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Historical Research

Junior Service League’s Legacy Remains

2023-03-19T09:55:47-04:00March 19th, 2023|

In 1970, a suspicious fire gutted the abandoned Keepers’ House located at the St. Augustine Light Station. The following year, St. Johns County purchased the property from the United States Coast Guard with the intention of demolishing the burned-out shell of the building. Enter the Junior Service League of St. Augustine and the idea of restoring the Keepers’ House as a museum and community center. The women of the JSL literally turned back the bulldozers, [...]

Muskets Added to Wrecked! Exhibit

2023-03-19T09:50:59-04:00March 19th, 2023|

The Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) Conservation team installed a new case in the Wrecked! Exhibit. This new case replaces the Star Waters mannequin and features one of the muskets recovered from the Storm Wreck, the American Revolution-era shipwreck excavated in 2009. Other artifacts associated with the musket including flintlock, flint, shot and even some paper wadding are also featured. The team plans to install a second musket in this case. The muskets have undergone [...]

Pittee Descendants Visit the Museum

2023-03-19T09:44:09-04:00March 19th, 2023|

On Friday, February 10, 2023, the Museum welcomed four descendants of Hezekiah Pittee, the superintendent over the construction of the St. Augustine Lighthouse tower between 1871 and 1874. The descendants made the trip from Tampa for a family member's funeral here and reached out to the Museum. The descendants (pictured above) sat down with Jason Titcomb, Chief Curator; Lee Capitano, Retail and Finance Director; and Rick Cain, Museum Operations Director.During Pittee's time here as Superintendent, [...]

A Letter to Santa from the St. Augustine Lighthouse

2021-12-23T12:29:04-05:00December 22nd, 2021|

This December, the St. Augustine Record republished a series of Letters to Santa printed in the St. Augustine Evening Record from December 1921. Peter Willott, a reporter for the Record, worked with the staff at the St. Augustine Historical Society's Research Library to gather these letters. One of the letters came from little Eloise Malloy, the only daughter of Clarence and Agnes Malloy. Clarence served as the First Assistant Keeper of the St. Augustine Light [...]

Crescent Beach Shipwreck: The Caroline Eddy

2021-10-11T14:29:11-04:00October 11th, 2021|

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBJJirfR2wc (Drone footage courtesy of Eric Wilson, LAMP Volunteer) The entirety of the Crescent Beach Shipwreck Maritime archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum’s research arm, Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), have documented the entirety of the Crescent Beach Shipwreck site. In November 2020, LAMP was notified of a previously unknown shipwreck that had become exposed on the southern end of Crescent Beach. Local beachgoers noticed the wooden wreckage and posted pictures on [...]

A “Grand” Grand Traverse Lighthouse Christmas

2020-12-16T11:53:25-05:00December 16th, 2020|

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 the world sometimes with or [...]

Boat Drawing Winner Takes Home a New Penobscot 13!

2020-12-03T11:02:02-05:00November 30th, 2020|

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 been busy working on their [...]

Dune Erosion Reveals New Shipwreck at Crescent Beach

2020-11-25T18:14:33-05:00November 17th, 2020|

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 ship is likely an American [...]

Part from World War II-Era Plane Found!

2020-10-02T10:19:53-04:00October 2nd, 2020|

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 for a landing, the tail [...]

World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part Two: The American Response – “Semper Paratus”

2020-08-11T09:36:34-04:00August 11th, 2020|

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 escort duty to Londonderry, Ireland. [...]

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