St. Johns County, Florida
St. Johns County is a county of the U. S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 United States Census, the county's population was 190,039; the county seat and largest incorporated city is St. Augustine. St. Johns County is part of the Jacksonville metropolitan area; the county was established in 1821. It is one of the two original counties established after Florida was ceded to the United States, at the start of the Florida Territorial period, corresponded with the former colonial province of East Florida, it was named for the St. Johns River. Today, St. Johns County is made up of residential bedroom communities for those who commute to Jacksonville. Tourism associated with St. Augustine and the many golf courses in the area, is the chief economic industry. St. Johns County’s history begins in 1821, when Colonel Robert Butler received Spanish East Florida from Captain-General Colonel José M. Coppinger. Butler represented Major General Andrew Jackson, federal military commissioner for the Florida provinces 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 who ordained that all of that country lying east of the river Suwannee should be designated as the County of St. Johns.
St. Johns was established, along with Escambia County, on July 21, 1821, just eleven days after Butler received Florida for the United States, 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 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 more than 39,000 square miles. Much of the land was uninhabited. Saint Augustine was the oldest permanent European settlement, there were Native Americans in the county as well. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 822 square miles, of which 601 square miles is land and 221 square miles is water. Duval County, Florida – north Flagler County, Florida – south Putnam County, Florida – southwest Clay County, Florida – west Castillo de San Marcos National Monument Fort Matanzas National Monument Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve As of the census of 2000, there were 123,135 people, 49,614 households, 34,084 families residing in the county.
The population density was 202 people per square mile. There were 58,008 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 90.92% White, 6.29% African American, 0.26% American Indian, 0.95% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.8% of the population. There is a Jewish community. There were 49,614 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.30% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.90. The age of the population was spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years.
For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $50,099, the median income for a family was $59,153. Males had a median income of $40,783 versus $27,240 for females; the per capita income for the county was $28,674. About 5.10% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.30% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over. The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners is an elected five-member commission, which appoints a county administrator; the main environmental and agricultural body is the St. Johns County Soil and Water Conservation District, which works with other area agencies. In 2016 Donald Trump received 88,684 votes. Voter Registration Statistics as of 2/24/19 St. Johns County Animal Control operates the St. Johns County Pet Adoption and Holding Center at 130 North Stratton Road. Public schools are run by the St. Johns County School District, headed by the St. Johns County School Board, an elected five-member board which appoints a superintendent to administer schools' operations.
The system has grown since 2000 to accommodate the county's rapid population growth. It is Florida's top performing school district in Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores, the state's standardized test for public schools. In addition, the district received 2011 Energy Star Top Performer and Leader from the EPAFor the 2014–2015 school year the district comprised: 18 elementary schools 3 K-8 school 7 middle schools 7 high schools 1 alternative center 6 charter schools 1 virtual schoolThe St. Johns County School District has a robust special education department serving the needs of students with autism, cerebral palsy, cognitive disabilities. Additionally, the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is a residential school for deaf and blind students and operated by the state of Florida; the Catholic Diocese of
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was a Spanish admiral and explorer from the region of Asturias, remembered for planning the first regular trans-oceanic convoys and for founding St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565; this was the first successful Spanish settlement in La Florida and the most significant city in the region for nearly three centuries. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continental United States. Menéndez de Avilés was the first governor of Florida. Menéndez had made his career in the service of the king, Philip II of Spain, his initial plans for a voyage to Florida revolved around searching for his son, shipwrecked there in 1561. He could not find his son and he was assumed dead. Following the founding of Fort Caroline in present-day Jacksonville by French Huguenots under René Goulaine de Laudonnière, he was commissioned to conquer the peninsula as Adelantado, he established Saint Augustine, or San Agustín, in 1565. His position as governor now secure, Menéndez built additional fortifications.
He was appointed governor of Cuba, in October of that year. He voyaged to La Florida for the last time in 1571, with 650 settlers for Santa Elena, as well as his wife and family. Menéndez died of typhus at Santander, Spain, in 1574. In 1560, Pedro Menéndez commanded the galleons of the great Armada de la Carrera, or Spanish Treasure Fleet, on their voyage from the Caribbean and Mexico to Spain, he was appointed by King Philip II of Spain, who chose him as Captain General, his brother Bartolomé Menéndez as Admiral, of the Fleet of the Indies. When he had delivered the treasure fleet to Spain, he asked permission to go back in search of one lost vessel which had contained his son, other relatives, friends, but the crown refused his request. In 1565, the Spanish decided to destroy the French outpost of Fort Caroline, located in what is now Jacksonville; the crown approached Menéndez to fit out an expedition to Florida on the condition that he explore and settle the region as King Philip's adelantado, eliminate the Huguenot French, whom the Catholic Spanish considered to be dangerous heretics.
Menéndez was in a race to reach Florida before the French captain Jean Ribault, on a mission to secure Fort Caroline. The two fleets met in a brief skirmish off the coast. On 28 August 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine of Hippo, Menéndez's crew sighted land, they landed shortly. The settlement was founded in the former Timucua village of Seloy; the location of the settlement was chosen for its defensibility and proximity to a fresh water artesian spring. To this day, the locals of St. Augustine claim that it was here that Menéndez held the first Catholic mass in what is now the continental United States. A French attack on St. Augustine was thwarted by a violent squall that ravaged the French naval forces. Taking advantage of this, Menéndez marched his troops overland to Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River, about 30 miles north; the Spanish overwhelmed the defended French garrison, left with only a skeleton crew of 20 soldiers and about 100 others, killing most of the men and sparing about 60 women and children.
The bodies of the victims were hung in trees with the inscription: "Hanged, not as Frenchmen, but as "Lutherans"." Menéndez renamed the fort San Mateo and marched back to St. Augustine, where he discovered that the shipwrecked survivors from the French ships had come ashore to the south of the settlement. A Spanish patrol encountered the remnants of the French force, took them prisoner. Menéndez accepted their surrender, but executed all of them except a few professing Catholics and some Protestant workers with useful skills, at what is now known as Matanzas Inlet; the site is near the national monument Fort Matanzas, built in 1740-1742 by the Spanish. Menéndez is credited as the Spanish leader who first surveyed and authorized the building of the royal fortresses at major Caribbean ports, he was appointed Captain-General of the Spanish treasure fleet in 1554, when he sailed out with the Indies fleet and brought it back safely to Spain. This experience assured him of the strategic importance of the Bahama Channel and the position of Havana as the key port to rendezvous the annual Flota of treasure galleons.
In his capacity as adelantado and the private instrument of his sovereign's will, he was required to implement the royal policies of fortification for the defense of conquered territories in La Florida and the establishment of Castilian governmental institutions in desirable areas. Menéndez' military experience served him well when he led a successful overland expedition from St. Augustine to surprise and destroy the French garrison at Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River. On 20 September 1565, a hundred and thirty-two Frenchmen were massacred within the fort. Menéndez left a Spanish garrison at the captured fort, now renamed San Mateo. Menéndez pursued Jean Ribault, who had left with four ships to attack the Spanish at St. Augustine. A storm wrecked three of the French ships near what is now the Ponce de León inlet and the flagship was grounded near Cape Canaveral; the survivors made their way up the coast to
Florida State Road A1A
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 towns. Part of SR A1A is designated Historic Coastal Byway, a National Scenic Byway. A portion of A1A that passes through Volusia County is designated the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail, a Florida Scenic Highway, it is called the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Highway from State Road 510 at Wabasso Beach to U. S. Route 1 in Cocoa. A1A is famous worldwide as a center of beach culture in the United States, a scenic coastal route through most Atlantic coastal cities and beach towns, including the unique tropical coral islands of the Florida Keys. A1A serves as a major thoroughfare through Miami Beach and other south Florida coastal cities. Other than SR A1A Alternate, only two other Florida state roads have begun with a letter: SR A19A, SR G1A; the road was designated as State Road 1 in the 1945 renumbering replacing the former State Road 140 designation.
The number reflected its location in the new grid as the easternmost major north–south road. About a year and a half in November 1946, the State Road Board resolved to renumber the route due to confusion with the parallel U. S. Highway 1; the new designation, A1A, was chosen to keep the number 1 in its place in the grid. The East Coast Greenway, a system of trails that connects Maine to Florida, travels along sections of State Road A1A. SR A1A is associated with Florida beach culture and is known for its lush tropical and subtropical scenery and ocean vistas. In many places, the highway runs directly along the waterfront of the Atlantic Ocean, but in other places, it runs one to five blocks inland from the beachfront. For most of its length, A1A runs along Florida's East Coast Barrier Islands, separated from the mainland of the state by the Intracoastal Waterway; because of the proximity of the highway to the ocean and its susceptibility to storm surges, sections of A1A are closed or damaged by hurricanes and tropical storms.
A1A has been a backbone of Florida's Spring Break serving as "the strip" in both Fort Lauderdale – a popular spring break destination during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s – and Daytona Beach, which became a popular destination for college spring breaks during the 1970s. Today, A1A serves as more a main coastal highway that connects beach towns for more than 375 miles along Florida's East Coast; the southern terminus of SR A1A is at the southern end of Bertha Street, where SR A1A begins as a two-lane a four-lane highway along the Straits of Florida in Key West, known locally as South Roosevelt Boulevard. The road heads east past East Martello Tower and Key West International Airport, before curving north with an intersection with CR 5A, followed by the northern terminus of the Key West section of SR A1A, U. S. Route 1 and State Road 5. Running along the south shore of Key West, SR A1A is the southmost numbered highway in the lower 48 states. SR A1A reappears at Interstate 395 and US 1 in Miami, beginning at MacArthur Causeway before becoming Collins Avenue at Fifth Street in Miami Beach, serving as one of Miami Beach's main north — south thoroughfares.
Just north in the town of Surfside, the northbound is Collins Avenue, the southbound is Harding Avenue. In Bal Harbour it is called Bal Harbour Boulevard. In Golden Beach it is called Ocean Boulevard, it serves Hallandale Beach, Hollywood Beach, Dania Beach. It joins with US 1 for 3.4 miles, passes the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, it divides and serves Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Pompano Beach, continuing north, it serves as the main road throughout much of the exclusive Palm Beach, further to the north. In the area of Vero Beach, A1A is called the Robert C. Spillman Memorial Highway, it spans Sebastian Inlet at the Sebastian Inlet Bridge. A1A next passes just to the west of the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Two miles of A1A were used as part of the well-known Daytona Beach Road Course. A1A passes through St. Augustine, the oldest continuously-inhabited city on the mainland of the United States. A1A is called 3rd Street in Neptune Beach. Just south of Atlantic Beach, A1A turns inland for several blocks, following Atlantic Boulevard, before resuming a northward course along Mayport Road that ends at the St. Johns River.
A ferry takes traffic to the northern section of A1A that continues along the coast to just south of Fort Clinch State Park on the estuary of the Saint Mary's River. At that point A1A hooks back south to Fernandina Beach and turns west, going inland 20 miles through Yulee and crossing I-95 and U. S. Highway 17, it ends at U. S. Highway 1, U. S. Highway 23, U. S. Highway 301 in Florida; this section west of Fernandina Beach, is marked as SR 200, but SR A1A signs are displayed at every cluster of signs, though a designated direction is only above the SR 200 signs. Prior to the 1945 renumbering, the route that became SR 1 had the following numbers: SR 1 was defined in the 1945 renumbering as: Since the following changes have been made: The Jungle Trail was part of A1A in northeastern Indian River County, Florida; the narrow, 7 1⁄2-mile-long road is located between Old Winter Beach Road and the current A1A, along the western side of Orchid Island, is unpaved. It is part of the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Highway system, the southernmost road in the highway system
Anastasia Island is a barrier island located off the northeast Atlantic coast of Florida in the United States. It sits east of St. Augustine, running north-south in a southeastern direction to Matanzas Inlet; the island is about 14 miles long and an average of 1 mile in width. It is separated from the mainland by the Matanzas River, part of the Intracoastal waterway. Matanzas Bay, the body of water between the island and downtown St. Augustine, opens into St. Augustine Inlet. Part of the island is within St. Augustine city limits, while other communities on the island include St. Augustine Beach, Coquina Gables, Butler Beach, Crescent Beach, Treasure Beach. Fort Matanzas National Monument, a Spanish colonial-era fort built in 1740–1742, is located at the southern end of the island on Rattlesnake Island in the Intracoastal waterway within the park boundaries. Juan Ponce de León may have landed on the barrier island in 1513. Spanish Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, founder of St. Augustine, moved his initial settlement to Anastasia Island after a revolt by the Timucuan Indians in 1566.
This settlement was short-lived, the colonists moved back to the mainland at the site of present-day downtown St. Augustine; the Spanish built a wooden watch-tower on the northern end of Anastasia Island to warn the town of approaching vessels by raising signal flags. It was sighted by Sir Francis Drake in 1586; the Spanish replaced the tower with a coquina structure, converted into a lighthouse soon after Florida came into the possession of the United States in 1821. This was replaced by the present-day St. Augustine Light in 1874; the original lighthouse collapsed in 1880 due to the encroachment of the sea. The earliest built residence on Anastasia Island still standing is the lighthouse keepers' house built in 1876 next to the present lighthouse. Several other houses in the Lighthouse Park neighborhood date to the 1880s; the island was part of a 10,000 acre land grant from the Spanish crown to the land dealer Jesse Fish, who established a plantation, El Vergel, built his home there in 1763.
Fish planted orange groves on the property which produced fruit known as far away as London for its juiciness and sweetness. His production increased annually until 1776, when he shipped a total of 65,000 oranges from Florida. In 1792, Jesse Fish's son, Jesse Fish, Jr. purchased the tract, amounting to the whole of "St. Anastasia" island except certain lands marked off by officials as reserved, such as the King's Quarry. Sarah Fish, Jesse Fish, Jr.'s wife and heir, filed a claim, reported to Congress in 1826 as valid by the commissioners for East Florida and the Secretary of State of the United States, subsequently confirmed by an act of Congress on May 23, 1828. The land developer David Paul Davis, known as "D. P." or "Doc", a native of Green Cove Springs, developed the Davis Shores neighborhood at the north end of Anastasia Island during the land boom of the mid–1920s. In 1925–1926 he filled in the extensive salt marshes located directly opposite the center of St. Augustine across the Matanzas River.
As the construction bubble collapsed and real estate values plummeted, D. P. Davis mysteriously disappeared at sea on October 12, 1926. Construction of the Bridge of Lions had begun in 1925 to provide access to his projected development and was completed in 1927. During World War II the Coast Guard occupied the lighthouse, other residences in Davis Shores were used as barracks for soldiers. Beneath the sandy soil of most of the island lie layers of coquina, a shelly rock in various stages of consolidation; this rock is composed of whole and fragmented shells of the donax, or coquina, clam admixed with scattered fossils of various marine vertebrates, including sharks' and rays' teeth. This deposition is known as the Anastasia Formation, was formed during the Late Pleistocene epoch, in the period of successive glacial ages from about 110,000 years to 11,700 years ago, it is the only local natural source of stone, was quarried by the Spanish and the British to construct many of the buildings in St. Augustine.
An old well and chimney made of coquina rock, located on Old Beach Road, are all that remain of the Spanish barracks built to house the workers who mined the coquina for construction of the fort. These included quarry overseers and stonecutters; the years-long project was accomplished with the help of Native American forced labor and African slaves. In addition to Fort Matanzas National Monument, Anastasia island is home to the 1,600-acre, Anastasia State Park. Anastasia State Park St. Augustine Light St. Augustine Bridge Company St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum website Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program website Maritime archaeology around Anastasia Island Anastasia State Park at Florida State Parks
A salt marsh or saltmarsh known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh, is a coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open saltwater or brackish water, flooded by the tides. It is dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as grasses, or low shrubs; these plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh in trapping and binding sediments. Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food web and the delivery of nutrients to coastal waters, they support terrestrial animals and provide coastal protection. Salt marshes occur on low-energy shorelines in temperate and high-latitudes which can be stable, emerging, or submerging depending if the sedimentation is greater, equal to, or lower than relative sea level rise, respectively; these shorelines consist of mud or sand flats which are nourished with sediment from inflowing rivers and streams. These include sheltered environments such as embankments and the leeward side of barrier islands and spits.
In the tropics and sub-tropics they are replaced by mangroves. Most salt marshes have a low topography with low elevations but a vast wide area, making them hugely popular for human populations. Salt marshes are located among different landforms based on their physical and geomorphological settings; such marsh landforms include deltaic marshes, back-barrier, open coast and drowned-valley marshes. Deltaic marshes are associated with large rivers where many occur in Southern Europe such as the Camargue, France in the Rhone delta or the Ebro delta in Spain, they are extensive within the rivers of the Mississippi Delta in the United States. In New Zealand, most salt marshes occur at the head of estuaries in areas where there is little wave action and high sedimentation; such marshes are located in Awhitu Regional Park in Auckland, the Manawatu Estuary, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary in Christchurch. Back-barrier marshes are sensitive to the reshaping of barriers in the landward side of which they have been formed.
They are common along much of the eastern coast of the Frisian Islands. Large, shallow coastal embayments can hold salt marshes with examples including Morecambe Bay and Portsmouth in Britain and the Bay of Fundy in North America. Salt marshes are sometimes included in lagoons, the difference is not marked, they have a big impact on the biodiversity of the area. Salt marsh ecology involves complex food webs which include primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers; the low physical energy and high grasses provide a refuge for animals. Many marine fish use salt marshes as nursery grounds for their young before they move to open waters. Birds may raise their young among the high grasses, because the marsh provides both sanctuary from predators and abundant food sources which include fish trapped in pools, insects and worms. Saltmarshes across 99 countries were mapped by al.. 2017. A total of 5,495,089 hectares of mapped saltmarsh across 43 countries and territories are represented in a Geographic Information Systems polygon shapefile.
This estimate is at the low end of previous estimates. The most extensive saltmarshes worldwide are found outside the tropics, notably including the low-lying, ice-free coasts and estuaries of the North Atlantic which are well represented in their global polygon dataset; the formation begins as tidal flats gain elevation relative to sea level by sediment accretion, subsequently the rate and duration of tidal flooding decreases so that vegetation can colonize on the exposed surface. The arrival of propagules of pioneer species such as seeds or rhizome portions are combined with the development of suitable conditions for their germination and establishment in the process of colonisation; when rivers and streams arrive at the low gradient of the tidal flats, the discharge rate reduces and suspended sediment settles onto the tidal flat surface, helped by the backwater effect of the rising tide. Mats of filamentous blue-green algae can fix silt and clay sized sediment particles to their sticky sheaths on contact which can increase the erosion resistance of the sediments.
This assists the process of sediment accretion to allow colonising species to grow. These species retain sediment washed in from the rising tide around their stems and leaves and form low muddy mounds which coalesce to form depositional terraces, whose upward growth is aided by a sub-surface root network which binds the sediment. Once vegetation is established on depositional terraces further sediment trapping and accretion can allow rapid upward growth of the marsh surface such that there is an associated rapid decrease in the depth and duration of tidal flooding; as a result, competitive species that prefer higher elevations relative to sea level can inhabit the area and a succession of plant communities develops. Coastal salt marshes can be distinguished from terrestrial habitats by the daily tidal flow that occurs and continuously floods the area, it is an important process in delivering sediments and plant water supply to the marsh. At higher elevations in the upper marsh zone, there is much less tidal inflow, resulting in lower salinity levels
A peninsula is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is understood to be continuous, though not named as a single body of water. Peninsulas are not always named as such. A point is considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water, less prominent than a cape. A river which courses through a tight meander is sometimes said to form a "peninsula" within the loop of water. In English, the plural versions of peninsula are peninsulas and, less peninsulae. List of peninsulas Isthmus
Castillo de San Marcos
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States. The Castillo was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza, with construction beginning in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire; the fort's construction was ordered by Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega after a raid by the English privateer Robert Searles in 1668 that destroyed much of St. Augustine and damaged the existing wooden fort. Work proceeded under the administration of Guerra's successor, Manuel de Cendoya in 1671, the first coquina stones were laid in 1672; the construction of the core of the current fortress was completed in 1695, though it would undergo many alterations and renovations over the centuries. When Britain gained control of Florida in 1763 pursuant to the Treaty of Paris, St. Augustine became the capital of British East Florida, the fort was renamed Fort St. Mark until the Peace of Paris when Florida was transferred back to Spain and the fort's original name restored.
In 1819, Spain signed the Adams–Onís Treaty which ceded Florida to the United States in 1821. The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, after 251 years of continuous military possession, was deactivated in 1933; the 20.48-acre site was subsequently turned over to the United States National Park Service. In 1942 the original name, Castillo de San Marcos, was restored by an Act of Congress. Castillo de San Marcos was attacked several times and twice besieged: first by English colonial forces led by Carolina Colony Governor James Moore in 1702, by English Georgia colonial Governor James Oglethorpe in 1740, but was never taken by force. However, possession of the fort has changed six times, all peaceful, among four different governments: Spain, 1695–1763 and 1783–1821, Kingdom of Great Britain, 1763–1783, the United States of America), 1821–date. Under United States control the fort was used as a military prison to incarcerate members of Native American tribes starting with the Seminole—including the famous war chief, Osceola, in the Second Seminole War—and members of western tribes, including Geronimo's band of Chiricahua Apache.
The Native American art form known as Ledger Art had its origins at the fort during the imprisonment of members of the Plains tribes such as Howling Wolf of the southern Cheyenne. Ownership of the Castillo was transferred to the National Park Service in 1933, it has been a popular tourist destination since then; the European city of St. Augustine was founded by the admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés for the Spanish Crown in 1565 on the site of a former Native American village called Seloy; the need for fortifications was recognized after it was attacked by Sir Francis Drake and his fleet of 22 ships in 1586, over the next 80 years, a succession of nine wooden forts were built in various locations along the coastline. However, after a 1668 attack by the English pirate Robert Searle during which the town of St. Augustine was burned to the ground, wooden forts were deemed inadequate, Mariana, Queen Regent of Spain, approved the construction of a masonry fortification to protect the city; the Castillo is a masonry star fort made of a stone called coquina, which consists of ancient shells that have bonded together to form a sedimentary rock similar to limestone.
Native Americans from Spain's nearby missions did most of the labor, with additional skilled workers brought in from Havana, Cuba. The coquina was quarried from the'King's Quarry' on Anastasia Island in what is today Anastasia State Park across Matanzas Bay from the Castillo, ferried across to the construction site. Construction began on October 2, 1672, lasted twenty-three years, with completion in 1695; the fort has four bastions named San Pedro, San Agustín, San Carlos and San Pablo with a ravelin protecting the sally port. On the two landward sides a large glacis was constructed which would force any attackers to advance upward toward the fort's cannon and allow the cannon shot to proceed downslope for greater efficiency in hitting multiple targets. Surrounding the fort was a moat, kept dry, but that could be flooded with seawater to a depth of about a foot in case of attack by land. Multiple embrasures were built into the curtain wall along the top of the fort as well as into the bastions for the deployment of a cannon of various calibers.
Infantry embrasures were built into the walls below the level of the terreplein for the deployment of muskets by the fort's defenders. It was through one of these embrasures that twenty Seminoles held as prisoners would escape in 1837. In 1670, Charles Town was founded by English colonists; as it was just two days' sail from St. Augustine, the English settlement and encroachment of English traders into Spanish territory spurred the Spanish in their construction of a fort. In 1702, English colonial forces under the command of Carolina Governor Governor James Moore embarked on an expedition to capture St. Augustine early in Queen Anne's War; the English laid siege to St. Augustine in November 1702. About 1,500 town residents and soldiers were crammed into the fort during the two-month siege; the small English cannon had little effect on the walls of the fort, because the coquina was effective at absorbing the impact of the shells. The siege was broken when the Spanish fleet from Havana