Florida’s Women Go to War
At one point in history, it was unheard of for women to go to war. The movie industry reinforced depictions of the stereotypical wife or sweetheart remaining home, crying into her hanky while her man went off to war, time and time again. The actual reality of those times is anything but that. It is estimated between 400 and 750 women disguised themselves as men and fought on the front [...]
One a Day in Tampa Bay
Tragedy at MacDill AFB Situated strategically four miles south of Tampa, Florida, at the end of a peninsula that separates Old Tampa Bay from Hillsborough Bay is MacDill Air Force Base. Established on May 24th, 1939, for the Army Air Corps, it was initially called Southeast Air Base, Tampa. The base has overseen a variety of missions that continue today. However, this article focuses on only a short period at [...]
The 1760 British Yawl: Evolution of a Ship’s Boat
Pearl Harbor Day’s annual remembrance on Dec. 7 generally sends me searching for images from that horrible attack. Visiting the Pearl Harbor Naval Memorial in Hawaii some years ago was one of the most memorable moments of my life, as I gazed down at the hull of the U.S.S. Arizona, trying to imagine what it was like years before. I remember sitting outside by the harbor and listening intently to stories about [...]
Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy Exhibit Celebrates the Shrimp Industry in St. Augustine
The First Coast of Florida, in addition to being the first U.S. coast to be settled by Europeans, was the first coast to foster a commercial shrimping industry. Spreading from Fernandina to St. Augustine in the early 20th century, following the expansion of the railroad built by capitalist Henry Flagler, the nascent commercial shrimping and shrimpboat-building industries were dominated by a number of innovative families [...]
A “Grand” Grand Traverse Lighthouse Christmas
There are few accounts of Christmas at the Light Stations across the country. One of these accounts is from Bette McCormick Olli who grew up at Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Her story gives a eyewitness record of how Keepers and their families balanced family life with duty to keeping the light shining. We hope that you enjoy her account and remember that, even today, we have men and women serving across [...]
Boat Drawing Winner Takes Home a New Penobscot 13!
UPDATE: We have drawn our winner: Sam from Georgia! Congratulations! He will be coming this week to pick up his brand new Penobscot 13! A reminder that we still have a drawing for our strip kayak coming up in 2021! Check out our live drawing that took place on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at 12:00 Noon: Penobscot 13 Live Drawing on Facebook Live! The faithful crew of Heritage Boatworks has [...]
Dune Erosion Reveals New Shipwreck at Crescent Beach
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – The recent tropical storm helped to uncover the remains of a shipwreck buried under a dune along Crescent Beach. Mark O’Donoghue, a local resident, found the exposed timbers and reached out to the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) Director, Chuck Meide. The LAMP team began inspecting and documenting the shipwreck the same day. After completing the initial survey, the LAMP team determined that the [...]
Luminary Night Events End With Social Media Blitz!
UPDATE: Tuesday Night’s Luminary Night was a great success! We had over 600 vehicles come through and help us celebrate the holiUPDATE: Tuesday Night’s Luminary Night was a great success! We had over 600 vehicles come through and help us celebrate the holidays and we packed the van full of donated canned goods. TONIGHT, we will light our luminaries and we ask you to share your photos on social media [...]
Part from World War II-Era Plane Found!
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum received the tail section of a World War II-era plane that washed up along South Ponte Vedra Beach during the recent nor’easter. The initial findings suggest that the part came from a F4F Wildcat, an aircraft produced by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation mostly based on aircraft carriers. The section includes a tail hook suggesting it was carrier-based. As the plane came in [...]
World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part Two: The American Response – “Semper Paratus”
The reality of war on America’s own East Coast was a shock to its residents, and it was no different for the people of St. Augustine. The United States Navy kept the news of the U-boat attacks under wraps while they scrambled to take defensive action, and action they did take. In February of 1942, the USS Roper (DD-147), a Wickes-class destroyer returned to Norfolk, VA, after successfully performing [...]
Take a Guided Tour Through Our Newest Exhibit Opening August 1, 2020!
World War II Exhibit to Open August 1, 2020
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum proudly announces the opening of a new exhibit, “Guardians of the First Coast: Building Readiness for World War II,” on August 1, 2020. This exhibition, housed in the Museum’s 1941 Coastal Lookout Building, honors the brave men and women who defended our coast as World War II began. The exhibit showcases firsthand stories, letters, photographs and videos collected from [...]
Press Release: St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum Partners with Farm Share
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is proud to partner with Farm Share in hosting an event for St Johns County residents that will provide food to individuals and families in need on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. We will be distributing 42,000 pounds of food through drive-thru distribution in the parking lot of the Ponce de Leon Mall in front of Belk Department Store beginning at 9:00 am [...]
World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part One: The “Second Happy Time”
On Sunday, December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Navy of Japan attacked the American Pacific Fleet at its base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The devastating loss of life and carnage that morning not only surprised Americans, it also surprised and delighted Adolph Hitler. Hitler was shocked, not only that the Japanese had attempted it, but that it had been, in his mind, so “successful.” Nazi Germany declared war on [...]