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

March 2014 Archives

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March 27, 2014

X-rays reveal shipwrecked artifacts

An interesting artifact revealed by x-ray . . .

Tuesday, 25 March 2014, turned out to be a day of discoveries at the Lighthouse. In addition to the find of some old iron plates from the tower's upper structure buried in the courtyard (which will be featured in a subsequent blog post), we made some pretty cool discoveries at Monahan's, the local chiropractors' office. What were maritime archaeologists doing at the chiropractors? Not getting a back-cracking, but borrowing an x-ray machine! Each Tuesday we have scheduled with Monahan's to come for a visit to use their x-ray to scan a number of concreted artifacts from our 1782 Loyalist shipwreck, the Storm Wreck. What we saw on Tuesday was pretty darn cool. Join us below the fold for the full story . . .

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March 19, 2014


Posted by: Brendan Burke in LAMPosts

Since over two centuries have passed, I guess we can release this sensitive information. At one time it was top secret and valuable to the enemy. This information would have been onboard the ship that LAMP now calls the Storm Wreck. In 1782, when St. Augustine found itself as the recipient of thousands of Loyalist refugees, ships wrecked in our inlet attempting to get to safe harbor. Research continues through the winter, while we plan our dive season, and invariably we come across original documents mined from British and Scottish archives that tell amazing stories. We want to share one of these documents with you now. Fire two guns and show a green pennant at the mast head to keep reading...

Continue reading "TOP SECRET" »

March 17, 2014

3/18/2014: Lecture--How Greek Traditions Transformed St. Augustine's Waterfront

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

What: Lecture, "How Greek Traditions Transformed the Waterfront"
Who: Brendan Burke, LAMP Archaeologist
When: Tuesday March 18th, 2014, at 7 pm
Where: Flagler Room, Flagler College, 74 King Street, St. Augustine
How much: Free admission, seating is limited

LAMP's own Brendan Burke will be presenting the final of four lectures in the Historic St. Augustine Research Institute's series "St. Augustine's Forgotten People." Be sure to show up early, they fill the room and have to turn folks away.

March 16, 2014

3/17/2014 Radio Interview: Chuck Meide on Florida Frontiers

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMP Events, LAMPosts

When I was in Cocoa Beach on March 7th to speak to the Florida Historical Society about our excavations on the 1782 Loyalist shipwreck (the Storm Wreck), FHS Director Ben Brotemarkle asked if I could sit down for a brief interview for their radio show, Florida Frontiers. I talked about our excavations on the Storm Wreck, and also fielded some questions on our upcoming search for the lost French fleet of 1565, and the ongoing controversial new theory that Fort Caroline is actually located somewhere in Georgia, not in Jacksonville.

Tune in to Florida Frontiers this Monday, March 17, at 6:30 pm on 89.9 WJCT (the Jacksonville station). It can be heard in many other NPR stations across Florida as well (click the link to Florida Frontiers to see where else it is airing, or to hear it online).

LAMP Director disputes alternative location of Fort Caroline

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts

Last month,at a conference in Tallahassee, two researchers--Crowe and Spring--gave a public presentation to announce their theory that the 1565 French colony of La Caroline was not in present-day Jacksonville, Florida, but some 70 miles to the north near Darien, Georgia. The evidence they presented to support this alternate hypothesis was not convincing to many of the scholars present at the post-presentation debate, including LAMP Director Chuck Meide.

From the March 15 edition of Ancient City News:

St Augustine Lighthouse Archaeologist, Chuck Meide, told Historic City News that he traveled to Tallahassee recently to challenge claims by scholars, Fletcher Crowe and Anita Spring, that French-occupied Ft Caroline is not actually located near Jacksonville, as we have been led to believe, but rather located along the St Mary’s River in Georgia.

Academic scholars presented the findings they have developed during course of their research. Their theory is that Ft Caroline was some 70-miles north, but Meide says that there are a number of problems with the evidence that was presented at the conference.

“First of all, it is problematic to use 16th century maps to determine an exact geographical location with any precision; as they are notoriously inaccurate and often mistakes were copied and re-copied by cartographers who had never even visited the New World,” Meide explained. “For every map presented that seemed to show the River of May further north — we could find another in which it is depicted in the Jacksonville area.”

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March 11, 2014

The Controversy of Fort Caroline: A Timeline of Media Events - UPDATED

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts

The famous de Bry engraving depicting Fort Caroline, founded by the French Huguenots on the River of May at present-day Jacksonville, Florida. A recent theory of an alternate location for the fort (the Altamaha River in Georgia) has been met by skepticism from scholars but has attracted substantial media attention.

UPDATED 16 March 2014

When the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum hosted a recent French-themed Sea Your History event featuring a lecture by Dr. John de Bry and myself on the failed French colonization attempt in Florida and the lost Ribault fleet of 1565, we met a gentleman named Fletcher Crowe. He was friendly and related to me that at the upcoming Le Floride Française conference in Tallahassee he would be relating a history of Fort Caroline and the French settlement that was very different from the one we talked about. He certainly did. Newspaper headlines in late February reported breathlessly that scientists now believed Fort Caroline to be in the middle of Georgia, rather than Florida. LAMP and the Lighthouse immediately refuted this claim, which for many reasons is less than compelling, but it has still attracted widespread media attention. In this blog post I am summarizing and documenting some of the public statements and media stories made regarding this controversial and unproven new theory. To be clear, I am simply documenting how this story has been presented in the media, and not laying out an argument against the theory; but I will state explicitly that the ideas on the alternative location of Fort Caroline espoused by Crowe and Spring contradict decades of quality scholarship by archaeologists and historians regarding the settlement of Florida by the French and Spanish, and we find no merit in their claims.

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March 6, 2014

LAMP Boatworks 2014 Boat Drawing Winner!

Posted by: Dr. Sam Turner in LAMP Boatworks, LAMP Events, LAMPosts


This year’s lucky winner of the LAMP Boatworks 2014 wooden boat drawing is Dianne Bay of the Cape Canaveral area. Her lucky winning Ticket is No. 1030. Dianne has until March 31st, to claim her prize!

March 5, 2014

Old City Life Magazine Highlights the Blessing of the Fleet

Posted by: Brendan Burke in LAMPosts

Shrimp boats havent just been plying local ocean waters, but have been seen in local print as well. A couple St. Augustine publications have recently published articles on our shrimping and fishing heritage. Thanks to Lura Scarpetti and Douglas Jordan, and Shannon O'Neil for helping with edits and publishing. Click the links below to read on!

St. Augustine Beacon article about fishing in St. Augustine during the late 1800s.


Old City Life March 2014 article about the history of the Blessing of the Fleet in St. Augustine:


Old City Life January 2014 article about the Xynides family tradition of building shrimp boats:


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March 4, 2014

3/7/14: Lecture, "The Excavation of the Storm Wreck, a Loyalist Refugee Ship Lost During the American Revolution"

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMP Events, LAMPosts


What: Lecture "The Excavation of the Storm Wreck, a Loyalist Refugee Ship Lost During the American Revolution"
When: Friday March 7th at 7pm
Where: Library of Florida History, 435 Brevard Ave, Historic Cocoa Village
Who: Chuck Meide, LAMP Director

I will be presenting at the first event sponsored by the newly formed Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute in Cocoa Beach this Friday night. If you are in the area, come check it out! Click below to see other lectures they have scheduled for Archaeology Month!

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March 1, 2014

Lecture: The Recovery of a WWII bomber in Loch Ness

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMP Events, LAMPosts

What: Lecture, titled “The Loch Ness Wellington Bomber: The Story of the 1985 Recovery of a World War 2 Aircraft from Nessie's Water”

When: Tuesday, March 5th at 3:30

Where: Anastasia Island Branch Library

Who: Joseph "Zarr" W. Zarzynski, RPA (Register of Professional Archaeologists)

Zarr is a friend and colleague, a volunteer, and a big supporter of LAMP and the Lighthouse. On Tuesday, March 5th at 3:30 he is presenting a talk at the Anastasia Island Branch Library. Read more about it below the fold . .

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