunteers. Last week, our first class of student archaeologists "graduated" by conducting their final two checkout dives on a historic shipwreck offshore St. Augustine.

Continue reading "MARC High School Students Dive on Historic Shipwreck in America's Oldest Port" »

Can You Help Grow our Community Service at the Lighthouse and LAMP?

The Lighthouse would love to have you as a member of our Founding Lights Family. You can make a difference.

It takes a great many of us working together to keep the Light Station strong. It takes all our support to keep the lighthouse preserve and programs going.

Today, we are about $25,000 short of having $350,000 dollars in our small, but growing endowment fund. Why is $350,000 the magic number? Well, when we hit $350,000, then we can apply for another $250,000 from the State of Florida. And that will help us a great deal. It makes us more secure, more stable in a world where changes happen and surprises hit us with new things to repair. It makes us more able to continue wonderful community services like those so many enjoy.

Our Founding Lights Campaign helps preserve and keep alive our story for generations. Fifty percent of every Founding Lights pledge becomes part of the endowment. This money is not ever spent, but and stablity and generates interest that supports programs and our restoration efforts. The remaining funds are put to good use right away.

Won't you help protect the lighthouse? Won't you help save our maritime heritage?

Please join us as a Founding Light!

The Levels Founding Lights: $1,000 per year for five years - Leadership level Legacy Circle: $500 per year for five years - Recognition in a special annual ceremony here and up. Heritage Club: $250 per year for five years Guardians: $100 per year for five years
Find a Pledge Form at this link: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.com/foundinglights.php.

Or call us here at the Lighthouse 904 829-0745.

Kathy Fleming
Executive Director

February 11, 2008

Getting Away Can Pay - Strategic Planning with the Florida Attractions Association

Posted by: Rick Cain in From the Lens Room

I recently attended a two-day strategic planning retreat for the Florida Attractions Association. It was held at the Future Farmers of America Leadership Training Center on Lake Hatchineha, Florida, just southwest of Orlando. This site is rented by many companies for staff training and really showcases some of the natural beauty of Florida. The planning session was facilitated by a very competent Disney staff person specializing in organizational development. We got so much accomplished in a short time that it reinforced for me the importance of getting away from the office periodically to an enviornment where you can focus on the task at hand without interruptions.

Sunset on the lake 1
Sunset on the lake helped everyone relax before dinner the first evening.

Continue reading "Getting Away Can Pay - Strategic Planning with the Florida Attractions Association" »

February 7, 2008

Searching for Shipwrecks in Salt Run

LAMP's newest intern archaeologist, Lindsay Jones, skippers the Indy during today's diving operation.

Finding shipwrecks is not easy. Finding them in Salt Run is particularly challenging. Today's dive objectives were located within the main channel, which even on a February weekday afternoon saw pretty heavy recreational boat traffic. Then there was the 57 degree water, almost non-existent visibility, and of course the tidal currents . . .

Continue reading "Searching for Shipwrecks in Salt Run" »

Great Read!

Posted by: Kathy Fleming in LAMPosts, Marketing, Speaking Directly

I just finished a great book by James W. Raab called, Spain, Britian and the American Revolution in Florida, 1763-1783. It is a really fabulous volumne that sets the "Spanish, British, and back again, transition in the nation's oldest port city in context of the American Revolution. A period of tremendous interest if St. Augustine can claim it's rightful place as part of the true, American story. The book brings to life the facts and texture of the period.

Here is an excerpt from a section on the contruction of the "Kings Hwy" which was being built during the winter of 1774-75.....the road extended from Cowford down along the St. Johns River to the River called St. Mary's.

"It measured 16 feet across with ditches and pine logs laide cross wise in the wet portions forming causeways through the swamps, and crypress bridges across the numerous creeks and streams. The traveler on foot, on horseback or with a wagon could traverse British East Florida from the vincinty of the Beacon at Mosquito Inlet (Ponce Inlet lighthouse), New Symrna to the capital, St. Augustine, and continuing northward to the ferry house at Cowford, across the St. Johns River.....The Rev. John Forbes praised the road, naming it the "King's Hightway." The colony was no longer dependent on the Atlantic Ocean for it's existence, provisions and egress.." (Raab, 2008, pp 58-59)

According the Raab, the Paton, Leslie Company established trading posts on plantations and in other areas outside the walled colony during this period of intense groth. They exported " naval stores, lumber, pelts, and imported cloths, coarse linens from (See other LAMP Blogs about the maritime culture in Ireland) sugar, salt and other commodities." (2008, p. 59).

IThe book really does include maritime history, sea battles and other items, such as the migrations into the Carolina's down the Pennsylvania Wagon Road, as it sets our local history in context.

Another excerpt. "In 1775 Moses Kirland, a British informer from South Carolina, sailed to Boston to report on conditions in the Carolinas. He was captured not far from his destination by a Continental schooner. Because he was carrying charts of Charleston and its harbor, he landed in a Philadelphia prison - but not for long. Escaping jail in the spring of 1776, he returned to East Florida, where he was appointed a deputy in the district of the Seminole and Creek Indians. In March 1778, the determined Kirkland set sail from St. Augustine for Philadelphia to submit a plan for the invasion of Georgia and South Carolina......this time Kirkland...completed his assignment...In November, two detachments were sent from St. Augustine by General Prevost..." (p. 113).

This is all part of the true picture of life in this area during the American Revolution. The book is available from Amazon and is published by McFarland. It may be available as well in local museum stores. I'd check locally first!! We don't yet have it at the Lighthouse.

Great read!