The East Coast, Driving American History

The East Coast, as everyone knows, is full of American history. One of the incredible things about being able to drive down it is making the connections in history. Last year we visited Plimouth Plantation which spurred our curiosity about why the US considers this the beginning of America when there is Jamestown. After visiting Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne we became interested with going to Roanoke Island and learning about the Lost Colony so we drove down to the Outer Bank of North Carolina. With all the issues with weather conditions for Plymouth, Jamestown and Roanoke we wondered why the British went so far north, wouldn’t it make sense to head south? At Fort Raleigh that question was answered but now we had this odd break in the timeline from 1492 to 1587.

Spanish Influence

As we traveled south through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia we searched for the answer. Then we hit Florida. We originally headed here to escape the harsh winter of Chicago but the warm weather wasn’t the only thing that we found. The wonderful town of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos, had our answer. We had crossed into Spanish territory and Spanish history. The Castillo and St. Augustine were very different from the other historic sites and towns we had visited. You could see so much of the Spanish influence.

Without a plan of where we were going to go, we had inadvertently traveled down the timeline for the “New World.”

First Colony
Spain claims to be here well before the English. Not according to my history books?..hmm.

Spanish American History
We learned interesting facts about Spanish laws and customs.

Castillo de San Marcos
Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo Entrance
Entrance to Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo Entrance 2
Garrett’s picture of my picture of the Entrance to the Castillo.

Junior Ranger - Castillo
The ladies learning about the Castillo.

Top of Castillo
Girls finishing up their Junior Ranger booklets at the top of the Castillo.

Bullet holes in the coquina of the Castillo. The entire fort is made of coquina which is basically broken shells and limestone.

Cathedral Basilica
Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. Considered America’s First Parish. This was the girls favorite church because they served Krispy Kremes after mass.

Chapel with Sacristy

Front of Cathedral
Front of Church. Much of the church has real gold. The security cameras were well concealed.

Choir Loft
Choir loft at the back of the church.

Walking the streets of St. Augustine was fun. It had bits of history like this, the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the US. The buildings and courtyards reminded me so much of Spain.