The Florida National Guard traces its heritage back to 1565, the year the Spanish founders of St. Augustine organized their first company of citizen-soldiers. Florida’s militia has defended local communities for over 450 years.
Located on Marine Street, the St. Francis Barracks were constructed of coquina between 1724 and 1755 by Franciscan friars. The barracks were converted for military use when Florida was possessed by the British in 1763. n 1821, Florida would be claimed by the United States and the US Army took control of the barracks until deactivation in 1900 when it was leased to Florida State Troops, the forerunner of the present-day National Guard, in 1907. In 1921, an act of Congress formally gave the barracks to the State of Florida to operate as the State Arsenal. The structure was rebuilt in 1922 using the original coquina walls.
Today, the St. Francis Barracks headquarters the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard, headed by an Army or Air Force officer as The Adjunct General and their associated staff. Schedule a visit to the small museum onsite to learn about the military history of Florida.
82 Marine Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
ALBUQUERQUE LITTLE THEATRE
Fort Mose Historic State Park is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered the settlement of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or Fort Mose for short, as a settlement for those fleeing slavery from the English colonies in the Carolinas. Over the next 25 years, Fort Mose and Spanish Saint Augustine became a sanctuary for Africans seeking liberation from the tyranny of English slavery.
For half a century, visitors to St. Augustine have made the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Visitor Information Center their first stop upon arriving in the Nation’s Oldest City. Commonly known as the “VIC,” the center offers information on special and cultural events, brochures and guidebooks for the area's attractions, clean restrooms, a gift shop. The VIC is staffed with friendly fully licensed tour guide hosts who gladly share information on attractions, museums, tours, accommodations, restaurants and unique shopping opportunities. The VIC is where a St. Augustine vacation begins, whether you plan to stay a day, a weekend or longer.