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[loose newspaper clipping]

NEW YORK HERALD, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1902.

The Golden Dreamland of Winter
St. Augustine  Old and New  
  what the Northern 
  people
  find there.

BY GUSTAV KOBBE.

[first column]
	BEING in Florida, I thought I
	would start breakfast with a
	Florida orange.  There was
	brought to me a shriveled speci-
	men of the California variety.
	But this was not at St. Augus-
	tine.  Since I have been at St. 
	Augustine I have bitten deep into
	the luscious fruit and am still
	sucking the juice.
  There is nothing more delightful than the
feeling of tropical languor which takes pos-
session of one when he gets into real Florida.
Though it was after dark when I arrived at
St. Augustine, I felt the tropical influence.
When I turned in for the night I could hear
in the court below the parish of running 
water, and while I could see nothing outside
I felt instinctively that water plashed like
that only in the tropics.  For it was a low,
indescribably sweet murmur, and when I
looked out of my window in the morning it
was upon the green fronds of palmettos.
  One of the delicious features of St. Au-
gustine, in fact, its chief characteristic, is
its delightful blending of the old and the
new.  It is nearly a century since Spain
ceded Florida to the United States, and yet
at the turn of every corner the visitor is re-
minded of the ancient days in which Spain
held dominion.  Spain driven out of the
Western Hemisphere?  All there still seems 
in the shadow of Spanish rule.
  Driving from the station to the Alcazar
the night of my arrival there was in the
darkness a sudden and momentary gather-
ing of a darker shadow overhead, and I
knew we were passing under the old Spanish
city gates.  These gates, ancient and crum-
bling, are the keynote to the  atmosphere 
of the whole place.  They the shadow of Span-
ish rule is a shadow without gloom, for
glints of tropical sunlight constantly play
through it.  But Spanish St. Augustine was
Spanish it still is; and if it ever ceases to
be Spanish it will lose half its charm.
  The wealth that has been lavished upon it
has not spoiled it, due to Mr. Flagler s real-
ization of its charm.  Millions have been
spent in the last few years by an Ameri-
can; yet were Ponce de Leon suddenly to 
come to live in St. Augustine and look about
him, he would think that Spain still held
sway, and with quintupled glory, for, if any-
thing, the Spanish effect is greater than on
the day Spain hauled down the flag which
for two centuries had been floating over the
bastion of San Marcos.
Our Land of  Manana. 
   Excellenza!  old Ponce would say, in his
stately Spanish way.   Behold the palaces of
the Governor General of New Spain!  In
magnificence they equal the grandest struc-
tures in my own country!  Behold what Spain
has done for her children across the sea! 
  Then he would listen in vain for the sound
of his native tongue.  He would hear a
strange language spoken about him and see
the faces of a new people, which had built
Spanish palaces to use for hotels.
  But even so, the grandest buildings in St. 
Augustine the Ponce de Leon, the Alcazar
and the Cordova are Spanish.  In their
totality they are more Spanish than any-
thing the Spaniards left.  The Spanish power
has been broken.  Spain s soldiers driven out, 
yet in the winter playground of the nation
which recently conquered Spain the largest
and most expensive hotels which probably
ever have been built are expressions of Span-
ish art.  Her political, her military glory is
gone: her art still survives.  Her sword is
broken: the glories of her pen, brush and
chisel live on.
  No doubt it is this prevalence of Spanish
 atmosphere  this touch of Spanish rule,
which still seems to extend everywhere, this
breath from across the sea, which seems to
permeate everything that gives a delightful
sense of restfulness to St. Augustine.  One
has not been there long before falling into
the habit of doing things in a leisurely way,
as they are done in Spain.   Shall we do this
to-day?   The word that comes readiest to
the lips is  manana. 
  Why do to-day what can be put off till
to-morrow, or do to-morrow what can be
put off until the day after?  Why do it even

[second column]
then?  Why do it at all?  It is a deliciously
dreamy drowsy place, and nothing could be
more serenely delightful than to sit under
the arcades of the hotel verandas and look
out on waving palmettos.  Then why move?
Yes, the feeling of laziness which comes over
one and which is so delightfully restful after
the [unclear word] and turmoil of the North is dis-
tinctly Spanish.  Let us be grateful the
Spaniards once lived and ruled there, and
have left us not only their old buildings as
types for our new structures but also their
 manana  as a heritage.
  Whatever the visitor does it is old Spain
that reaches out a hand and kindly leads him
on.  It is as if she were beckoning him on
to behold her ancient glories.  If he wants to
do such an ordinary thing as post a letter
he crosses the old Spanish plaza the Plaza
de la Constitucion and drops it in a letter
box in the old palace of the Governor Gen-
eral.
  The Plaza itself derives its name from an
old monument which is among the most in-
teresting relics of the city, because it is be-
lieved to be unique.  It commemorates the
granting of a more liberal constitution to
the Spaniards.  Similar monuments were
erected on the plazas of every city in Spain
and its colonies.  But when, soon afterward,
the constitution was revoked, all these mon-
uments, save the one which still stands
in St. Augustine, were torn down.  It is a
quaint, weather stained obelisk, and is a 
feature of great curiosity and interest to all
visitors.
  Near the old palace is the ancient Spanish
cathedral, one of the most charming old
buildings in the United States and fairly
redolent with memories and history.  The
bells still swing in the open fa ade, and
there are visitors who remember when they
were not tolled, as now, but when the priests
came out on the roof and struck them with
hammers.
  The interior of the building was ruined by
fire not long ago, and the manner of its resto-
ration is interesting as an illustration of the
graceful manner in which Mr. Flagler has
gone outside of his purely business interests
here to further good work of another kind.
After the building was gutted he advanced 
$50,000 on mortgage to enable the congrega-

tion to make proper and fitting repairs.  The
following Christmas morning the Bishop of
the diocese found the cancelled mortgage
among his Christmas presents.
  Mr. Flagler has also benefited the Baptist
and Methodist churches, and the Presby-
terian Church is a memorial to his daughter,
Mrs. E. C. Benedict.  The church is a beauti-
ful structure, and the manse is so hand-
some in its architecture and appointments
that it is generally spoken of as  the Bishop s
Palace.   The Rev. Mr. J. N. MacGonigle
probably is the only Presbyterian clergyman
who lives in a  bishop s palace,  built in the
style of a Spanish hacienda.
  But there we have the Spanish again.  It

[third column]
has invaded even such as un-Spanish thing
as Presbyterianism, and do you know that
old Spain down in St. Augustine takes a hand
even in golf?
  I saw a pretty girl the other day who had
just  teed  her ball and with one stroke
sent it over a corner of the moat of old Fort
San Marco to a putting green constructed on
the glacis of the ancient stronghold.  When
she had  putted out  she had only to look
across the moat to see the walls of the bas-
tion, their quaint stone sentry towers and the
ancient gateway, with the lion of stout old
Leon in the escutcheon.  The house of the
golf club is within a stone s throw of the
old city gates, and the course is laid out

[fourth column]
partly on the old San Marco grounds, partly
on the ancient fort reservation.  The house
is a charming social centre for the towns-
people, cottage residents and hotel guests,
the St. Augustine Country Club and the St. 
Augustine Golf Club having joined hands this
season to their mutual benefit.
Relic of Martial Spain.
  The old Spanish fort, which the United
States government has named Fort Marion,
probably is, of all things here, the greatest
object of curiosity to St. Augustine visitors.
Usually it is the first place they seek out.
The linger there a long time within the
shadow of its walls and dungeons, amuse 
themselves standing in the sentry towers, or

[fifth column]
climbing up the watchtower at a corner of
the bastion, and their first visit usually is
not their last one.   Tis a delightful stroll
along the mole which skirts the entire sea
frontage of the town to the fort, and, even if
a person does not know that this is the only
example of a mediaeval stronghold on this
continent, he feels impressed with its an-
tiquity and its general air of useless defi-
ance.  For, to modern artillery, it would be
as vulnerable as to the visitor it is picture-
esque. 
  A United States ordnance sergeant is in
charge, and, as he leads visitors around, he
gives them a voluble rapid-fire account of
the history and characteristics of the fort.

[sixth column]
He has repeated it so often that if you in-
terrupt him at any one point with a question
he can, after answering it, no matter at
what length, resume his narrative at the
exact word where he left off, even if in the 
middle of a sentence.  He has considerable
of a war record while serving in the in-
fantry, and is quite as much an object of 
curiosity as the fortification itself.
  This is the water end of the old Spanish
works, which began at the city gates.  It has
several interesting features, among them a
barbican, which may be described as a small
fortification between the entrance and the
main works.  It is surrounded by a moat,
and was originally reached by two draw-
bridges, one from the glacis and one from
the sally port, which is the only entrance to
the fort.  It is on the outer wall, above the
sally port, that the visitor sees the escutch-
eon bearing the arms of Spain.
Charming Honeymoon Nooks.
  The old picture of  Love and War  often
is seen in replica within the walls of Fort
Marion, where corners and arches, stairways 
and towers form charming places of retreat
for the young couples that come to St. Aug-
ustine on their honeymoon.  It is always de-
lightful to watch these couples being shown
over the fort by the old ordnance sergeant,
and to see each young bride cling closer to
her newly knighted cavalier as the veteran
leads them into one of the old casemates
and tells them grewsome tales of a dungeon,
of crucifixes with chains embedded in the
walls, and of the Inquisition which are all
moonshine.  But then young couples like 
moonshine.
  A favorite point of outlook from the fort
is the watch tower, which commands a
lovely view of the Matanzas River, of An-
astasia Island, the rolling sand dunes and
the sea beyond.  Like a stick of black striped
peppermint candy or a huge barber pole is
the tall tower of Anastasia Light, which the
government has painted spirally with black 
and white stripes, to distinguish it from
other neighboring lighthouses.
  On Anastasia Island is the bathing beach
of St. Augustine.  But even there memories
of Spain are not wanting.  Does not the
moaning of the sea sometimes suggest the
wails of the band of Huguenots who were
slaughtered by Pedro Menendez, far back
in the sixteenth century, after having been
induced by false promises to deliver up their
arms?  Menendez sent them boats, brought
them over in small bands at a time, bound
them, blindfolded them, led them behind the
sand hills, and there, in the name of religion,
put them to death.
  Matanzas is aptly named, for the Spanish
 matanza  means slaughter.  But the poor
Huguenots are not the only ones whose
slaughter is remembered there.  Next to the
United States barracks, the old Franciscan
monastery (used by the Spaniards for mili-
tary purposes), is a soldiers  cemetery, the
most conspicuous objects in which are three
white pyramids, under which lie the slaugh-
tered of Major Dade s expedition against the
Seminole Indians.
  There is no American garrison there now,
but all St. Augustine hopes to have it back
again.  The gay uniforms added a dash of 
color to the place, and the playing of the
band at dress parade and that military
ceremony itself always were agreeable feat-
ures of the season.
  After all, however, there is plenty to do.
The hotels have their orchestras, and the
scenes in the evening are bright and cheer-
ful,  making good  the lines from Shen-
stone, set in antique letters in mosaic above
the landing from which the dining hall of
the Ponce is entered: 
	Who er has travelled life s dull round,
	  Where er his stages may have been,
	May sigh to think he still has found
	  His warmest welcome at an inn.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-Two: page two hundred and seventeen
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding tourist attractions in St. Augustine, Florida.
Date:1902-02-02
Subject:Benedict, E.C., Mrs.; Castillo de San Marcos (Saint Augustine, Fla.); Church buildings; Fires; Flagler; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Kobbe, Gustav; MacGonigle, J.N.; New York herald.; Travel
Coverage (City/State):St. Augustine, Florida
Scan Date:2011-01-03

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-Two
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ''The New York Tribune'' at New Orleans, Louisiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as his preparations in New York for going back to England.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.