Fort was popular 19th century tourist destination

Jeffrey Edel, U. S. Park Ranger and Historic Weapons Supervisor at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, told Historic City News that during the 19th century, the Spanish fort in St. Augustine was quite a curiosity.

Construction of the Castillo began in 1672 by the Kingdom of Spain and it is the oldest masonry and the only extant Seventeenth Century fort in North America.

Edel says that the Castillo was likely as much a curiosity for the people that built and worked in it then, as it is today.

As settlers moved to Florida, a large, unofficial, tourist trade grew up around the fort.

The Spanish fort increased in popularity; encouraged by the development of railroad transportation and luxury hotel accommodations.

Pictured at the fort in 1890, are the Brooklyn Bridegrooms Baseball Club “At the old Spanish Fort, St. Augustine, Fla., Feb’y 1890”.

They are posing for legendary photographer Joseph Hall.

The team is dressed rather nattily, with suits, bowler hats and gold watch chains.

The Bridegrooms were the champions of the American Association in 1889.

The following year, however, they joined the National League, where they once again proved their superiority on the diamond, winning the pennant by six games.

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