This is the zero milestone marker for the Old Spanish Trail auto highway.
In Mobile, Alabama in 1915, The Old Spanish Trail was conceptualized as a transcontinental route that would stretch from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California. At the time, it was quite a novelty to take a road trip across the country, so though the trail sounds historic in nature, its intention was to promote and encourage tourism.
Construction began the next year, but progress stalled in the late teens due to World War I and the cost of building bridges over Gulf waterways.
The Trail was completed in 1929 under the direction of Harral Ayres of the Old Spanish Trail Association. Travelers were captivated with the trail until the 1960s when Interstates 8 and 10 moved traffic away from the old roads in favor of faster routes.
The coquina ball was originally located just south of the Castillo de San Marcos. In May of 1962, the sphere was moved to the north side of the Visitor Information Center with its final resting place on the south side of the building where it sits today.
Learn more about the Zero Milestone Marker by asking one of the hosts at the Visitor Information Center about the binder of archives.
Medium type: Coquina
Date created: 1924
Dimensions: 6' diameter