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LATER EVENTS AND RESTORATION AT FORT MATANZAS

By the late 1700s, Fort Matanzas needed repairs. A little work was done, but Spain knew her days in Florida were numbered. Soon this gallant little fort would sit lonely and deserted for nearly 100 years, significant only as a curiosity.


1797: Pump on the cistern is replaced; new entry ladder built

1801-1810: New terraplein floor poured, interior walls plastered, second floor which had caved in, near chimney, was partially repaired

1811-1819: Cracks appear on tower parapet; foundations undermined by water; Recommended that garrison sleep in tents, not in fort

1821: Spain turns Fort Matanzas over to the United States

1853: Lt. Henry W. Benham examines Fort Matanzas and makes drawings; declares Fort Matanzas obsolete

1872: Henry Fenn visits Fort Matanzas and makes sketches for the book Picturesque America

1916: US Congress allots $1025 for the stabilization of Fort Matanzas

1924: President Coolidge names the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas as National Monuments

1929: The sentry box (garita) is re-built

1935: Docks are built on Anastasia and Rattlesnake Islands; Water erodes the SE corner of the fort, revealing wood foundations

Tower Reconstruction
Reconstruction of the tower, 1938

1936: The Castillo and Fort Matanzas are transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service

1938: Tower vault reconstructed and tie rods replaced

1940: Retaining wall built to south and east of fort

1956: Dock on Rattlesnake Island is rebuilt; miscellaneous masonry repairs done.

1968: Original 8-pounder cannons placed on replica carriages and installed at Fort Matanzas

1972: Regular ferry service begins

1978: Iron rods removed and replaced by rods made of rust-resistant stainless steel

1996: Furnishings placed in rooms

1999: Two replica 6-pounder cannon installed; Chimney reconstructed

2001: New dock built on Anastasia Island side


ADDITIONAL READING

Most of these books are usually available at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas bookstores.


Books--


Bennett, Charles E. Laudonniere and Fort Caroline. Gainesville: University
of Florida Press, 1975


Gannon, Michael. Florida: A Short History. Gainesville: University Press
of Florida, 1993


Landers, Jane. Fort Mose: Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose: A Free
Black Town in Spanish Colonial Florida. St. Augustine: The St. Augustine Historical Society, 1992


Lyon, Eugene. The Enterprise of Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, reprint 1983


Manucy, Albert. Artillery Through the Ages. Washington DC: Division of Publications, National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior, 1985


McGrath, John T. The French in Early Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000


Milanich, Jerald T. The Timucua. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Co., 1996.


Castillo de San Marcos Park Handbook Series. Washington DC: Division of Publications, National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior, 1993 *


Waterbury, Jean Parker, ed. Defenses and Defenders at St. Augustine (A Collection of Writings by Luis Rafael Arana, El Escribano Vol 36) St. Augustine: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1999


Waterbury, Jean Parker, ed. The Oldest City. St. Augustine: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1983



Web Pages--


Fort Matanzas National Monument www.nps.gov/foma
Castillo de San Marcos www.nps.gov/casa
Fort Frederica (Oglethorpe's fort in Georgia) www.nps.gov/fofr
Fort Caroline www.nps.gov/foca


 
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