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

November 2009 Archives

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November 25, 2009

America's First Thanksgiving -- in Our Nation's Oldest Port

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts


Forget cranberry sauce, Plymouth Rock, and pilgrims. Think olives, garbanzo beans, and Spanish soldiers and sailors and settlers. The first Thanksgiving in our country took place in September 1565, when famed Spanish mariner Pedro Menéndez de Avilés along with 800 Spanish settlers celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving to commemorate the successful sea voyage and founding of the town of St. Augustine, which would go on to be the first and longest-lasting port within the present-day United States. Occurring as it did so soon after trans-Atlantic landfall, this was a maritime Thanksgiving, with sailor's fare making up the bulk of the feast, probably along with native Timucuan food, which would likely have included oysters and fish. The local St. Augustine Timucua were known by the Spanish as the "Agua Salada," or Salt Water, Timucua, a testament to the maritime culture that existed in St. Augustine even prior to European colonization. As is often the norm, our country's history books and school rooms tend to forget our Spanish colonial and maritime roots, and we have ended up celebrating as our national holiday the Thanksgiving of the pilgrims which occurred some 56 years after St. Augustine's first Thanksgiving.

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November 14, 2009

11/13-14/09 Event: LAMP Boat on display at the Antique and Classic Boat Show, Jenson Beach

Event: LAMP Boatworks' Bevin's Skiff on dislplay at the Antique and Classic Boat Show
When: Friday November 13 to Saturday November 14, 2009, 10 am to 4 pm each day
Where: Maritime & Classic Boat Museum at Indian RiverSide Park, Jenson Beach, Florida

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11/14/09 Event: LAMP Boatworks and boat on display at the Pirate Gathering

Event: LAMP Boatbuilders and boat on display at the "Pirate Gathering" Festival
When: Saturday, November 14, 2009, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Francis Field, St. Augustine, Florida

11/14/09 Presentation: "Maritime Archaeology in the Nation's Oldest Port"

Presentation Title: Maritime Archaeology in the Nation's Oldest Port
Speaker: Brendan Burke, LAMP Archaeologist/Logistical Coordinator
When: Saturday November 14, 2:00 pm
Where: St. Augustine Beach Library

November 4, 2009

Boatbuilders at Work!

LAMP Boatworks volunteer boatbuilders using a planer to smooth the sides of a future keel piece.

Now that the oppressive heat of the summer has finally been replaced by cool fall weather, there has been a lot of activity at LAMP Boatworks lately. This volunteer program is dedicated to keeping alive the dying art of building traditional wooden boats. Right now our boatbuilders are in various stages of building four separate vessels. With this flurry of activity, I thought I'd share a few photos so everyone can see our boatbuilders at work.

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