Saint Johns County history begins in 1821, when Colonel Robert Butler received Spanish East Florida from Captain-General Colonel Jose M Coppinger. Butler represented Major General Andrew Jackson, federal military commissioner for the Florida provinces (las Floridas) with the powers of governor, exercising the powers of the Captain General and the Intendants of the Island of Cuba and the Governors of the said provinces, respectively, who ordained that all of that country lying east of the river Suwannee should be designated as the Saint Johns County.
Saint Johns County was established, along with Escambia County (in the former West Florida province), on July 21, 1821, just eleven days after Butler received Florida for the United States, and only five days from the date that the city of St Augustine was incorporated.
The name Saint John’s was derived from the Spanish Mission (c. 1580) San Juan Del Puerto or Saint John of the Harbor. The apostrophe was dropped in 1932 by the U S Department of the Interior because an apostrophe implied ownership.
It was a huge county, encompassing most of the Peninsular of Florida, or more than 39,000 square miles; it was 475 miles long by 165 miles wide. Much of the land was uninhabited. Saint Augustine (1565) was the oldest permanent European settlement, and there were Native Americans in the county as well.
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, in Saint Johns County the fort was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza
Anastasia State Park is a 1,600-acre Florida State Park located on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay
State Road A1A is a north-south Florida State Road that runs along the Atlantic Ocean, from Key West at the southern tip of Florida, to Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island. It is the main road through most oceanfront townsay from downtown St. Augustine in Saint Johns County.
The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiquities, mostly American Gilded Age pieces, housed within the historic Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine Saint Johns County.
The St. Augustine Light Station is an active lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida. The current lighthouse stands at the north end of Anastasia Island and was built in 1874; it is the most recent of a number of towers built in the area.
Fort Matanzas National Monument was designated a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is one of Florida’s oldest continuously running attractions, having opened on May 20, 1893
The Old Jail is a historic jail in St. Augustine, Florida. It is located at 167 San Marco Avenue. On August 27, 1987, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Saint Johns County Jail now serves as the Old Jail Museum.
The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is a museum dedicated to pirate artifacts. Formerly known as the Pirate Soul Museum, the museum was located at 524 Front Street, Key West, Florida, United States
For most of its history, the Colonial Quarter has been known as the Colonial Spanish Quarter. After an extensive multimillion-dollar renovation completed in three months, the site opened as the Colonial Quarter in March 2013.
St. Augustine, Florida has always been a thriving market for shops. It began as a bustling port town for merchants, and today it’s one of the top vacation destinations of the South. Remember your visit to Florida with a keepsake or memento purchased from one of the old city’s many shopping districts. High quality products and gifts are in abundance here.
Shop souvenirs, art, clothing and apparel, home decor, jewelry, accessories, cigars, spices, wines – whatever your penchant, you’re sure to find a specialty store to suit your need. Walk down historic St. George Street, and venture through its many indoor shopping halls.
Art galleries galore can be found on Aviles Street, and tropical beach wares on Anastasia Island and St. Augustine beach. Browse through Victorian homes converted to boutiques, and shop St. Augustine’s various antique stores for the perfect gift. Buy any number of souvenirs and take a piece of the ancient city home with you.