Attend 16th century boathouse dedication

Historic City News readers are invited to be on hand when the first permanent structure of St Augustine’s 450th Commemoration will be formally dedicated; Thursday, May 31, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with music, refreshments, silent auction and raffle, as well as demonstrations of 16th century shipbuilding.

Volunteers with the St Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, are completing a post-and-beam, thatch-covered boathouse at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park where a Spanish chalupa and caravel tall ship will be built for the city’s 450th commemoration in 2015.

“It’s not just about building 16th century vessels,” Foundation President Maury Keiser says. “It’s about better understanding and retaining the significance of that age of exploration, and developing educational sailing platforms offering instruction for present and future generations.”

St Augustine’s first settlers, five centuries ago, moved with speed and efficiency to establish their needs — unaided by power tools. Today’s volunteers are using the log shavers, posthole diggers, ropes and pulleys of the 16th century, adding to the authenticity of the project.

Special guests will include Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez, both familiar with the caravel, the workhorse of their expeditions in 1513 and 1565.

Tickets for the dedication are $5 for foundation members. Non-members can purchase a tax-deductible annual membership for the non-profit foundation for $25 which includes the price of your ticket. Reservations for the dedication celebration are required. Visit www.staugmaritimeheritage.org for details.

Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News contributed photograph by George Gardner

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