Tag Archives: Museum

December 4: Luminary Night welcomes the community to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum during the holiday season

Luminary Night is an annual tradition hosted by the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, the Museum grounds will open for an evening community celebration for all ages.

More than 2,000 luminaries are displayed throughout the grounds and on the streets surrounding this historic landmark, creating a magical holiday experience. Lights and holiday décor also adorn the 1876 Keepers’ House and other historic buildings on the property. In addition, 14 Christmas trees are decorated in different themes, with the Nautical tree in the upstairs gallery of the Keepers’ House featuring nautical-themed ornaments donated by people all over the country.

For a special treat, guests can climb the tower for sparkling views of Nights of Lights from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The event also features visits and photos with Santa, children’s activities and holiday crafts, yuletide refreshments and live performances by community groups. In addition, photo opportunities will be available with characters from Costumers With a Cause throughout the evening.

Holiday performances will be performed by the St. Augustine Youth Chorus, St. Johns County Center for the Arts Chorus and Guitar Ensemble, the Limelight Theatre Show Choir, the Heather Loveland Dance Academy, and the Glad Melody Gang.

St. Augustine Seafood Company will present a check to the Museum at 7 p.m. during the event, with funds raised from the sale of Lighthouse Lemonade.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support of St. Augustine Seafood Company,” said Museum Executive Director Kathy Fleming. “We appreciate this important partnership as we continue to preserve maritime history and keep the light shining.”

The winner of the Heritage Boatworks drawing for the handcrafted Penobscot 13 will take place at 8:30 p.m. during the event.

Luminary Night is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of non-perishable food items which will be donated to St. Francis Housing Crisis Center and Port in the Storm Homeless Youth Center.

Holiday-themed refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the evening. All monetary proceeds will continue the work of the nonprofit Museum’s mission.

For more details about the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, visit staugustinelighthouse.org or call 904-829-0745. Stay updated on social media at facebook.com/staugustinelighthouse, Instagram.com/stauglighthouse, and twitter.com/firstlighthouse.

 

ABOUT THE ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MARITIME MUSEUM:

A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for 145 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest Port®. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port® as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. (StAugustineLighthouse.org)

 

About the American Alliance of Museums:

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. As the ultimate mark of distinction in the museum field, accreditation signifies excellence and credibility. Accreditation helps to ensure the integrity and accessibility of museum collections, and reinforces the education and public service roles of museums and promote good governance practices and ethical behavior. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. (www.aam-us.org).

 

 

 

Veterans Receive Free Admission on Veterans Day

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will offer FREE admission for US Military Veterans on Veterans Day; Monday, November 11. Museum hours are 9 AM to 6 PM.

Immediate family members of Veterans will receive 10 percent off admission. Free admission is also available for active military and their immediate family on Veterans Day and all year long.

St. Johns County Residents pay once and can visit for a full calendar year, or can join us as a Museum Member for even deeper discounts around town, in the gift shop, and at other attractions in Florida.

 MUSEUM ACTIVITIES

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a nonprofit, mission-centered museum that loves to tell stories about the sea and conducts underwater research through the Lighthouse Archaeology Maritime Program (LAMP).

Guests can step up 219 steps to the top of the 165-foot tower for a breathtaking view of historic downtown St. Augustine and the beaches. But there is much more to do after the climb. Visitors can also discover St. Augustine’s rich maritime heritage on site. Take a walk through the maritime hammock through nature trails. Explore exhibits in the restored 1876 Keepers’ House and discover shipwreck finds made in local waters by our scientists.

The Light Station was a defensive post in WWII, and half the site is restored to that era. Visit WWII US Coast Guard Coastal Lookout Building, where Coasties lived and stood watch atop the tower, marking each ship’s location and keeping a watchful eye out for German U-boats.

The Museum has received a small matching grant from the State of Florida Division of Historical Resources to create an exhibition that tells the story of the war through local eyes. We are accepting donations to help the exhibit and preservation of our WWII site. The WWII theme continues in the Jeep Maintenance Garage, which houses the Tin Pickle Café.

 

 EXHIBITS TO SEE AFTER THE CLIMB

  • Wrecked! The Story of a Revolutionary War Shipwreck – Artifacts and archaeological exhibits are on view in part of the Keepers’ House. These include Redcoat buttons, personal items and the second oldest British carronade discovered in the world, according to the Tower of London.
  • At Home with the Harns: In a Post-Civil War Household – tells the story of William and Kate Harn and their large family in the years after he retired as a Brevet Major in the Union Army. Harn was the lighthouse keeper for two decades.
  • Legends of the Light: Seaside Stories from the Past, is housed throughout the tower and in the Maritime Archaeology Center. Learn fun stories of ships, lighthouses and keepers. Play in the miniature lighthouse. See a View from the Top video in the Lastinger Family Gallery.
  • Art from the Collection of the US Coast Guard, in the WWII Coastal Lookout Building. See the service provided to America by our beloved coastal guardians told through veterans’ paintings.
  • Heritage Boatworks: Building on Florida’s Maritime Heritage Northeast Florida, outside in the Maritime Heritage Park. Museum volunteers build boats from archival plans.
  • Shrimping: Foundation of a Global Enterprise – Augustine families changed the foodways of the world through the local fishing and boat building industry. See their story in the Anastasia Gallery.

OTHER THINGS TO DO

 Nation’s Oldest Port Demos: Every 30 minutes on the hour from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM

  • Maritime Hammock Nature Trails & Scavenger Hunt
  • The Charles G Cox Archaeology Lab, PGA Viewing Area lets you interact with shipwreck conservators at work.
  • The Lastinger Family Shipyard Playground, and the Wiles Family Hands-on Children’s Activity Area.

Hours are 9 AM to 6 PM daily. Regular admission is $12.95 for adults; $10.95 for seniors and children under 12; free for children less than 44 inches tall; and discounts for St. Johns County residents.

For more details about the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, visit staugustinelighthouse.org or call 904-829-0745. Stay updated on social media at facebook.com/staugustinelighthouse, Instagram.com/stauglighthouse, and twitter.com/firstlighthouse.

 

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum celebrates the 145th Anniversary of the Historic Tower

St. Johns County residents receive free admission on October 15 with code JSL

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum celebrates 145 years of maritime history in the current historic, lighthouse tower. The second lighthouse at St. Augustine was built from 1871 to 1874 and topped by the first-order Fresnel lens from Paris, France. The first lighting was by Keeper William Russell on October 15, 1874.

“The tower stands testament to a maritime heritage that is one of the foundations of our community. Our lovely light is a symbol of safety, security, and community service, the front porch light for our community, one that has seen the likes of Henry Flagler, the development of the Alcazar Hotel, the Spanish American War, the building of the Bridge of Lines, two world wars, and the development of a modern, shrimping fleet that literally changed the foodways of the United States. It is right that we should celebrate its anniversary,” said Kathy A. Fleming, the Museum’s Executive Director since 1994. 

The oldest brick structure in St. Augustine, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the St. Augustine Lighthouse beacon is a private, but active aid-to-navigation, with the original lens shining kept shining through the efforts of the Museum’s staff and corps of 270 volunteers. 

The tower and lens were saved by the Junior Service League of St. Augustine (JSL) between 1980 and 1998, when a separate community-based Board of Trustees took control of the Museum. The 1876 Keepers’ House burned in 1970 and was threatened with demolition. Initially, 16 women in the JSL stepped in to accept ownership from the County of St. Johns, turning back the bulldozers and restoring the house. They opened it as a maritime museum, with an idea of helping others.

“Sherry Butler Bowen was one of the women with that earliest vision,” said Fleming. “She was followed by countless others in our community who keep the torch alight.”

In 1991, Margaret McClure Van Ormer approached the United States Coast Guard about acquiring the historic lighthouse tower; the Coast Guard agreed, and at Margaret’s suggestion, they agreed to paint it first.

In 1993, the JSL celebrated the completion of the restoration project with the first Community Day, including the relighting of the original Fresnel lens and fireworks. The event garnered 5,000 visitors and drew national attention with CNN covering what was then the first restoration of a Fresnel lens in the world.

145th CELEBRATION EVENT

To mark the 145th anniversary, the Museum will celebrate with the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. St. Johns County Residents are free that day if they mention the passcode “JSL.” 

Then from 6 pm to 8 pm on October 15, the Museum will hold its Annual Meeting of the Members, which will feature a birthday cake. The speaker will be Executive Director and JSL Active Sustainer, Kathy Fleming, who will share some lighthouse stories.

There will be a recognition for Architect Ken Smith (Kenneth Smith Architects of Jacksonville). Smith oversaw the restoration of the tower working with then Museum director, the late Cullen Chambers. Smith has continued to oversee preservation efforts at the historic light tower ever since.

The Junior Service League of St. Augustine, Inc. and the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum are being honored by receipt of the Herschel Shepherd Award, by the St. Augustine Society on October 2 in an event organized by the Historical Society. 

HISTORY

1871

When it became evident that the first St. Augustine Lighthouse (called the Old Spanish Watchtower) was doomed to fall into the ocean, the U.S. Congress appropriated $100,000 funding for a new tower. The U.S. Lighthouse Service began construction on a new 165-foot lighthouse in 1871 and it was completed in 1874. Local African Americans and Lighthouse Service Professionals worked together on site. 

More than 1 million bricks came by boat from Alabama, along with granite from Georgia, and steel from Pennsylvania. Supporting the lighthouse is a poured concrete foundation that begins 8 feet below grade, and rests on a naturally-formed coquina shell-rock underpinning. A concrete and masonry base of 10 feet 9 inches rests atop the foundation. Wall thickness is 5 ft 8 inches at the base of the 165-foot-tall tower (a masonry, truncated cone).

1874

On October 15, 1874, lighthouse keeper William Russell lit the oil lamp inside the new, first-order Fresnel lens for the first time. He most likely walked to the tower from his residence at the old St. Augustine Light Station, upon which the sea was rapidly encroaching. The lens is 9-feet tall, and Russell would have had to climb inside it to light the lamps.

The jewel-like lens was handcrafted just for St. Augustine in Paris, France by the company of Sauter & Lemonier. It represented the height of Victorian engineering and technology and cast its beam much farther out to sea than its predecessor. The new light demonstrated three fixed-flashes, from three bulls-eye panels that could be seen from up to 24 nautical miles depending on atmospheric conditions. Fueled by lard oil, and then kerosene the first light would have given a glowing, yellow-hued light. 

On February 28, 1889, The Saint Augustine Weekly News described the lens in the following manner, “The lamp was a brass cylinder of 10 gallons capacity. Inside it has a heavyweight, which governs the flow of oil to the burner. The burner has five wicks in concentric circles…The globe is a huge case of glass, which revolves around the lamp every 9 minutes. It makes a flash every three minutes when a big bulls-eye lines up between the lamp and the human eye. The cage weighs two tons.”

In 1955 the light was automated by an astronomical clock, automatic lamp (light bulb) changer and backup generator. The night mark changed at this time as well. Today an electric motor controls rotation speed, and one fixed white flash, every 30 seconds, shines across our home town. 

The Museum provides a host of services including donations of more than $300,000 annually in goods and services to other nonprofits. The team preserves six historic buildings and holds over 19,000 artifacts in trust for future generations. Educational Programs, Maritime Archaeological Research, Heritage Boat Building, and an active volunteer program of 300+ volunteers help build wellness, job experiences for young people, and civic engagement. 

For more details about the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, visit staugustinelighthouse.org or call 904-829-0745. Stay updated on social media at facebook.com/staugustinelighthouse, Instagram.com/stauglighthouse and twitter.com/firstlighthouse


ABOUT THE ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MARITIME MUSEUM:

A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for 145 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest Port®. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port® as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. (StAugustineLighthouse.org)

About the American Alliance of Museums:

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. (www.aam-us.org)

St. Augustine Brewers Festival donates $9,400 to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

Organizers of the inaugural St. Augustine Brewers’ Festival presented a donation of $9,421.27 to the nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. The event was held on Saturday, May 11 at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.  In addition to the donation to the lighthouse, Brewers’ Fest organizers also donated $1,000 to Keepers of the Coast, which provided a water refill station during the event.

“We are thrilled to be selected as a beneficiary of the first ever St. Augustine Brewers’ Festival. Everything we do at the Museum saves our maritime past,” said Kathy Fleming, Executive Director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.

The event included craft beer tastings by 26 local and regional breweries. Merchandise was created by Skinny Lizard T-shirt Printers. Leonard’s Photography provided a fun photo booth for guests.  

Live music included performances by bands Lonesome Bert & The Skinny Lizards, Paco Lipp, Brett Bass and the Melted Plectrum, and headliner Fire Tire. Bicycle racks and a Bike Valet were be provided by VeloFest.

“We we’re thrilled with the community support and success of the event. We are looking forward to even more success in year two and launching our new not-for-profit Brewing a Community,” said Courtney Murr, a team member and organizer of the St. Augustine Brewers’ Festival.

Food trucks and vendors included Wingin’ It Food Truck, Auntie Anne’s, Weenie Panini, The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, and Moon Booch Kombucha.

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum volunteers worked tirelessly during the event and were willing to help in any capacity,” said Miranda Bailey, Volunteer & Event Manager at the Museum. “I was very proud of the support they provided during the day. They were a big reason that the event was such a success!”

More than 37 volunteers arrived early to help with set-up and stayed throughout the day to help with a variety of tasks. During the day, volunteers assisted in the VIP, parking lot and VeloFest valet bicycle areas. They also provided support for ticketing and the kid’s zone, while others kept the breweries stocked with ice throughout the day.

Sponsors of this event include the St. Augustine Distillery, Skinny Lizard Printing, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, Eye Center of St. Augustine, Bozard Ford, Leonard’s, Old Town Trolley Tours, Hornski’s Vinyl Lounge, Mojo Old City BBQ, Mangrove Surf Shop, The Spice & Tea Exchange, The Kookaburra Coffee, and A Frame Sauce Company.

Stay updated at stabrewersfest.com for details about the 2020 St. Augustine Brewers’ Fest.

ABOUT THE ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MARITIME MUSEUM:

A defensive and navigation tool and landmark of St. Augustine for 145 years, the St. Augustine Light Station watches over the waters of the Nation’s Oldest Port®. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Inc. is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port® as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. (StAugustineLighthouse.org)

ABOUT THE AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF MUSEUMS:

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. As the ultimate mark of distinction in the museum field, accreditation signifies excellence and credibility. Accreditation helps to ensure the integrity and accessibility of museum collections,  and reinforces the education and public service roles of museums and promote good governance practices and ethical behavior. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. (www.aam-us.org)   

Museum will offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MARITIME MUSEUM TO PARTICIPATE IN BLUE STAR MUSEUMS

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL  – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum announces it will join museums nationwide in participating in the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, a program which provides free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families this summer. The 2019 program will begin earlier than in past years, launching on Saturday, May 18, 2019, Armed Forces Day, and ending on Monday, September 2, 2019, Labor Day. Military can find the list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.

Self-guided tours of the St. Augustine Light Station include six historic structures –  the 1874 lighthouse tower, the 1876 keepers’ house, two 1888 summer kitchens, a 1936 garage, and a 1941 United States Coast Guard coastal lookout building.  

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will hold a special event on June 6 for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day which will include special programs in the WWII US Coast Guard exhibit building.   

“The history and mission of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum have a natural appeal for military members and their families, and it is an honor to host them this summer as part of the Blue Star Museums program,” said Capt. Bob Buehn, USN (Ret.), the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the nonprofit Museum.

“We preserve centuries of military history here in St. Augustine and the lighthouse still serves as a functioning aid to navigation, areas of interest for those in uniform.  The chance for them to visit here with their families at no cost is wonderful.”

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate the tenth summer of collaborating with Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, and especially the more than 2,000 museums across our nation that make this program possible,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Organizations such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum are providing wonderful opportunities for military families to share a memorable experience together this summer.”

This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more. Museums are welcome to sign up for Blue Star Museums throughout the summer at arts.gov.

“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”

“The Defense Department congratulates Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts on reaching an incredible milestone: Ten years of service to the military community though Blue Star Museums,” said A.T. Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. “We offer our sincere gratitude to the more than 2,000 museums across the country who open their doors through this wonderful program. Your patriotism and generosity have enriched the lives and experiences of our military families.”

1941 US Coast Guard Coastal Lookout Quarters on the grounds of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.

About St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

A defensive and navigation tool and landmark of St. Augustine for 145 years, the St. Augustine Light Station watches over the waters of the Nation’s Oldest Port®. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Inc. is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port® as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. (StAugustineLighthouse.org)

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org