Juan Andreu

Immigrant Light Keepers

2016-07-20T08:00:07-04:00July 20th, 2016|

Located in New Jersey, at the mouth of New York Harbor, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse was visible to immigrants on their way to Ellis Island (courtesy of the Library of Congress). The connection between lighthouses and immigrants to the United States is inescapable. Dotting the coastline, the bright beacons were often the first sight of land for many people hoping to find opportunity and freedom in a new land. For some of these immigrants, [...]

Research Reveals Two New Keepers

2016-06-22T08:00:07-04:00June 22nd, 2016|

The “Old Spanish Watchtower” after 1824 Historically, the list of known lighthouse keepers for the St. Augustine Lighthouse has begun with Juan Andreu in 1824, when the United States took over the Florida territory and converted an old watchtower into a US lighthouse. Juan Andreu became light keeper at that time and served until 1845. However, research has revealed two new names to add to the beginning of the list, before even Juan [...]

Constance Fenimore Woolson and “The Ancient City”

2016-05-18T08:00:01-04:00May 18th, 2016|

Constance Fenimore Woolson, an accomplished American writer, spent winters in St. Augustine with her ailing mother from 1873 to 1879. She wove her experiences into her writing, setting several fictional stories and poems in the streets and waterways of the town. She published one such story, aptly titled “The Ancient City,” in Volumes 50 (December 1874) and 51 (January 1875) of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Her experiences coincided with the recent completion of, what was [...]

Menorcan Keepers at the Old St. Augustine Lighthouse

2020-04-04T11:27:07-04:00March 23rd, 2016|

The Old Spanish Watchtower The Old Spanish Watchtower, manned by Menorcan keepers for most of its history (Photo Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida) Florida’s territorial period began in the 1820s with the ratification of the Adams-Onís Treaty, which transferred the former Spanish colony to the United States. Though the newly acquired territory did not become a state until 1845, the U.S. government immediately set to work extending the young nation’s network of [...]

Lighthouse History Pre-1874

2014-11-18T13:22:12-05:00November 18th, 2014|

For 140 years, the St. Augustine Lighthouse has presented its beacon to sailors along the nation’s First Coast. It’s seen keepers and families come and go, witnessed the construction and removal of auxiliary structures, and adapted to new and innovative technologies, all while the community around it expands and evolves. This series of blog posts will explore that history, 20 (or so) years at a time. Pre – 1874 The story of the current St. [...]