Hitty Goes to Jail and Receives a Pardon

I was born in Naples Florida but I doubt if my carver, Gale Lyons, ever imagined that one day I would find myself in jail.  Rest assured, it was not as bad as it sounds.  In fact, it was quite fun!

Deputy Jim was on guard duty the day I went to jail.

The Old Jail in St Augustine, Florida was built by Henry Flagler to resemble a fine hotel.  The Queen Anne style stucco on brick building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings and is the oldest government building in St John's County.  It is one of the few surviving jails still standing in the state.

Finished in 1891, it housed prisoners for over sixty years.  The original cells could house 72 inmates---men or women.  The facility includes the sheriff's quarters where he lived with his family and had his office.

A life size replica of one of the most feared sheriff's in the south, Joe Perry, sits on a bench in front of the jail and another guards the cell block and speaks to you from a raised platform.  He was a big man and when he spoke, I listened.

Photo courtesy of www.augustine.com

I begin my tour with Deputy Jim

Sheriff Perry

The Cells

The Gallows

I am pardoned.  My visit at the Old Jail is complete.  Believe me, I was happy to step outside into the sunshine!  You can learn more about visiting St Augustine at http://www.augustine.com/

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Hitty Plays Tourist in St Augustine Florida

After leaving the fort, our Old Town Trolley Tour guide highlighted the history of St Augustine and embellished our stops with interesting trivia.

On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, landed with a group of settlers and established the first permanent Christian settlement. The Spanish named the site Nombre De Dios--Name of God.

Ray Charles, singer, songwriter, composer and a pioneer in the rhythm and blues genre, attended school here until his mother died when he was 15 years old.  While he lived in St Augustine, he developed his musical talent and performed on the radio and at local events.  He is a much loved favorite son of St Augustine.

In the middle of a hotel parking lot, you will find The Old Senator, a live oak tree believed to be over 600 years old.

Not far from the Old Senator is an exact replica of the Statue of Michelangelo's David sculpted by Sollazzini & Sons of Florence Italy.  It stands 17 feet tall and is carved from a solid piece of Carrara Marble excavated from the same quarry as the original.  This replica is one of only two in the world.  According to our tour guide, the citizens of St Augustine were so overwhelmed by him standing there "in all his glory" that he was draped in a toga until a hedge grew tall enough to shield him from the street.  

David and the hedge

The lighthouse

I thought these scooters looked like they would be fun!

I loved this VW bus I saw in an antique shop window.  It was just about my size.

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