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

November 2010 Archives

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November 27, 2010

Casting a Wide Net; St. Augustine's Shrimping History Goes International

Posted by: Brendan Burke in LAMPosts

Dublin, Ireland. Location of the Oceans Past III conference, attended by LAMP's Brendan Burke.

St. Augustine’s shrimping heritage is not typically the topic of conversation in European universities, but last week it was part of a scholarly gathering within the stone walls of an ancient university in Dublin, Ireland. Trinity College, founded in 1592, hosted scholars from twenty one countries to share the results of their research on historic fisheries throughout the world. Read on for more information about the Oceans Past III Conference!

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11/27/2010 Event: Crew of HMS Falcon 18th Century Naval Reenactment

Posted by: Chuck Meide in Events, LAMP Events, LAMPosts


What: 18th century British Royal Navy reenactment
Who: The crew of HMS Falcon
When: Saturday, November 27th, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum

Come visit the Lighthouse on Saturday and enjoy the colorful characters of the crew of HMS Falcon, a local group of reenactors. They are a group of interpretive history volunteers reenacting mainly at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments in St. Augustine, Florida. They portray British sailors during the American War of Independence, during which time Florida was held by England, under the Treaty of Paris. They will be here all day long, singing chanteys and interpreting maritime history from a Royal Navy seaman's point of view.

Photograph of the Falcon crewmembers courtesy of monalisa1492.

November 17, 2010

Flintlock Pistol Discovery Gets More Press--with Video!

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts

LAMP Archaeological Conservator Starr Cox prepares a concretion for CAT scanning at the Flagler Hospital Imaging Center.

Our most recent discovery, that of a flintlock pistol from the 18th century Storm Wreck, generated a lot of attention in the local and regional media. This weekend, another story came out in the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville's newspaper. In addition to the print story, the Times-Union has put together a video which is available through the link above, or else by clicking below to see the rest of this blog entry.

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November 12, 2010

Privateer Lynx Arrives in St. Augstine

Posted by: Brendan Burke in LAMPosts, Shipping News


For 149 years no privateers attempted the St. Augustine Bar. Yesterday, that all changed. The Privateer Lynx, a topsail schooner, made her way safely through the inlet and secured her dock lines at St. Augustine Municipal Marina. Welcomed by a hearty throng of townspeople on land and by boat, the 122' tallship saluted the city with broadsides from its carronades. Cutting through the gunpowder smoke and cheers, she made her way into our city to call it home for the next three months. LAMP was on hand to greet our sailing friends and celebrate the occasion.

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November 9, 2010

Discovery of Flintlock Pistol in the News!

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts


We have gotten some great press lately regarding our recent discovery of a flintlock pistol from the Storm Wreck, discovered and excavated by LAMP archaeologists off St. Augustine. The wreck dates to the colonial era, to perhaps between 1740 and 1780, a period of time which spans both the First Spanish and British Periods of Florida's history.

The local newspaper, the St. Augustine Record, ran a story in this morning's paper, on the front page below the fold:

"We were yelling," said Chuck Meide, archaeological director for the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program. "It was one of those moments. A moment of discovery."

The discovery was a gentleman's pocket pistol concealed in a concretion, a concrete-like mass that forms around metal artifacts as they rust in the water.

"Our eyes were instantly drawn to (the pistol)," Meide said. The pistol was one of several items that ended "stuck" together. Other artifacts included a large iron spike, lots of small lead shot known as bird shot ("really, really tiny"), an iron hook, two ring-like objects and a disk of metal.

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November 8, 2010

Artifacts Hidden from the Naked Eye

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

Today is the 115th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays. It is only appropriate, therefore, that we share LAMP's most recent discoveries, which were made using the latest X-ray technology and the help of Flagler Hospital's Imaging Center. On October 25, LAMP archaeologists brought around 25 concretions recovered from the "Storm Wreck," a recently discovered 18th century shipwreck off St. Augustine. Hospital staff used a CAT scan to produce 3-D images of the objects hidden inside these iron concretions. The short video above shows two of the more exciting artifacts. First is the smallest of four cauldrons we have encountered on the wreck site. At 14 seconds into the video, the layer of encrustation covering the cauldron is stripped away by the imaging software, and you can make out details previously hidden, such as the shape of the handles on the rim, and the casting seams on the body. The next artifact is a 3-D image of a small flintlock pistol discovered in another concretion. This colonial firearm is small enough to conceal in a coat pocket, and would have been the last line of defense for a gentleman merchant or officer on board.

Stay tuned for more exciting historical discoveries!

November 4, 2010

Trawling through St. Augustine's History

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts


LAMP archaeologist Brendan Burke has just published an article on St. Augustine's shrimping and shrimp boat building heritage in Florida Scuba News:.

Plodding up and down the coast with their outstretched arms, the shrimp trawler has become a seaside icon throughout the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Painters, poets, writers, and musicians have recorded shrimp trawlers to feed our nostalgic interest in harvesting the sea, but little has been done to record the history of shrimping, the boats, and the families who built and operated them.

St. Augustine doesn’t claim to be the birthplace of modern shrimping. Fernandina, Florida, has that title, but for much of the 20th century St. Augustine was the shrimp boat capital of the country.

Click here to read the entire article at Florida Scuba News. Its a short piece and a great read, well worth it!

November 3, 2010

Job Announcement: Director of Education

Posted by: Chuck Meide in Education, Job Opportunities, LAMPosts

UPDATE: This position has been filled.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum (SALH) is seeking to fill the position of Director of Education. The ideal applicant will have experience in public archaeology and museum education, and will work with SALH staff and the Lighthouse's research institution, LAMP, to develop, manage, and implement educational programming based on ongoing maritime and archaeological research.

The position description, qualifications, requirements, and other pertinent information is posted below.

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11/03/2010 Lecture: "Harvesting the Wind at Sea"

Posted by: Chuck Meide in Events, LAMP Events, LAMPosts


Presentation Title: Harvesting the Wind at Sea: Evolution of Sailing Vessels from Ancient Seafaring to the Twentieth Century
Speaker: Dr. David Switzer, LAMP Research Associate and Professor Emeritus of History at Plymouth State University
When: Wednesday, November 3rd, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Where: Anastasia Galley (upstairs in Keepers' House), St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum

Free and open to the public!

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