Mission Nombre De Dios

I’m back from my quick trip to Atlantic City (no, I didn’t win any money), and I got my computer back from the shop, so it’s time to continue my posts on my trip to the Amelia Island Book Festival in February.

I left off when I was still in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. One of the historic sites I visited there was the Mission Nombre De Dios. On this site, on Sept. 8, 1565, Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed with a band of settlers to found St. Augustine, the first permanent Christian settlement in the U.S.

A huge cross marks the site where Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales offered the first Mass in the Nation’s first parish. The Spanish pioneers named this landing site Nombre de Dios — Name of God — and founded the first Mission in the United States.

Six hundred -year-old tree

Another interesting attraction in St. Augustine is a magnificent live oak. Anyone who knows me knows my fascination with old trees, and this one is considered to be one of the most remarkable trees in North America.

It’s hard to see the size with just a photo, but the tree is said to be well over 600 years old, and was thus standing to witness the history of Juan Ponce de Leon discovering Saint Augustine’s famed Fountain of Youth in 1513 — a mere 600 feet from where the tree stands.

The Senator – live oak tree.

Unfortunately, the tree now stands in the parking lot of a Howard Johnson’s Hotel, but at least it’s still there for everyone to enjoy. It is also interesting to note that there is a palm tree adjoining the oak tree. Imagine the history and the hurricanes this tree has seen!

I’ll be doing more on the Fountain of Youth later this week, and then continuing with my travels to the beautiful Southern city of Savannah, Georgia.

I had such a great time on my trip, I hope I can remember everything I wanted to share! Until next time!

Jessica James


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