Friday, October 24, 2008
St. Augustine, Florida. Wooden Schoolhouse. October, 2008.
I am down here in the Jacksonville, Florida area on personal business and I found some time to visit St. Augustine, a quaint town by the sea. It is rich in Spanish history, Florida being a Spanish colony before it became part of the U.S.. Here, I chanced upon the oldest surviving wooden schoolhouse in America. I know, there are many claims being made here and there that one has to take such things with a healthy dose of skepticism. The schoolhouse first appeared on the tax roll of the city in 1716, but it is generally accepted that the structure was built before that year. The great thing about this structure is that it has not been altered significantly in the last 200 years, probably even earlier, and so we can see how wooden structures were built in the early American colonies. The chains around the house ( date unknown to me ) secured it to the ground against the high winds of storms. This is a 2-story structure with the classroom at ground level and the schoolmaser's living area situated above. Take note of the squirrel by the anchor. Click on the photo to enlarge it.