Jul 23, 2010

Vegecation - Cumberland Island and Fort Clinch

After leaving New Smyrna, headed up the coast an hour and a half to Jacksonville to visit with friend Lee.  Had a nice day and a half talking about our jobs, and financial strategies for investments (expect to see some future details in Bucko's Bucks). 

On Sunday, we headed to Amelia Island and did a boat tour of the harbor and then a walking tour of Fort Collins. 

The boat tour gave a great history of the origins of shrimp boat fishing, cellulite manufacturing (used in both ice cream and C4 explosives :o), and the history of Cumberland Island [picture to left] (still mostly owned by descendants of the Rockefeller, Ferguson, and Carnegie families), and the secrecy of the Kings Bay naval submarin base just across the channel in Georgia [picuture below, along with a websearch picture].  Cannot get to close to the base or they send out helicopters. 

One of the highlights of the island are the wild horses [in center of picture at right, but hard to see, sorry, only had phone camera], a mix of spanish mounts and clydesdales, that still roam the island (they are not over populated due to the salt and acids in the marsh grass tha limits their life span to 8-10 years).

After the boat tour and lunch, we headed to Fort Clinch (named after an officer of the Second Seminole War), a fort intended to protect the deep channel harbor of Fernandina, Florida [picture from boat at left].  
Fort Clinch started construction in 1847, and was never finished.  There were various attempts to resurrect the construction activities, from the original construction simply as coastline protection [top of bastion gun embattlement to right], to 1861 and Confederate control for Civil War activities, to 1862 and Union control and construction to support the blockade, placed on caretaker status in 1869 and remained so until 1898 when it was occupied during the Spanish-American War, but abandoned afterwards. 

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began restoration during the 1930s, and in 1935, the State of Florida bought 256 acres that included the then-abandoned fort and the surrounding area. Fort Clinch State Park including the fort, opened to the public in 1938. The fort itself was closed to the public during World War II and used as a communications and security post, but re-opened after the war ended.   The park [picture shown to right] opened to the public in 1972 and gets 160,000 visitors per year.

The Park Service has employees that act as Civil War Union Soldiers and only respond to questions in character and with answers as if they were back in the 1860's.  It was very educational, and the more questions that were asked, the more information that was provided. 

All in all, a great history lesson on the Amelia Island area.  I love learning new things about new places.


  1. The shot of the Wild Horses is a thought that sparks my imagination.

    Good thing you didn't have the helicopters shoo you away, but I do wonder how close you can come to the instillation?

    Lots of pictures. Definitely looking forward to the financial tips!!

  2. Shooed away by helicopters? Do they have some Area 51-type stuff there?

  3. Great pics Ken. It looks like a wonderful trip. Hope you're both rested and ready for another year of fighting the good fight and trying to make sense of the world. :)

  4. I love living history museums with people in character. It adds so much to the experience of learning about the period.

  5. Sounds like a great trip! I'm trying to imagine everyone's reactions when the tour included an overview of cellulite manufacturing. Next time you're in Southern California, I'd be happy to show you where they invented liposuction.


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