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St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival Speaker Series


Saturday, October 18

Brenda Swann 

(11:00-11:45AM in the Pavilion)

At Home with the Harns: A Lighthouse Keepr’s Family in a Post-Civil War Household


Hear about the research behind the exciting new interactive exhibit, AT HOME WITH THE HARNS: A LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS FAMILY IN A POST-CIVIL WAR HOUSEHOLD. The talk will share the history and daily lives of the Harn family during their time at the St. Augustine Light Station. Participants also will see previews of the new exhibit, a recreated Victorian parlor that allows visitors to follow a path of interactive panels where they can choose one of five characters that lets you experience what it was like to live at the light station through the eyes of Head Keeper William Harn, his family, and Second Assistant Keeper, Jerome Lopez during William Harn’s service from 1875 to 1889 (Harn, his wife Kate, daughter Ida, Jerome Lopez, or a modern-day archaeologist).

Dr. Tom Graham

(1:00-1:45 PM in the Pavilion)

Henry Flagler’s Yachts, Ships, Boats, and Barges

Most of us think of Henry Flagler as a railroad man, but Flagler also spent a good deal of time on the waters of Florida. The St. Augustine Yacht Club played a role in his coming to St. Augustine, and he became a life member of the club. He owned a number of ships and boats during his lifetime, some of which played a role in St. Augustine history. For years his steam launch Adelante carried Flagler and his guests on the waters of Matanzas Bay. Back in New York he owned one of America’s largest yachts, the Alicia, and before that he owned an America’s Cup winning racing schooner. He had a fleet of steamboats that plied the waters of Indian River, and the Intracoastal Waterway. He had steamers to take passengers to Nassau and Havana. He even used humble barges and dredges to accomplish projects from Jacksonville to Key West.

Olivia A. McDanial

(3:00-3:45PM in the Pavilion)

Search for the Lost French Fleet of 1565


With the 450th anniversary of the loss of Ribault’s French Fleet of 1565 fast approaching, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, in conjunction with the Center for Historical Archaeology and the Institute of Maritime History, has begun the initial archaeological search for what may remain of Ribault’s ill-fated ships. As Ribault’s ships arrived to re-supply the French colony at Ft. Caroline, they found themselves faced with the colonial conflict between France and Spain – the conflict that ultimately led to the loss of Ribault’s ships, and the French foothold in Florida. This presentation discusses the story of that conflict and the methodology and results of LAMP’S 2014 search for the lost French Fleet.

Sunday, October 19

Carl Halbirt


Past and Recent Investigations at the St. Augustine Art Association Property

And Its Relevance to St. Augustine’s 16th-Century Occupation

Of all time periods in the history of St. Augustine’s colonial downtown district, the 16th-century settlement is the most elusive in terms of the archaeological record.  A host of reasons contributes to this observation, not the least of which is the small area encompassed by this period and the continuous urban development that has occurred for more than 400 years.   The exception is a small parcel of land owned by the St. Augustine Art Association.  Here archaeological investigations undertaken by the City of St. Augustine’s Archaeology Program in 1998 and 2014 have uncovered a concentration of various deposits dating from 1572 to 1586.  This 14-year period, which terminates with the destruction of the town by Francis Drake, is based on the ceramic assemblage recovered from the property.  In particular are the types of Spanish majolicas represented in the collection.  The two investigations at the Art Association have significant ramifications in the interpretation of the city’s early layout, access to both European and indigenous goods, and subsistence practices in a frontier setting.

Dr. Kathy Deagan


Rich town, Poor town: St. Augustine and Puerto Real in the sixteenth century


When Pedro Menéndez defeated the French at Fort Caroline, he sent first word of his victory to the town of Puerto Real, today on the north coast of Haiti. Puerto Real, like St. Augustine, was an isolated 16th century Spanish frontier settlement plagued by pirates. But unlike St. Augustine, it developed a thriving economy based on cattle ranching between 1503 and 1579.   University of Florida archaeologists studied Puerto Real for seven years, and the results of those excavations provide a dramatic contrast to what settlers experienced in sixteenth century St. Augustine.  This talk explores the differences and similarities of life at