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Historical Research

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. [...]

World War II Exhibit to Open August 1, 2020

2020-07-29T15:21:56-04:00July 28th, 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 those who served in World [...]

World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part One: The “Second Happy Time”

2020-08-11T08:49:14-04:00June 18th, 2020|

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 the United States four days [...]

Doubly Doomed: World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918

2020-04-14T12:50:50-04:00April 6th, 2020|

Compiled by James Smith In the closing days of World War I, the world faced one of the worst pandemics of the modern era, the Spanish Flu Pandemic.  The term Spanish Flu originated largely because the United States government did not want news of the disease to diminish the war effort, since the conflict was nearly won. World War I ended with the armistice on November 11, 1918.  However, Spain remained neutral in the conflict.  [...]

Lighthouse Keeper Series: Francis Philip Fatio Dunham

2019-03-18T14:54:12-04:00March 18th, 2019|

By Jay Smith             On June 26, 1916, readers of the St. Augustine Evening Record read an entertaining interview with 68 year old Oregon Dunham offering “very interesting reminiscences” from a man “whose remarkable memory…retained so much of what happened in the earlier days.” Dunham recalled significant events in the Oldest City, including the Civil War and some of the local folklore.  “Oregon” was a nickname for Francis Philip Fatio Dunham.  His mother, Mary, was [...]

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