Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park has a lot more to offer than a fabled spring that is probably not the key to eternal youth. Over the past decade a great many projects have been completed, including a variety of Timucuan Indian structures that show how Native Americans lived before the Spaniards arrived in 1565. Walk inside, touch, look, and smell, and you’ll get a better feel for ancient life. As a bonus, there are often costumed interpreters in the area to answer your questions. These folks are friendly and very knowledgeable. (And you might even happen to find someone wandering around in the rain willing to engage tourists, which I believe shows a high degree of dedication :-)
Ah, the mysterious, oft-neglected Protestant Burying Ground. If you know St. Augustine’s history, you’ll know it was a Spanish town for its first two hundred years, which meant Catholic, which meant "no Protestants allowed." Those who were allowed were actually buried on adjacent Anastasia Island. Really. But in 1821 after the United States took over, the Protestant Burying Ground, later known as the Huguenot Cemetery though there's no direct connection, was created during a yellow fever epidemic. The term “Huguenot” pays tribute to French soldiers murdered at nearby Matanzas Inlet. Their crime? They were French and Calvinist. Not a good combination in 1565, at least to a Spaniard.
Well, after years of visiting Gettysburg, St. Augustine, and other historic sites, I’m a self-proclaimed taphophile (interesting word, isn’t it? Means “cemetery enthusiast”) who loves to check out the folks mentioned on gravestones. I noticed a few stones on this photo that I wanted to explore further. For instance, the stone at far right is that of Joseph Lord. It reads, “In memory of Joseph Lord. Born in New York March 1832. Died in St. Augustine Jan. 12, 1880. He lived a life of loving-kindness.” Further research reveals that Joseph was the son of George William and Ellen (Wait) Lord. He married Mary Ann Archer in 1865 and they had 8 children, Ernest (1866), George (born and died 1867), Sidney (1869), Frederick (1871), Josephine (1872), Archer (1875), Genevieve (1876), and Harriet (1879). The 1870 New York census lists him as a wool merchant.
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