Historic City News readers, Herbert Greenleaf and his wife Sheila, native St Augustinians, are considered local historians. In 2013, Sheila and Friends of South Dixie Highway won approval from the City for a marker to be erected beside the 100-year-old Albert Lewis Trough; located at 92 South Dixie Highway. And, Herbie is known for his “History of the Confederate Monument”, printed and distributed by the General William W. Loring Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The Ladies Memorial Association of Saint Augustine was founded in September of 1866, just eighteen months after the end of the war while the city was still under federal military control. They immediately undertook the task of raising the money needed to erect the monument, which was simply dedicated to “Our Confederate Dead”.
The originator of the movement, Miss Anna Dummett was made the first president of the association, and was never allowed by the other ladies to give up that post. Other members, who were prominent in the early work were, Miss M. J. Llambias, Miss Lucy Abbott and Mrs. Julia Gibbs, wife of Col. George Gibbs, Miss Isabel Benet and Miss Anna Humphrey.
According to a transcript from the Florida Archives provided by Sister Esther Carlotta, in 1883 the ground where the monument stands today was conveyed by the city to the Ladies Memorial Association of St Augustine for a rental fee of one dollar a year for the 99-year lease. The city afterwards donated the same amount of money back to the Memorial Association.
The Ladies Memorial Association is no longer registered with the Florida Department of State, and the lease expired in 1982. We are unable to find any evidence that the lease was ever renewed and the City of St Augustine, who maintained ownership of the land, has continued to provide upkeep and maintenance for the monument ever since.