Tag Archives: Jean Ribault

New Story: The Ancient Timucuan Community of Sarabay

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This is the ancient Timucuan Indian community of Sarabay. For more than two decades, UNF archaeologist Keith Ashley suspected it. Now he’s sure. European pottery found here matches notes in French and Spanish writings from the 1560s to the early 1600s. For the Mocama, the Timucuan people who lived here for thousands of years, European contact meant the beginning of the end.

New Story: St. Elmo “Chic” Acosta House

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When the old man fired his gun over the boy’s head for stealing oranges, the future city commissioner said one day Armstrong’s house would be his. He bought it in 1911. St. Elmo “Chic” Acosta was arrested in 1924 on “false charges” of keeping a “disorderly house” and indicted in 1933 for giving away the city’s “sack of potatoes” and a mule. He made enemies easily, but always fought for urban “beautification.” After the Acostas donated the house in 1966, it became the artistic heart of Episcopal School of Jacksonville.

New Story: Old St. Johns River Lighthouse

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When I climbed the lighthouse in the year 2000, we found, in place of the light, the nest of a great night bird of prey. The Old St. Johns Lighthouse should stand for hundreds of years, perhaps a thousand, says Herschel Shepard, the architect who restored it. The door’s long buried in the risen ground. Wanton S. Webb called it a “pretty romance,” the story of a retired maritime sergeant who locked his daughter in the lighthouse a century and a half ago.