Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Colonial Spanish Quarter

While in St Augustine, we also visited a living history museum in the historic part of the city, the Colonial Spanish Quarter.  We walked past, but didn't go into, the "Oldest Schoolhouse" museum and I couldn't resist a picture of this sign posted on the wall:

At the Colonial Spanish Quarter, we were able to see many elements of daily life as it would have been like for the residents of St Augustine in the 1700s.  Our first stop was at an officer's residence.  This is the bedroom and living area of the house.

See the beautiful carved spindles on the headboard.  The round table in the middle is very similar to the firepit bowls that are popular today.  On the bed is an intricately embroidered baby dress that fascinated Kennady.

This is the kitchen - the houses only had two rooms.

The suspended pantry shelf was used to reduce the number of pests getting into the food, while the table was the work area.  this is the oven and stovetop, which seemed like it would have been very efficient.

Our next stop was the leatherworker's shop.  I don't have a picture of him at his work, but he showed us many of the products that he would make.

Next stop was to visit with a couple of artisans - this gentleman was carving a powderhorn.

And yes, it's in German.  And those are indeed Pennsylvania Dutch style symbols.  I asked him what a Lutheran German was doing in Catholic Spanish St Augustine, since religious tolerance wasn't quite the order of the day.  LOL 

For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the smithy, even though we chatted with the blacksmith for quite awhile and watched him at his work.

Last visit was to the churchman's home.  As you can see, the clerics lived in a more austere dwelling than did the military officer's family.

This churchman happened to be a scribe, and he shared some tips for good penmanship and elegant writing as he practiced his craft.  He was particularly good at acting in character as well, and when he lettered a certificate for us commemorating our visit to St Augustine, he also pointed out that we should enjoy the rest of our day, since it would likely be our last in freedom.  We have a British last name so we could soon expect to be arrested, the children and I forced into slavery, and likely a worse fate for DH.   As I said, religious tolerance wasn't widely practiced in the early days of St Augustine.

A very fun and educational visit! if you're ever in St Augustine, be sure to stop by the Colonial Spanish Quarter


short said...

I love the history, those pictures are great! The first one is so funny!

LindaI said...

you do so many neat things! puts me to shame!

homeschoolhighlites said...

Thanks for sharing those -- looks like a wonderful visit. That stuff used to bore me as a kid but I love to see the pictures now. =)

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and leaving a comment. Your twix bars sound very tempting!


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