Historic City News readers know well that the town of St Augustine was established by Pedro Menendez de Aviles over 40 years before the Jamestown colony in Virginia. A piece of history not known by many Americans in other parts of the country, but one we celebrate today — 448-years later.
The site of our town is near a Timucuan Indian village named Seloy.
The Spanish forces, led by Menendez, captured the French Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville and established St Augustine; which lives on today with the distinction of being the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America.
St Augustine remained the capital of Florida, and later East Florida, until 1824, when Tallahassee was selected. We could debate the wisdom of that decision.
Today, St Augustine accommodates tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world interested in the city’s rich colonial past.
Historic City News was on the scene of yesterday’s re-enactment of Menendez’ landing in St Augustine and the first Catholic mass celebrated in La Florida since its discovery by Juan Ponce de Leon, 52-years earlier.
Coverage and photography by Special Event Contributor, James Neuenfeldt
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by James Neuenfeldt