Golden Age of Piracy showcased in Historic City
Special to Historic City News
Amidst the hustle of St George Street, there’s a quiet alley that provides a walkway to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument; but also, delivers you to the front door of the St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum.
I could barely contain my enthusiasm as I stepped through the portal into a 300-year-old journey of Port Royal, Jamaica to experience firsthand the Golden Age of Piracy. I have always found the legends of pirates and their treasure to be fascinating and full of lore.
The St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum spared no expense when recreating this adventurous era. Every detail, from floor to ceiling, is embellished in true pirate fashion. The stunning and elaborate wood cabinetry was crafted by the artistic hand of the neighboring Colonial Quarter’s own Master Carpenter, Gary Kennedy, who is currently working on a 16th century replica of a Portuguese Caravel ship.
Touring this museum is like touring a Hollywood movie set; it’s exciting, compelling and well fabricated. It will leave your eyes to contend with your feet.
As I walked through Port Royal and into the Rouge’s Tavern, where I began my interactive treasure hunt, I couldn’t help but feel like a giant 7-year-old; bustling for clues and traveling my fingers over pirate artifacts.
With eyes wide and agile feet, I buzzed through the Main Deck and into the Captain’s Cabin, where I found an original Jolly Roger Flag, a cool find indeed. Naturally, I then wandered over to the Execution Dock (I tend to gravitate towards the creepier things), where I found the world’s oldest “Wanted” poster.
From there, my interactive treasure hunt leads me to Shipwreck Island, an exhibit of authentic, recovered shipwreck treasures; including authentic pirate gold, on loan from the Florida Department of Historical Resources. Part of the display includes what the museum claims to be the only authentic pirate treasure chest in the world.
This place was becoming more fascinating by the foot.
Some other interesting highlights include:
•Below Deck- Disney’s Blackbeard Audio Show
•Hollywood Pirates- See Jack Sparrow’s sword
•Gun Deck- Fire a real cannon
•Treasure Gift Shop
I found no detail spared at the St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. This is a must see attraction, complete with interactive technology and authentic one-of-a-kind artifacts; all arranged in a well-crafted fantasy-like environment.
This is a museum that will entertain the entire family, and one that your kids will actually thank you for taking them to.
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by Christa Thompson