St. Augustine: A View of the Plaza and the Ponce de Leon Hotel in 1890


Back in 1513, the Spanish explorer Don Ponce de Leon set foot near the Indian settlement of Seloy, Florida naming the area “La Florida’ meaning the flower, and named it for Spain. Following this, the historical rosta reveals that five flags flew over Florida over the next four centuries; – First Spanish Dominion (1565-1763) British (1763-1784), second Spanish (1784-1821), Confederate (1861-1862), and United States (1821-1861, and 1862 onwards). St. Augustine is a town of narrow streets and in the old section, many restored houses of Spanish influence with overhanging balconies.

This view of the Plaza shows the Estes House Hotel and Trinity Church on King Street to the left, the Ponce de Leon Hotel (which became Flagler College in 1969) and the Public Market, and to the right the Cathedral. The scene shows the Plaza prior to the filling in of the inner boat basin and the construction of a major bridge over the Matanzas River which would later obscure from view many of the items of interest in this scene.

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