Ameila Island pelicansWe took a wrong turn, rather a right turn, on the way home from Florida, and ended up on Amelia Island. Nestled among centuries-old live oaks, majestic maritime forests, tranquil salt marshes and the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Island Plantation exemplifies environmental sensitivity and the luxury of a leisure lifestyle as is life at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where we hung out for almost a month. We missed the snows that covered the northeast. Weather in south Florida is warm and sunny most days.  Amelia Island, more north, in the Jacksonville area, sometimes has slightly cooler days. Still, it’s rare to see snow here.

Guns, Gail and St. Mary's River

Guns, Gail and St. Mary’s River

We found the most amazing property here in Amelia, and it wasn’t a fancy hotel. It was a Fort. Built during the years of 1847 and 1864, on the northern end of the Island, at the Florida-Georgia border, it was built to guard the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, protect coastal and interior shipping, and defend the deep water port of Fernandina, Florida. Fort Clinch was built specifically to keep away invaders, built for war, not for safety.

The drive to the Fort

The drive to the Fort

Visitors are encouraged to take the three mile drive to the property that is right on the banks of the St. Mary’s River. We walked through the buildings, walked on the buildings.

Rooftops

Rooftops

Active fireplaces this day, I smelled the smoke from the several chimneys at the tops of the buildings.

Roofs were clad in steel, and dropped in the middle, as you can see here, to catch rainwater. The water flowed into opening at either end of the roof, piped into holding tanks in the ground.

Waterpump

Waterpump

A water pump made water accessible.

I thought about the men that bed down there.

Bedbunks

Bedbunks

That is, if and when the men were still alive, and needed a place to rest their weary bodies.

Wind whipped around and swirled at the flag. flag550 pxP1080971

It rippled and stood at attention like a soldier on a mission.

Uniforms and more

Uniforms and more

Never fully completed, the fort still served as a military post during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II.

P1080932This certainly was a right turn. Amongst the beautiful beaches, coastal grasslands, and dunes,  hides American history.

Imagine yourself here cooking for the soldiers. They do have reenactments. A great place to visit and participate in life of 1864.

Do I have your curiosity? You can visit, and find a place to stay in this magnificent part of our country.

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