The Stone That Saved The town Of Saint Augustine
Leaving the Hostel on Bridge Street, for my morning walk and day by day ration of people watching, I stopped alongside the bay to benefit from the water. Whereas I used to be checking O. C. Whites’ menu, an ideal place to eat overlooking the Bay in St. Augustine, I overheard a couple from Boston. They had been engaged in an animated conversation concerning the town’s history. “If St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest metropolis,” she mentioned difficult her companion, “why do we’ve so many buildings within the Boston space which are so much older “
Seeing that her companion didn’t quite know how to answer her, I interrupted their conversation. Interrupting strangers in the course of a dialog is a behavior of mine. Not a behavior my husband notably appreciates, and others have voiced as rude, however, it’s one thing I do to fulfill new and attention-grabbing folks. I interjected, “The British burned the town down, and so they were not the first to do it. The city has been assaulted by Indians, pirates and others.” I continued, “The British had been the last to burn the city down in 1702 after a fifty day siege of the Fort, The Castillo de San Marcos. I assume they were mad because they couldn’t knock down the walls of the Fort after fifty days of cannon fire. That’s why there are no buildings older than Boston’s”
I may see the eyes of her companion gentle up. “That’s right,” he exclaimed. “After we visited the Fort, I remember listening to that the construction was fabricated from Coquina; an amazing stone that was quarried on that Island across the way. But I assumed it was twenty days not fifty.”
I smiled broadly; I all the time get a kick out of how a lot historical past folks choose up after they visit St. Augustine. “Also true,” I said, “but it surely was twenty-seven days of bombardment by Basic James Oglethorpe in 1740. He gave up and left the city; he did not burn it down. The rationale the Coquina in St. Augustine’s Fort was so efficient towards cannon fireplace shouldn’t be its hardness but its softness. Cannon balls would sink into it moderately than shatter or puncture the walls of the Fort. The Coquina itself turned out to be a terrific deterrent of hostile forces.”
“That is some stone.” she mentioned. “The place can we see extra of it ”
“There are lots of places to see it in case you look,” I responded. “You will note it at the town gates, in many of the buildings and stone fences round the town. Solely a finite quantity was quarried, because the builders discovered it was simpler to re-use the stone from damaged buildings than quarry more of it. Then newer techniques began to be used. Actually, the first poured concrete construction within the United States is the Zorayda Castle over on King Avenue. The Coquina used for navy buildings on the south finish of city was re-used to construct the Franciscan convent after which in the inspiration for the barracks, constructed on the same site.”
I’ve all the time discovered using Coquina in St. Augustine an enchanting story. What I realized through the years is that Coquina is a mixture of mineral calcite and phosphate often within the type of seashells or new stone island hoodie coral; in layman’s phrases, compressed sea shells. This compression occurred naturally at Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, the place early settlers built a quarry to retrieve the stone. Additionally it is discovered uncovered in many areas alongside the east coast of Florida from St. Johns to Palm Seaside counties. It may be discovered as far inland as 20 miles from Florida’s east coast.
When Coquina is extracted it is vitally mushy. Its softness makes it simple to harvest from a quarry and kind into numerous shapes including block. Mid Nonetheless, earlier than it can be utilized as a constructing materials it should be left to dry for a number of years; it’s still gentle, however laborious enough to make use of in building.
Coquina is a singular materials with an fascinating historical past; simply one in every of the numerous attention-grabbing and unique features found in Saint Augustine. I have been coming to St. Augustine for new stone island hoodie the last six years and have learned many attention-grabbing details which are specific solely to this area, and I like to search out unwitting strangers to share my knowledge with during my morning walks.
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