Home > Floripedia > St. Augustine, Florida
Site Map

St. Augustine, Florida

"Oldest City in the United States."


Juan Ponce de Leon, in search of the fountain of youth, discovered Florida, March 27th, 1513. He landed at the Indian village of "Selooe" on the spot where St. Augustine now stands.

Pedro Menendez landed on August 28th, 1565, with 2600 souls and founded St. Augustine, the first permanent white settlement on what is now the territory of the United States.

Sir Francis Drake in 1686 plundered and burned the town and fort. The fort at that time was built entirely of wood. The Spanish soldiers, as well as the people fleeing to the woods.

John Davis, a famous pirate, in 1665 plundered and burned the town. The present fort of Coquina, then well under construction, withstood his attack.

Governor Moore of South Carolina, in 1702, attacked the town and burned the wooden portion. The people retired to the fort.

Oglethorpe, governor of Georgia, besieged the town during the summer of 1740. The inhabitants, about 3000 in number, took refuge in the fort during the siege. Unable to take the fort, the attack was abandoned.

City Gates, built 1702-27, all that now remains of the elaborate lines of defense that once withstood the attacks of all enemies.

Fort Marion, begun 1586, completed 1756. The structure covers five acres. For a long period of time it was the strongest fortification in America. It was never taken by an enemy.

Change of Flags. In 1821 the state of Florida was ceded to the United States for five million dollars. The stars and stripes were raised over Fort, Marion, July 4th.


Has a winter population of from 15,000 to 20,000. More than thirty first class hotels and boarding houses.

Six Churches: Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal South and Baptist.

Schools: St. Augustine High School, St. Joseph's Academy, Keewatin School and State School for Deaf and Blind.

Banks: The First National, The Commercial and The People's Bank for Savings.

Hospitals: Railroad Hospital and the Flagler Hospital.

Orange Groves: Garnett's, Bette's and Aiken's.

Alligator Farms: Largest in the world; South Beach. Reached by trolley or carriage.

Amusements: Jefferson Theatre, Orpheum Theatre (motion pictures), Plaza Theatre (motion pictures), The Casino, swimming, dancing and daily concerts.

Golf: New eighteen hole course, North City. St. Augustine Golf Links and Country Club.

Clubs: Osceola, Power Boat Club and St. Augustine Yacht Club.

Attractions for Tourists: The Palatial Ponce de Leon, Alcazar and Cordova hotels; noted for their Spanish and Moorish architecture; Fountain of Youth, located in Neptune Park. Reddington's Old House, Whitney's Old House, Dodge's Old Curiosity Shop. Cape's North Beach. Usina's North Beach. South Beach. Light House.

Excerpt from "St. Augustine, Fla. Oldest City in the United States." Postcard folder published 1918 by E.C. Kropp Co., Millwaukee.


Home > Floripedia > St. Augustine, Florida
Site Map

Exploring Florida: A Social Studies Resource for Students and Teachers
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.