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j02 AN ANCIENT CIVIL DEFENSE SHELTER By HAMPTON DUNN ST. AUGUSTINE --One of the earliest and the longest lasting "air raid" shel ters in America is the ancient Castillo de San Marcos here. One of the purposes for erecting the mighty fortress in the late 1 700s was to protect the population of this pioneer city. The sprawling structure with thick masonry walls was designed as a shelter in an emergency. Indeed, it has been a haven for as many as 1,500 persons during a siege. The Spanish who founded St. Augus tine tried to protect the town from enemy at tack, the English traders, pirates, Indians and others who were menacing to the Spanish treasure fleets. No less than eight wooden forts had fallen, one by one, including a structure destroyed by Sir Francis Dra ke, before the stone fort was started. Construction began in 1672 and continued for 24 years. It was built of native coquina rock, basically hardened sea shells. The fort is a symmetrical structure, with four bastions, a perfection of Italo Spanish engine ers. The gigantic walls are from 9 to 16 feet thick and 30 feet high, and the fortress is surrounded by a moat. Indian slave labor was used to build the fortress, which is the oldest masonry mil itary structure in the United States. The fort was put to the test in 1740 when James Oglethorpe of Georgia beseiged the Castillo for 38 days without success. When Florida became a state, the fort was renamed Fort Marion honoring Revolutionary War hero Gen. Francis Marion, but later reverted to its original name.
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An ancient civil defense shelter
h [electronic resource] /
by Hampton Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed July 27, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes St. Augustine's Castillo de San Marcos.
2 0 610
Castillo de San Marcos (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Saint Augustine (Fla.)
x Description and travel.
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.