Sunday, 9 June 2013

Amelia Island, Florida

On a warmer, sunnier day we left Jacksonville behind and headed for Amelia Island, which is named after Princess Amelia, daughter of King George II. 
Timucuan Indians inhabited the island when Frenchman Jean Ribault visited in 1562.   Since then flags from England, Mexico (the Mexican Rebel Flag), The Green Cross (raised by a self-proclaimed ruler), The Patriots of Amelia Island, France, Spain, The Confederate States of America have all flown over the island until 1821 when it became part of the United States of America.
A fort has existed at the mouth of the St Mary’s river and Cumberland Sound since 1736.   Building on Fort Clinch began in 1847 the fort was one of a series of masonry forts built between 1816 and 1867.   It was built at the mouth of St Mary’s River to protect the natural deep water port of Fernandina.
The entrance to the fort
over which flies the flag of 1865 showing 35 States and, I believe that at that time 13 states wanted to secede.

The fort is well preserved and you can enter and look around the buildings

In the Quartermasters Stores barrels of ‘Medical Dept’ Whiskey were stored ready for use.   I don’t think you’d find that in any Medical Departments now.   Although as most people I know who drink whiskey are always quick to assure me that it’s ‘strictly for medicinal purposes’ I can’t imagine why not? 

A re-enactor played different songs on his pipe as we walked around, one of which was the British Grenadiers.

No battles were ever fought at Fort Clinch, so the huge cannons mounted on the bastions and walls were never fired.

After leaving the fort we had planned to take a walk on the beach, but it clouded over becoming cool and windy so we just walked out to the end of a concrete fishing pier
took a few photographs

and then headed into Fernandina Beach for coffee.
Fernandina Beach is a lovely town and was home to Florida’s first Atlantic to Gulf railroad, which was completed when it arrived in Cedar Key in 1861.
There are lots of interesting old buildings

William Bartram, famed Colonial Naturalist, visited Amelia Island in 1774 to record the flora and fauna of the area.

This classy looking building is the Post Office

We didn’t get to see everything on Amelia Island, but it’s definitely on our ‘to return to’ list. 

Have fun, we are!

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