TOUR AMERICA 2019: SAINT AUGUSTINE FLORIDA

Home Is Where We Park It:  Stagecoach RV Park

Date:  April 21, 2019

Saint Augustine Part Five

Easter Sunday – Off To Switzerland!

219 Steps To The Top Of The Lighthouse

If anyone is really keeping track, you’re right there was no blog yesterday.  I took a shower, shaved, laid down at 9 pm for just a minute and the next thing I knew it was 6 am!  Now how about that.

Happy Easter to one and all this Easter Sunday.  We really, really wanted to go to church this Easter Sunday but were so reluctant after the absolutely terrible experience we had last year.  Barbara, though, did some research and found a Presbyterian Church in Switzerland – Switzerland, Florida that is – that looked promising. We both said a silent prayer and out the door we went this morning.  This time we were not disappointed.

This is the Geneva Presbyterian Church where we attended worship this Easter Sunday.

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What a beautiful church and what wonderful, open and inviting people.  This Easter Sunday was a complete 180 from last year.  Are we ever glad we went.

This is a picture of the worship center looking at the wall behind the pulpit.  There is still about 15 minutes before service so it seems empty, but by the time service started there wasn’t an empty pew.

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A closer look.

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The window above the cross.

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One of the sanctuary windows off to the right.

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What a choir they had, they ended the service with The Halleluiah Chorus and they did not disappoint.  They were absolutely magnificent!

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Pastor Joe did not disappoint either.  He delivered a powerful message of rebirth, new life, and hope no matter the circumstances one may be going through.  We would definitely return here again when in the area.

That was this morning.  Now, let’s go back a day and discover what made me so down-right tired.  Yup, we were supposed to stay home and just recover from all the walking we had already done.  You know us, however, the day was so beautiful there was no way  we were going to stay home.  Off we went and this was were we ended up.

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Tain’t she grand, the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  Today the Lighthouse is a private-aid to navigation and an active, working lighthouse.  The current lighthouse stands at the north end of Antastasia Island and was built between 1871 and 1874. The tower is the second lighthouse tower in St. Augustine, the first being lit officially by the American territorial government in May 1824 as Florida’s first lighthouse. However, both the Spanish and the British governments operated a major aid to navigation here including a series of wooden watch towers and beacons dating from 1565.

Let’s investigate a bit more.  We begin at the

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In the Visitor’s Center we discovered that taking care of the Lighthouse was a family affair.

Each member of the family tended to the lighthouse and shared family chores.  The lightkeeper maintained the lenses, made necessary repairs to the lighthouse as needed, and kept watch over the harbor.  The keepers wife prepared meals, tended to the garden, and mended clothes.  She also had to be ready at a moments notice to step in and assume the role of the lightkeeper if anything happened to her husband.   Children were also looked upon as important members of the station.  They had chores assigned to them by their parents and sometimes stood watch with their father.

Moving to the lighthouse itself  here we are in front of it at ground level.

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Moving inside the first room we came upon was the Lightkeeper’s office and workroom.  Here in the workroom the oil for the original light was kept.

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Before the light was electrified in 1936 the keeper carried a twenty pound pail of oil to the top every two and a half hours.  Trust me I picked up that pail and I know I couldn’t even get it to the top just once!

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About that climb to the top.  Well, I was definitely over 44 inches tall, and those 219 steps, I was up to the challenge.  Unfortunately Barbara was not so I was left to solo.

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Time to start the climb up.  I’m getting there.

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The final set of stairs to the top.

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Made it!  And here is the view from the top.  In the distance is the Route 312 bridge.

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That’s the Atlantic Ocean way out there.

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Looking straight down from whence I came.

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Of course what goes up has to eventually go back down.

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New knees do make a big difference in my life.  Six months ago I could not have done this.  Imagine that!

Down on the ground again we moved over to the Keepers House.

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The original house had been destroyed by arson.  Over $1.2 million was raised by 16 individuals over fifteen years to restore it to what you see above.  It is a brick triplex that housed two families and a single gentleman who served as the assistant lightkeeper.

This was and is the current layout of the house.

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This was the dining room, school work would probably have been done in this room as well.  Other tasks not suitable for the parlor, such as mending socks would have taken place here also.

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This is the parlor.

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No pictures of the bedrooms as they were just large empty rooms.

This is the basement, uncommon in Florida were water from the gutters flowed into large cisterns.

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Leaving the Keepers House we wandered the grounds and discovered other exhibits.

That was our day at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  There is so much more there but again I just can’t put it all in one blog.  I hope, however, through the pictures and short history I’ve shared that it will whet your appetite to someday visit it for yourself.

Our last two days on The Road of Retirement have been interesting and exciting ones.  We’ve enjoyed every minute of our sightseeing trips.  It was wonderful to be part of an Easter Sunday service that uplifted and inspired.  My reason for being so tired last night, I do believe those 219 steps just wore me out.  I, however, am so grateful to the good Lord that I now am able to complete things like that.  Stay tuned, we have so much more to share with you in the coming days.

Thanks again for coming along with us through our blog.  We hope you enjoyed your time with us.  Time now to call it a night.  But just wait until tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road

One thought on “TOUR AMERICA 2019: SAINT AUGUSTINE FLORIDA

  1. Love the lighthouse and the history of it. Proud that you made it to the top. Aren’t new knees wonderful? The Keeper carrying 20#’s of oil so often was hard work. Thanks for the description of their lives.

    Like

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