Sea Your History in St. Augustine, Florida

Are you ready to go beyond the ordinary and become part of history?

Each year, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum proudly hosts a series of Sea Your History Weekends featuring Smithsonian scholars, special tours, wooden boat building demonstrations and unique experiences that connect visitors with the vast maritime history of the Nation's Oldest Port. 

In 2014, each event will celebrate a different influence on St. Augustine's maritime culture from the early European settlers to the contributions of African-American and Native American groups. 

Plan ahead and reserve a room with one of our accommodation sponsors for an exciting weekend in the St. Augustine!

2014 Sea Your History Schedule

August 23rd - 24th

Discover St. Augustine's Spanish and Menorcan heritage. 

Saturday, August 23rd

Early Spanish Maritime History
3:00 p.m. - Join Dr. Sam Turner, Director of Archaeology, in the Anastasia Gallery to discuss the role of the Spanish in shaping our nation’s earliest history. From the essential waterfront infrastructure to common vessels of the era, Dr. Turner will cover this important part of Spanish maritime history.

Sunday, August 24th

Traditional Wooden Boatbuilding Demonstration

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Visit the lighthouse boatworks to discover the art of traditional wooden boatbuilding and learn from an expert boatwright about the techniques involved with this centuries-old craft.

The Spanish and Their Lasting Legacy
1:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Visit with members of the Los Floridanos and Menorcan Societies in the lighthouse courtyard. Members of the Los Floridanos Society will be on site in authentic period dress sharing the history of their ancestors. Members of the Menorcan Society will be on hand sharing their history. Presentations will be made regarding the art and skill behind the making and using of mullet nets. Small nets will be on hand for guests to try too.    

Who are the Floridanos?

The Los Floridanos are descendants from the St. Augustine settlers who arrived during the first Spanish occupation (1565 – 1763). After Spain ceded the Florida colony to Britain in 1763, the majority of Spanish St. Augustine residents fled to Cuba. Only a few members of the Los Floridanos remained, including Manuel Solana and Francisco Sanchez, whose descendants still live in St. Augustine.

Who are the Menorcans? 

The Menorcans immigrated to St. Augustine in 1777, after escaping harsh conditions in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Approximately 700 Menorcans arrived in St. Augustine and were granted land inside the city walls by British governor Patrick Tonyn. Many of these hardworking settlers from the Mediterranean island of Menorca took on integral roles in St. Augustine, especially at the light station. Menorcans Juan Andreu, Joseph Andreu, Maria Andreu and Jerome Lopez all worked as head keepers or first assistant keepers during their respective service periods at the light station. Lopez will be featured in the upcoming At Home with the Harns interactive exhibit opening at the museum this October.

September 6th - 7th

For information on The Villages Vacation Package, please call Tour St. Augustine (904) 825-0087 or email to make your reservations!

Are you ready for a taste of history?

Join us September 6th and 7th for a weekend of special festivities celebrating Native American culture with a professional presentation on native cuisine. Chef Richard Hetzler from the Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., will be at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum to share the cuisine of Florida's natives. 

Chef Hetzler will be presenting on Saturday afternoon, September 6th. Check back soon for a complete itinerary and menu! 

Featured Presenter: Chef Richard Hetzler

A graduate of Baltimore Culinary College, Chef Hetzler worked at several fine-dining restaurants in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area before joining Restaurant Associates at the Smithsonian museums.  Chef Hetzler was on the team that researched and developed the groundbreaking concept for the Mitsitam Cafe.  As executive chef, he continues to create and refine seasonal menus that showcase the Americas' native bounty. Chef Hetzler has won several awards, appeared on the Food Network and NPR, and authored The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

September 20th - 21st

From 1763 through 1783, the St. Augustine colony was controlled by the British crown. Visit the museum September 20th and 21st to celebrate this important period in our 450 year history. Explore the 1765 shipwreck, Industry, currently on exhibition in the Keepers' House basement to learn more about how supplies were brought to the growing colony. 

You can also discover a little-known side of the American Revolutionary war through artifacts from the Storm Wreck. On New Year's Eve 1782, sixteen ships carrying British loyalists who fled Charleston, S.C. at the end of the war ran aground trying to enter the St. Augustine harbor. Artifacts from one of these ships including cannon, muskets, cauldrons, irons, buttons and other items have been recovered by lighthouse archaeologists. These pieces are now undergoing conservation for a future exhibit so that we can share the story of these families who were trying to start new lives in St. Augustine.

Featured Presenter: Dr. Richard James Bell

Dr. Bell joined the University of Maryland's history department in 2006. He received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Cambridge. He teaches early American history and cultural history. His research interests encompass the histories of print communication and violence prior to the Civil War. He is the author of several journal articles, as well as two books. The first, a monograph titled We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States, examines the role that discourse regarding self-destruction played in the cultural formation of the early republic. The second work, Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America, a co-edited volume of essays centered on the experience of incarcerated subjects and citizens in early America, is the product of a conference organized at the McNeil Center in April 2009. 

Since 2006, Dr. Bell has served as the Mellon Fellow in American History at Cambridge University, the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society, a Mayer Fellow at the Huntington Library, a Research Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition and Resistance at Yale University and as a Resident Fellow at the John W Kluge at the Library of Congress. He is currently at work upon a new book-length micro-history. The project is titled The Blackest Market: Kidnapping, Slavery and Salvation.

Sea Your History Weekends are funded in part by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council - Experience the history and charm of St. Augustine |Ponte Vedra. Visit  

For discounts at the following lodging locations please mention Sea Your History!





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