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The Stone That Saved The city Of Saint Augustine

Leaving the Hostel on Bridge Road, for my morning stroll and every day ration of individuals watching, I stopped alongside the bay to benefit from the water. While I was checking O. C. Whites’ menu, an awesome place to eat overlooking the Bay in St. Augustine, I overheard a pair from Boston. They had been engaged in an animated dialog in regards to the city’s historical past. “If St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest metropolis,” she mentioned difficult her companion, “why do we now have so many buildings within the Boston area which are so much older “

Greenland Winter Parka BlackSeeing that her companion did not fairly understand how to reply to her, I interrupted their dialog. Interrupting strangers in the midst of a dialog is a habit of mine. Not a habit my husband notably appreciates, and others have voiced as rude, however, it’s something I do to satisfy new and fascinating individuals. I interjected, “The British burned the city down, they usually weren’t the primary to do it. The town has been assaulted by Indians, pirates and others.” I continued, “The British had been the final to burn the city down in 1702 after a fifty day siege of the Fort, The Castillo de San Marcos. I suppose they have been mad as a result of they could not knock down the partitions of the Fort after fifty days of cannon hearth. That is stone island felted coat why there aren’t any buildings older than Boston’s”

I may see the eyes of her companion gentle up. “That is right,” he exclaimed. “After we visited the Fort, I remember listening to that the construction was manufactured from Coquina; an incredible stone that was quarried on that Island throughout the best way. However I assumed it was twenty days not fifty.”

I smiled broadly; I all the time get a kick out of how a lot history folks choose up after they go to St. Augustine. “Additionally true,” I stated, “nevertheless it was twenty-seven days of bombardment by Common James Oglethorpe in 1740. He gave up and left the town; he did not burn it down. The explanation the Coquina in St. Augustine’s Fort was so effective in opposition to cannon fireplace just isn’t its hardness however its softness. Cannon balls would sink into it relatively than shatter or puncture the partitions 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 more of it ”
“There are lots of locations to see it should you look,” I responded. “You will note it at town gates, in lots of the buildings and stone fences round the town. Only a finite quantity was quarried, because the builders found it was simpler to re-use the stone from broken buildings than quarry extra of it. Then newer strategies started for use. In reality, the primary poured concrete construction within the United States is the Zorayda Castle over on King Avenue. The Coquina used for army 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 identical site.”

I’ve all the time found the usage of Coquina in St. Augustine a captivating story. What I discovered over time is that Coquina is a mixture of mineral calcite and phosphate normally within the type of seashells or coral; in layman’s phrases, compressed sea shells. This compression occurred naturally at Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, the place early settlers constructed 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. Nevertheless, earlier than it can be utilized as a constructing materials it should be left to dry for just a few years; it is nonetheless smooth, however laborious sufficient to make use of in development.

Coquina is a novel materials with an fascinating historical past; just considered one of the numerous attention-grabbing and distinctive options present in Saint Augustine. I’ve been coming to St. Augustine for the final six years and stone island felted coat have realized many fascinating information which might be particular only to this space, and I like to search out unwitting strangers to share my data with throughout my morning walks.

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