|Castle Warden Hotel|
Our literary discovery of the day:
Castle Warden, a Moorish revival mansion in St. Augustine, Florida was built in 1887 for a Philadelphia industrialist. It was bought in 1941 by author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her hotelier husband and run as a classy hotel. The couple had an apartment on the top floor.
Ms. Rawlings was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 for The Yearling. She died here in St. Augustine of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1953 and is buried next to her husband, Norton Baskin, in Island Grove, Florida.
The former hotel is now home of the first Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum of Oddities. It features displays of shrunken heads, torture devices, life-size wax figures, and unusual works of art. Hmmmm. We didn't go there.
We did take a trolley ride along the waterfront led by a Navy Seal veteran who was very knowedgable and entertaining. Later, at the bed and breakfast where we are staying, a local storyteller/historian wove the tapestry of St. Augustine's history that included Spanish, British, and Confederate occupations.
It is the oldest city in America, founded in 1565, and is still going strong. A Spanish fortress called Castillo de San Marcos sits overlooking the harbor, holding a strategic defensive vantage point. It is the oldest masonary fort in the U.S. and is made from coquina, a soft, local shell rock.The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924.
Tomorrow, we will visit Flager College with its 79 Tiffany stained glass windows; munch our way through the Whetstone Chocolate Factory; and pay a visit to Anastasia Books.
Awesome trip! I'm a little jealous. (Especially about the upcoming visit to the Whetstone Chocolate Factory!) :)ReplyDelete
Hi Lark. St. Augustine turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. We never did make it to the chocolate factory! It was rainy, hot, and humid and we were afraid the yummies wouldn't survive the heat.Delete
St. Augustine is an interesting town--I did not know about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' hotel! I visited her home at Cross Creek many years ago and found it delightful. I would love to visit the hotel if I ever get back to St. Augustine. Hope you enjoy the next stage of your visit!ReplyDelete
Hi Kathy. It was really too hot and rainy to enjoy the city. It is so crowded with shops and trolleys and tourists I felt like I was in Disneyland! Oh well, we had fun at the bookstores.Delete
"The Yearling" remains one of my most favorite books. I have a beautiful old edition illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. How I would love to see Castle Warden (without the Ripleys, believe it or not). I hope you had fun today, Belle, munching on chocolates, enjoying the Tiffany's, and visiting Anastasia Books.ReplyDelete
I have not read 'The Yearling' Penny, but I bought a copy of Rawlings's 'Cross Creek'. It was too hot to go to the chocolate factory! We were afraid everything would melt. But I had fun at the bookstores we discovered.Delete