In 1745, A Spanish officer and around six soldiers would be sent to defend St. Augustine’s southernmost access nearly 15 miles south at Matanzas Inlet. They’d spend 30-day stints protecting Castillo de San Marcos from the British and pirate ships. These solders had to endure all that nature could throw at them, strong storms, extreme heat and swarms of mosquitoes. Their outpost was Fort Matanzas, it offered them shelter from the elements as well as protection from cannon fire.
After being built by the Spanish from 1740-42, Florida and the fort were traded to the British in 1763 in exchange for Cuba. Fort Matanzas was then reoccupied by the Spanish and eventually the US and Union Army before being decommissioned in 1900 after the Spanish-American War.
The National Park Services now operates and maintains the monument. Free tours of the fort are available 364 days a year weather permitting.
Ranger led tours offer historical accounts of daily life and duties of those stationed there.
One of four cannons protecting the southern front of St. Augustine.
Views from the upper deck.
Looking toward Matanzas Inlet.
Matanzas Inlet weekend sandbar party.
That’s me, Kirby Collins, heading to the upper deck. See more pictures of Fort Matanzas »
Originally Published on July 12th, 2012