Churches on the Walking Tour
Favorite thing: St. Peter's Episcopal Church stands on the northeast corner at Atlantic & Centre Streets. I've taken a lot of pictures of this church (photos 1 and 2) - it catches the eye. It is the work of R.S. Schuyler - built in 1884, rebuilt in 1893 and worth a look at the inside.
The St. Peter's cemetery at 801 Atlantic Ave. is the meeting place for the Amelia Island Museum of History's Ghost Tours. The tour which begins every Friday at 6:00 p.m.and lasts approximately one-hour.
Another church (not pictured) is at South 8th and Ash Streets - the Trinity United Methodist Church. It was built in 1891. Across the parking lot on S. 9th is the white clapboard First Baptist Missionary Church built in 1874.
I do have a Methodist church photo - the fifth photo is of the Memorial United Methodist Church
I took a picture of the sign outside of the church which explains its history, but I cannot read all of it. Methodism first came to Amelia Island when the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church appointed the Reverend Elijah Sinclair the first minister to East FLorida. Sinclair arrived within a few months of when Spain ceded Florida to the US in 1821, and he was welcomed by the Protestant English settlers who opened their homes for services. The original congregation met in the Pioneer Hotel in Old Town in the 1850s. A wood frame church was built on the northwest corner of Broome and Sixth Streets, and it was replaced by the current building in the brick Classical Revival style. It was begun in 1926. This church has the oldest United Methodist congregation in the Florida conference.
Fondest memory: If you then turn right on South 6th and cross Centre St in mid-block at the left is the First Presbyterian Church, circa 1860, one of Florida's oldest. The First Presbyterian Church at Fernandina was organized in 1858, when ten of the Jacksonville church’s members moved there. Because Fernandina was organized by the Presbytery rather than Jacksonville, it is not considered a “daughter church.” However, it is reported that after the departure of the ten, Dr. J.D. Mitchell was the only remaining adult male remaining in Jacksonville.
A historic marker in front of the church notes that the church bell was saved from being melted for wartime use of its metal by a young Union officer David Levy Yulee, the first United States senator from the state of Florida, and his wife were communicants of First Presbyterian Church. After the Civil War, Yulee played a key role in Fernandina's remarkable emotional and economic recover-- a time of slow and painful reconstruction for many other southern communities. The church was also used as a Freedman's school during the war, according to the church's web site.
This is where we had our Thanksgiving dinner on our second trip through Fernandina. Ever since then, I've had a very warm spot in my heart for Fernandina.
If you turn right on North 4th Street, at North 4th and Broome (505 Broome Street) is St. Michael's Catholic Church built in 1872. Beside it is Fernandez Reserve & the 1882 Convent but they are not in the picture. This historic church is named in honor of Father Michael de Aunon, who was martyred in 1597 at St. Catherine's Island in Georgia during the Indian Rebellion against the Franciscans
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Bathrooms and Historic Buildings
Favorite thing: There are free bathrooms for tourists behind the visitor's center. There are several old buildings on Centre Street which is where the museum's narrated history walks take place. One of the buildings included in the walk is the Visitor's Center which is the old Railway Depot down at the harbor end of the street (last photo). There are public restrooms there.
The old jail, which is now the location of the Museum is NOT on Centre Street.
I don't remember why, but we stopped at the Post Office on the NE corner of Centre and 4th to mail something. I took a picture from where the car was parked of the facade. The date the Post Office was built is 1912.
I always take photos of the recently restored Nassau County Courthouse at Centre at 5th each time we come to Fernandina. It was built in 1891 and is regarded by the State as "the finest surviving Victorian courthouse in Florida." This time was no exception, and I have three photos of this building including a night time shot.
Fondest memory: Next to the Visitor's Center is a sign which says:
BRITISH EAST FLORIDA
In May 1777, Colonel Samuel Elbert's Continentals landed on the North End of Amelia Island at Oldtown Bluff, approximately one mile north of this marker, for a planned invasion of FLorida. A patrol engaged in a skirmish with British troups on the south end of the island. An officer, Lt. Robert Ward, was killed and two of his soldiers were wounded. In retaliation, Col. Elbert ordered houses burned and the destruction of all cattle.
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Recounting the days events
Favorite thing: After a tough day of plying the seas for their daily food the pelicans gather atop the harbor house at sunset. A little companionship as the day ends. Much like the days of yore when the fishermen probably crowded into the Three Star Saloon after a hard day (or night) on the boats.
Sunset over the intracoastal
Favorite thing: Fernandina Beach is located on the far northern tip of Amelia Island. There is a beach community fronting the Atlantic shore which is nice enough. But the real treasure is the historic town centered around the port on the intracoastal side. People of European descent have lived and fought in this area since the mid 1500s and the town claims to have been under the control of eight different flags (Spanish, French, English, American, Confederate etc.) Many of the buildings date from the mid to late 1800s and like I said in the intro, it feels as if you are stepping back in time.
- Historical Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Do absolutely freakin' NOTHING
Favorite thing: Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island is generally uncrowded and sedate. There are few hotels on Fletcher Avenue, just south of Fernandina. It's all private homes/private rentals and B&Bs. There are literally times during the day when you may see nobody else on the beach.
Just kick back and enjoy. Visit my tip about the lighthouse B&B and stay there for a really great place to relax. Ice your beer, put on your swim trunks and get your beach umbrella and chaise lounge. Do what you came to Fernandina to do......NOTHING.
Only get up and move when it's time to saunter into town to find some fresh seafood for dinner.....or make a run for more beer.
Fondest memory: Watching my daughter spend hours playing in the surf.
Watching a storm come into the area from the top level of the Lighthouse B&B. Nature's fury at its most awesome. If you go to Fernandina/Amelia Island and you stay several days, here's hoping you get at least one storm. It's well worth the adventure.
- Family Travel
Stay at Amelia by the Sea. ...
Favorite thing: Stay at Amelia by the Sea. That's where I stayed with my family.
Fondest memory: I played music with my brother-in-law. I was on the harmonica, and he sang while playing the guitar. We played in front of an audience made up of the family and some friends. My brother took over for me when I took a break. We rocked!
YOU HAVE TO VISIT FORT CLINCH,...
Favorite thing: YOU HAVE TO VISIT FORT CLINCH, IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND INFORMATIVE SITE TO LEARN ABOUT FLORIDA'S HISTORY, PLANTLIFE AND ANIMALS.. IT IS AN OLD FORT USED IN THE CIVIL WAR AND IT SITS ON THE NORTH EAST CORNER OF THE ISLAND..
THE VIEW OF THE WATER IS AWESOME..
YOU ALSO NEED TO GO TO CENTRE STREET AND CHECK OUT THE HISTORICAL BUILDINGS
Fondest memory: THIS IS A CLOSE KNIT COMMUNITY ALOT OF THE PEOPLE I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH NOW HAVE THEIR OWN FAMILIES HERE. IT'S NICE TO BE OUT AROUND TOWN AND RUN INTO OLD FRIENDS..THOSE THAT HAVE MOVED AWAY ALWAYS COME HOME OM HOLIDAYS AND YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND THEM AT THE PALACE SALOON.. THIS IS A HISTORICAL BUILDING AND NIGHT CLUB, WITH A LIVE BAND. IF YOU MAKE IT TO THE PALACE YOU HAVE TO TRY THE 'PIRATES PUNCH' IT IS A SPECIALTY DRINK CONTAINING NUMEROUSE LIQUIORS...
Favorite thing: It is located in the old railroad deport that is from 1855 which was built by David Yulee to stimulate statehood goal.
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