Presentation: 8 Flags Over Amelia Part I (French, Spanish, and British). Explore the bloody beginnings of Florida history as 3 major European superpowers vie for control of Northeast Florida.Lunch: Lunch at one of Fernandina's many fine restaurantsAfternoon: Presentation: 8 Flags Over Amelia Part II (Patriot, Green Cross, and Mexican Rebel). During the early 18th century, Florida became a chaotic hotbed of shadowy activity. Locally known as the Chaos Period, this era of Florida history is riddled with colorful characters and dubious activities. This program will be a brief overview of the period that will be discussed in far more detail throughout the week
Trip to Kingsley Plantation National Park The plantation's owner, Zebadiah Kingsley, married his young African slave, Anna Kingsley. After Zebadiah's death, Anna inherited her freedom and Zebadiah's substantial estate. She would go on to expand the plantation's operations and become of the area's most powerful women.
Excursion to American Beach. Located on the south end of Amelia Island, American Beach was one of the few African American resort areas in the United States. Purchased by Abraham Lincoln Lewis (Florida's first African American millionaire) in 1935, American Beach became a thriving beach-side resort community during the age of segregation. Music greats, such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong, frequented the beach's many clubs and many of America's most influential African Americans owned homes on the beach. Today American Beach is but a shadow of its former glory. Still boasting a strong African American community, American Beach is squeezed by modern development.Dinner: Dinner at one of Fernandina's many fine restaurants.Evening: Getting to know the art of Amelia. Take a break from the dark side of Amelia to enjoy a warm reception by the Amelia Island Art Association. Have a glass of wine as you get to better know your fellow participants and the thriving local art community.Lodging: Hampton Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Pirates: Fact or Fiction presented by Joe Anderson in AIMH's Baker HallLunch: Lunch at one of Fernandina's many fine restaurants.Afternoon: Guided excursion through downtown Fernandina Beach. The birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, Florida's oldest saloon, and plenty of Victorian architecture await as you explore one of Florida's best-kept secrets.
Trip to Old Town, the Original Fernandina. Only a shadow of its former glory, Old Town boasted a fort, Spanish plaza, slave warehouses, and more. Currently a sleepy residential area, many of Old Town's landmarks have disappeared since Fernandina was moved in the 1850's.
Presentation: Gregor MacGregor: The Greatest Huckster in History. In 1817, Amelia Island was invaded by a motley crew of mercenaries led by Gregor MacGregor. MacGregor, fresh from helping Simon Bolivar establish a free Argentina, sought to "liberate" Florida and establish another democratic state. Discover on of history's most colorful character as his exploits bring him to Amelia Island.
Presentation: The Patriot Invasion of Northeast Florida: Under the Surface. During the chaos brought about by the War of 1812, a secret plot was hatched to steal Florida from Spain. With secret presidential approval, a group of rag-tag militia from the southern U.S. invaded northeast Florida. This small band of ruffians almost succeeded in securing Florida for the United States, but failed in what is locally called the Other War of 1812.Dinner: Dinner at one of Fernandina's fine restaurants.Lodging: Hampton Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Presentation: Luis Aury: Pirate, Privateer, Revolutionary. Amelia Island's 5th flag was strangely that of the Mexican Rebels. Hoisted by French-born pirate, Luis Aury, this short-lived flag came on the heels of MacGregor's occupation of the island. Fresh from Galveston, Texas and Mexico, Aury fancied himself a revolutionary, though most of the world would call him a pirate. This presentation will delve into the story of one of Fernandina's colorful conquers, Luis Aury.Lunch: Lunch at one of Fernandina's fine restaurants.Afternoon: Amelia's Victorian Tea in AIMH's Baker Hall.
Field trip to Fort Clinch. Situated on the northern tip of Amelia Island, Fort Clinch was built to defend Amelia Island and the mouth of the St. Marys River. It was largely built with slave labor, but would later become an icon for freedom when Union forces occupied the island during the American Civil War. It played an important role in curbing Confederate smuggling and training the escaped Confederate slaves that flocked to the island to be free.Dinner: Dinner at one of Fernandina's many fine restaurants.Evening: Conversations with History. The Amelia Island Museum of History boasts a cast of "1st person presenters". These costumed reenactors portray some of the area's more colorful historical characters. Part theater, part history, our first person presenters help bring history alive in a fun and engaging way.Lodging: Hampton Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Presentation: Amelia Island in the Civil War: Secession, Occupation, and Black Recruiting Grounds. Shortly after becoming part of the United States, America was gripped by civil war. Florida sided with the newly formed Confederacy and seceded from the union. As part of its Anaconda Strategy, the Union forces blockaded or occupied many southern harbors to starve the confederates of much needed supplies and trade. In 1862, union forces landed on Amelia Island as confederate forces withdrew to areas deemed more important to the war. Occupied by the union, Fernandina became a symbol for freedom in the deep south and thousands of slaves would flee their plantations in hopes of reaching Amelia Island and their freedom. Many of these newly freed slaves would be formed into the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first African American fighting unit in U.S. historyDinner: Dinner at one of Fernandina's many fine restaurants.Evening: Haunted History: Explore Fernandina's shadowy and unexplained happenings. Any old town has its share of ghost stories. A town with Fernandina's turbulent past has more than its share of restless souls. discover some of her dubious happenings and legends that surround them.Lodging: Hampton Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner