Many don't know it but St Augustine is the oldest permanent settlement in North America. St Augustine is part of what is now known as the "First Coast" coined in 1982 as part of a marketing strategy similar to other areas of Florida, such as the "Sun Coast" or the "Emerald Coast". The first Coast stretches from Amelia Island a little north of Jacksonville, through St Augustine and down to Palm Coast, a little south of St Augustine.
In three years St Augustine will be celebrationg it's 450th aniversary. St Augustine was founded in 1865 by the Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and is rich with history and culture. However, the St Augustine area was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer and governor of Puerto Rico, Ponce de Leon, who claimed the region for the Spanish crown.
Then in 1562 the French began exploring the areaunder the Huguenot captain Jean Ribault, who established the settlement of Charlesfort on Parris Island in South Carolina. The settlers abandoned Charlesfort and began a new colonization effort, ultimately selecting the St. Johns River as the location of the new settlement.
In 1564 some mutineers from Fort Caroline fled the colony and turned pirate, attacking Spanish vessels in the Caribbean. Hoping to disuade the French from further exploration and also to stop the French from using Fort Caroline as a base for piracy, the Spanish quickly dispatched Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to go to Florida and establish a base from which to attack the French and destroy Fort Caroline.
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land on August 28, 1565, This was the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, therefore Menandez named the territory was San Agustín thus St Augustine was born.
To be continued...