From St Simon’s Island we headed south to another saint – St Augustine, and Compass RV Resort. The next morning, January 29, we decided to walk around the town rather than take the trolley – it is a compact downtown. Our first stop was Castillo de San Marcos, which was built in 1672 by the Spanish, then traded to the British in 1763 in exchange for La Habana, Cuba. The Peace of Paris agreement returned Florida to Spain in 1783. Finally, in 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the USA.
St Augustine is also home to the Lightner Museum that is housed in the former Flagler Hotel. Henry Flagler built the railroad to the Florida Keys and installed several big hotels along the way for the tourist business. The St Augustine hotel was built around the largest indoor swimming pool in the world in the 1880’s. The railroad reached Key West in 1912, but was destroyed later by a hurricane.
The museum hosts a huge eclectic collection of art and Treasures of the Gilded Era. There is glassware, a mummy, a stuffed lion, lots of giant furniture created for grand homes, a shrunken head, and Native American Indian memorabilia. Very entertaining.