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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 people watching, I stopped along the bay to enjoy the water. While I used to be checking O. C. Whites’ menu, an important place to eat overlooking the Bay in St. Augustine, I overheard a pair from Boston. They have been engaged in an animated dialog in regards to the town’s history. “If St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest metropolis,” she mentioned challenging her companion, “why do we’ve got so many buildings in the Boston area that are so much older “

Seeing that her companion didn’t fairly understand how to answer her, I interrupted their conversation. Interrupting strangers in the middle of a dialog is a behavior of mine. Not a behavior my husband significantly appreciates, and others have voiced as rude, nevertheless, it is one thing I do to fulfill new and fascinating individuals. I interjected, “The British burned the town down, and they weren’t the first to do it. The city has been assaulted by Indians, pirates and others.” I continued, “The British have been the last to burn the town down in 1702 after a fifty day siege of the Fort, The Castillo de San Marcos. I assume they had been mad as a result of they could not knock down the walls of the Fort after fifty days of cannon fire. That is why there are no buildings older than Boston’s”

I might see the eyes of her companion mild up. “That is right,” he exclaimed. “After we visited the Fort, I remember hearing that the structure was fabricated from Coquina; an incredible stone that was quarried on that Island across the way. However I assumed it was twenty days not fifty.”

I smiled broadly; I all the time get a kick out of how much history people stone island black label choose up when they go to St. Augustine. “Also true,” I stated, “nevertheless it was twenty-seven days of bombardment by General James Oglethorpe in 1740. He gave up and left the town; he did not burn it down. The reason the Coquina in St. Augustine’s Fort was so effective in opposition to cannon hearth will not be its hardness but its softness. Cannon balls would sink into it slightly 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 stated. “Where can we see more of it ”
“There are a lot of locations to see it for those who look,” I responded. “You will note it at the city gates, in lots of the buildings and stone fences around the Flock city. Only a finite quantity was quarried, for the reason that builders discovered it was easier to re-use the stone from damaged buildings than quarry more of it. Then newer methods started to be used. The truth is, the first poured concrete structure within the United States is the Zorayda Castle over on King Street. The Coquina used for military buildings on the south end of town was re-used to construct the Franciscan convent after which in the muse for the barracks, built on the identical site.”

I have all the time found the use of Coquina in St. Augustine a captivating story. What I learned over time is that Coquina is a mix of mineral calcite and phosphate often 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. It is usually discovered uncovered in lots of areas alongside the east coast of Florida from St. Johns to Palm Beach counties. It may be found as far inland as 20 miles from Florida’s east coast.

When Coquina is extracted it is rather comfortable. Its softness makes it straightforward to harvest from a quarry and form into varied shapes together with block. However, before it can be utilized as a constructing material it should be left to dry for just a few years; it is still mushy, but onerous enough to use in construction.

Coquina is a novel material with an interesting history; simply considered one of the many attention-grabbing and unique features found in Saint Augustine. I’ve been coming to St. Augustine for the last six years and have realized many fascinating info that are particular only to this space, and I like to seek out unwitting strangers to share my knowledge with during my morning walks.