Old Town Fernandina Remembering Old Town – October 2009


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Old Town Fernandina

  • Remembering Old Town – October 2009


Thanks to GDLCHS for markers



Remembering Old Town

  • History up to 1821 is fairly well documented.

    • Timucua
    • French
    • Spanish I
    • English
    • Spanish II
    • Amelia Island Post renamed Fernandina January 1811
    • Old Town is platted 1811
    • Bicentenary in 2011
    • Patriots
    • MacGregor
    • Aury.


Remembering Old Town

  • Since 1821, we know relatively little of Old Town’s history.

  • Major events that affected Old Town:

    • Florida becomes a US Territory – 1821
    • Florida admitted to the Union – 1845
    • Yulee establishes New Fernandina – 1853
    • Category 4 hurricane comes ashore at Brunswick, GA. 14’ storm surge. - 1898.
    • Old Town placed on National Register of Historic Places - 1990


Remembering Old Town



Remembering Old Town



Remembering Old Town



Remembering Old Town

  • New Fernandina established in 1853; most of Old Town’s ‘wealth and gentry’ moves ‘downtown’.

  • Old Town’s population changed, and many pilots took up residence.

  • In c.1980 Capt. George T Davis wrote a history of local pilots. If they lived in Old Town, he identified their homes.



Remembering Old Town Pilots – from George T Davis. (Dates are ‘date appointed pilot. Honorary title of ‘Captain’ omitted for brevity)

  • 1837. Association of Branch Pilots founded by George W Latham and Samuel Cribb.

  • 1865. William Sharp (715 San Fernando)

  • 1866. David Cribb

  • 1867. Joseph Newton, James Bell, William Bell. Cape Fear pilots and blockade runners.

    • Newton (902 Ladies)
    • James Bell (212 Estrada)
    • Williiam Bell (8th & Beech)
  • 1868. Harry Johnson. (818 San Fernando)

  • 1877. George Latham (111 S 5th St)

  • 1878. Tom B Lasserre (818 San Fernando)

  • 1882. B. McNeil (910 San Fernando) (* Davis places house 1 block east)

  • 1882. Robert Downes (212 Estrada)

  • 1885. Thomas Smith Davis (Marine)

  • 1885. Ed. F Morse. (not identified, later 424 N 3rd St)

  • For full report see http://www.portoffernandinamaritimeexchange.org/services_pilotsHist.html



Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes - 2009

  • 715 San Fernando.

    • Sharp (1865)
    • Kavanaugh (2009)


Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes - 2009

  • 818 San Fernando.

    • Johnson (1868)
    • Lasserre (1878)
    • William Hair (2009)
    • (deceased)


Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes - 2009

  • 212 Estrada.

    • James Bell (1867)
    • Robert Downes (1882)
    • ? Littrico
    • Joan Altman (2009)


Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes - 2009

  • Marine (White & San Fernando).

    • Thomas Smith Davis (1885)


Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes – from 1900 Directory

  • 902 Ladies.

    • Joseph Newton (1867)
    • ? Swearingen
    • ? Fulford
    • Julie Starr Sanford (2009)


Remembering Old Town Remaining Pilots’ homes – 2009

  • 910 San Fernando.

    • B McNeil (1882)
    • Les Kenyon (2009)


Remembering Old Town (1900 Fernandina Directory)



Remembering Old Town (1900 Fernandina Directory)



Remembering Old Town (1900 Fernandina Directory)



Remembering Old Town (1900 Fernandina Directory)



Remembering Old Town (1900 Fernandina Directory)



Remembering Old Town

  • What happened in Old Town Fernandina when many of its residents moved away to the new Fernandina location in the 1850’s?

  • What damage was done in Old Town by the 1898 Category 4 hurricane?

  • What went on here when Florida was a Territory of the US? (After the Spanish left in 1821 until Florida gained statehood in 1845).

  • What were the early days of statehood like?

  • How was Old Town affected by Fernandina’s Golden Age (1870-1912)?

  • What stores were there in Old Town?

  • What were the major routes from Old Town to Fernandina before the 14th Street Extension was created? Maps show Towngate Streets (12th Street) and a Boardwalk running from Estrada to Front Street. Did you ever use them?

  • Where are the town gates?

  • Early maps of Fernandina show tunnels on the North side. Do you remember talk of tunnels?

  • Did you attend school in Old Town?

  • Did you attend church in Old Town, at either the Catholic Church, or the Episcopal Church that were here?



Remembering Old Town

  • We want to capture the memories of Old Town that you and your family hold.

  • What do you remember? …

  • Amelia Island Museum has a similar project – Heritage Keepers. Results will be pooled.



Remembering Old Town

  • Mike and Jenny Harrison

  • 820 Someruelos Street, Old Town

  • Phone: 904.491.1259

  • Email: mike@oldtownfernandina.org

  • Web: www.oldtownfernandina.org.

  • alexbuell@ameliamuseum.org




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