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Episode 171: Long Shadows

2021-05-24 | 🔗

The older the city, the deeper its roots. And when that location is the oldest around—well, the amount of darkness it’s hiding should not come as a surprise.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Everyone wants the latest in greatest. The newest fancy phone is typical Only a small improvement over the previous version, yet eager customers will plug down massive sums to own it, and even if your laptop is poor thickly brand new the moment, a newer version is announced you can feel its obsolescence. All valuable things are new. Take the world of Scotch whisky, for example, about Of a twelve year old, single malt is good for sure, depending on the distillery who crafted it Eighteen, your version undeniably better and price accordingly and the older they the more you're going to have to pay for a taste how much more
in two thousand eighteen, legendary legendary distillery. The clellan released a limited batch of seventy two year old single malt. That's a scotch that has aged in barrels for over seven decades before being bottled up and sold, and each bottle came with a price tag of roughly sixty five thousand hours, one bar in Beverly Hills was reported to have sold one ounce pours of the stuff, we're just twelve thousand dollars. Apiece. The same could be said about a lot of things about a year ago, a U S. Airforce veteran took an old Rolex watch to a local taping of the antiques roadshow. He'd bought it in nineteen, seventy four for about three hundred and fifty dollars, and then he never wore it. Thanks to the popularity of that model, known as a Daytona and for decades in a safety deposit box, the watch is now estimated to be worth half a million dollars veteran by the way fell over when he heard the news, as any of us would I'm sure
It seems that aged, like a fine wine, isn't always an exaggeration time can be powerful magic, transforming the ordinary into something more something exceptional and that does not just apply to fine objects and tasty beverages. Even the places we live can become extraordinary, given enough time. After all, the longer humans live in a place, the more of themselves they imprint. On its streets and landscape. But if you want to explore the oldest in America, there's only one place to go, it might be, bright and sunny. But don't let that fool you, because time has left a mark that can still be felt today, thanks to all the tragedies that have paid a visit, It seems there is one more rule that history wants us to. Remember the older. Our cities gets the darker, their shadows, become I'm Aaron Mahnke, and this is lore.
Why, they needed a name for the place they turned to the calendar. It was a joy me than had been at least five years in the making back in fifteen sixty king, Philip, the second of Spain, had put Captain Pedro Menendez. They avalanche in charge of a bold mission to see to the new world and help the spanish treasure ships settle on the best route home. Now, the caribbean and eastern Coast of Mexico were practically on another planet to most people in the fifteen hundreds, but to but Tumaneng as it was familiar and understandable and weirdly enough, it was part of his feet. You see. His son was also a captain of a spanish ship, but in one thousand five hundred and sixty three that son's ship was lost at sea somewhere off the coast of what would now be South Carolina. He made multiple requests to go search for his son, but the king refused
and then in fifteen. Sixty five Menendez was tasked with sailing to the coast of Florida to set up a colony there, while also preventing the French from gaining a stronger foothold. Knowing also give him a chance to look for his son Menendez agreed. So when the coasts, Lord, I came into view on August twenty eight, the fifteen sixty five. It was a major victory for his mission. Menendez wanted to. The new settlement and auspicious name- and it just so happens that August. Twenty Eightth was known to Catholics as the feast of Saint Augustine from that moment on the settlement. At a name, they were the first humans to live there on the coast of Florida. Of course, archaeologists can trace human settlement they're back at least fifteen thousand years. So when Menendez and his eight hundred settlers came ashore, they were far from alone. In fact, the nearby too much poorer people numbered over two hundred thousand strong. But the arrival of Europeans change that, mostly through the
an intentional introduction of new types of disease. Its estimated that within the First, thirty years of Saint Augustine settlement over seventy, five percent of the tobacco people were dead thanks to smallpox and other deadly epidemics. As the decades pass by Saint Augustine grew, but it also fell itself in a constant tug of war battle with the french and English, keep in mind St Augustine's founding in one thousand five hundred and sixty five makes it the oldest continuously occupied settlement of european origin in the new world, and that me that it was always there an object of desire for any superpower looking to take control of Florida and the southeast of North America, and it should go without saying that, because it was spanish in origin, it was also deeply catholic, while the french settlers to the north, as well as later, english invaders were all Protestants and in the late fifteen hundreds that religious divide between catholic and Protestant was one that inspired a lot of competition and hatred and speed
more than its fair share of blood by one thousand eight hundred and twenty one, though after bouncing from spanish hands to the british and then back again, the United States acquire the eastern portion of Florida in a deal with Spain and quickly began to absorb other parts of the region. And finally, in eighteen, forty five Florida became a state in the union, but that didn't mean the road ahead was smooth. If that it was paid with a horrible treatment of former, slave peoples and conflict with the local native american peoples and no story captures that struggle more than the tale of Osceola. Chief Osceola was actually born and Billy Powell in the territory they became the state of Alabama, while his heritage was mixed. Mother was Muskeg creek and raised him in that tradition. But sometime during childhood. He and others migrated to Florida, and every time he became part of a movement within his people, known as the red sticks. The name came from the two foot long war clubs that were used in battle by the Creek
And as a group, they had war in their hearts, while their larger mission was a lot more complex. The red sticks basically focused private early unresisting, the European american invasion of their lands and the forced assimilation of their people into those cultures. They were a firewall, a line in the sand and its honestly hard to blame them. Everything they knew was being eroded away and they wanted to fight back in the early eighteen, thirties, Osceola and the other leaders of his community refused to be removed from the area by american agents. Tensions continued to build and violence became more frequent, but in eighteen, thirty, seven General Thomas Jessup offered a bit of hope. Peace talks so on October, twenty first with a white truce flag flying over a fort near Augustine Osceola and over eighty of his followers arrived to discuss their future. Instead, Jessup sprung a trap.
And every single one of the red sticks present were captured and imprisoned. It was cowardly and dishonourable, but it also perfectly demonstrated the prevalent attitude that most Americans head toward native Americans. The loss utterly crushed Osceola, while imprisoned. He became deathly ill and despite com didn't care from his friend doktor, Frederick Weedin. He passed away on January thirty, F of eighteen, thirty, eight, but even in death. That attitude of disrespect continued said that Weedin decided to take some trophies before us. Eel is burial and along. stealing a number of the man's possessions. He also removed his head, which he kept for years in a jar that he put on display Clearly a city as old as Saint Augustine has had a chance to collect all manner of atrocities and horrible stains terrible moments like the Betrayal of Osceola, Sir.
to remind us that, no matter how far people venture out from their home, no matter how hopeful they might be as they start something new human nature, always follows them. After more than four hundred fifty years, though, Saint Augustine Dark secrets have and pushed just out of sight hidden behind a more modern facade. But, as we all know, the things in the past are never really gone, whether they are admirable or tragic. All you need to know is where to dig for them all he wanted to do was run a hospital
William Watson lived in Saint Augustine during the two decades that the british control, the city and because the military with such a large part of life there in the seventeen sixties, he wanted to set up a hospital to serve them. He didn't from scratch, though, and said he found an old building and just converted it adding on here and there as needed when completed, there were two wings and EAST Wing and West wing. Naturally that joined at this your house, where an early version of a pharmacy was set up, then for a while it proved I did essential services to the british forces around the city, but the year's work kind to the hospital and eighty Eighteen o fire destroyed the West wing, and five years later, the building was abandoned by the staff for better facilities. By ninety five. The east wing was gone as well. That old central house with the apothecary stuck around though, and today, serves as a medical museum. But not all of the relics are on display.
Back in eighteen, twenty one in old water pipe beneath the structure burst and a work crew was called in to repair it. The men. Opened up the foundation in search of the damage segments, but as they exposed more of the soil beneath water. It in and turned it all into a super mess, and then slowly things began to flow to the surface human bones. workers at the time assumed it was a native american burial ground. Although we should remember that it was just a guess, a century later, an actual documented to Morocco, a sight was discovered not far away casting doubts on the graves beneath the old apothecary did aim of, historians think the bodies were victims of an early outbreak killed. My typhus, Sir Smallpox. visitors to the remains of the hospital today, have frequently reported in overwhelming sense of oppressive evil in the space. While there are
stories of moving objects or flickering light. Some have left the building with unexplainable scratches on their arms, while others have claimed to hear mysterious voices in otherwise empty room, elsewhere in the city, other signs of its contentious past can still be found to ancient. Militaries seem to be in a tight contest for the title of the most haunted and they stay. on opposite sides of that age. Old, religious divide. Now mentioned earlier, when the city was first founded that protestant split from the catholic church was still a very painful wound. when burial grounds were set up in Saint Augustine. They reflected that division, one being protestant and the other Catholic the old Huguenot cemetery, an old french term, used for Protestants there stories of the ghost of a girl who died centuries ago in an outbreak of yellow fever. A legend says:
that her body, like so many others, was simply dumped in the street and then buried in a pauper is grave with no way to confirm the tailed will just have to take the legend with the grain of salt. Although what is clear is that people today still see her loading the trees near her grave cite another resident, there is more well known, John, be still me was a judge who served the city in the eighteen hundreds, but was also killed by yellow fever passing away in eighteen. Eighty Decades later his family decided to move his remains to another location, but when they open the grave, they discovered that the body had been looted even. Nay, despite the judges remains no longer being there. People still report seen him wandering through the graveyard at night. Maybe he just like the city. He once lived in as a problem with letting go of the past, or maybe it's just folklore I'll. Let you decide
The tall Amato cemetery is a little newer than its protestant counterparts, but just as legendary we're not exactly sure when it was established. We do know that an old spanish mission once stood near by and military is marked on a map of the city from seventeen thirty seven, and it has equally compelling stories to One burial there is that of a young boy named James Morgan, like many kids of his age, both then and now. It said that he loved to climb trees, especially in old oak tree right there in the cemetery, but one day, James slipped and fell out of the tree and as a result of his injuries, is family buried him right there beneath the tree and purchased a number of other plots around it planning for the future But not all plans, are meant to be another law. go. Family suffered their own loss in the early eighteen, hundreds according to the man who recorded the tale, Colonel Joseph Smith, wrote about being invited.
dinner with the younger couple, not long after he moved to Saint Augustine, but before he could arrive, he was notified that the wife had suddenly fallen ill and passed away. So, instead of a dinner, he arrived for. A funeral service Honestly, for is tragic, as that sounds it's not unusual for the early nineteenth century. No, it's the burial that was odd, kernels recorded how the body of the dead woman was dressed in her finest and then see. it on an elaborate chair which was then carried by the pallbearers from the house to the graveyard. As they entered the cemetery, though they passed under a low hanging tree and Smith, tells us there one of the branches caught the dead, woman's forehead slicing her pale skin. Amazingly, though, blood ran from the wound and when it reached her eye, something else happened. She blinked immediately. The woman was carried back home placed in bed and a doctor was summoned like many of you,
Mrs of the day, it seems that the symptoms had made it seem as if she had passed away when in reality it had only been a deep sleep or a coma in time. She recovered, and I would have to assume that Colonel Psmith finally got his chance to go over for dinner. Sadly, though, it wouldn't last lung six years after her first death, she passed away again. This time, though, instead of a swift burial, her husband decided to allow her to lay in state for seven days, just to be sure. It seems that even in a city is oldest Saint Augustine, the past is never really far away, but not all of the tales that haunt the place are buried in the darkness of the earth. In fact, if the story, true. The most frightening one comes from a very unlikely location right where the light shines. The brightest.
alone the stories about Saint Augustine are defined by its location, specifically the Florida coast. In fact, the coast features heavily in the very first stories about the arrival of Captain Menendez, it said that he said the coastline for shipwreck survivors, mostly looking for his missing sun, and although he never found The story teaches us something essential about Saint Augustine: the coastline there was treacherous between the underwater terrain and the constant tropical storms, the coast posed a danger to passing ships on New year's eve of seventeen. Eighty to just one evening at least sixteen ships ran aground. As they were, trying to sail into the harbour for shelter from a storm honestly it. a busy bit of ocean and, as the
You went on that traffic only increased thanks in part to the Gulf Stream, which flows up the eastern coast of North America and helped ships crossed the Atlantic more efficiently. If a ship was heading back to Europe, chances were good. It had to pass by Saint Augustine, and then there were the military invasions. French, british, you name it the city with constantly being approached by foreign powers, so pretty soon after the supplement was established, a series of wooden ouch towers were built along the coast as a sort of early warning system in fact were pretty sure where most of them were located to thanks to Sir Francis Drake, the English private, here, who invaded the city in fifteen eighty six. Not only did he make off with the military, payroll and a bunch of weapons, but he also The map, the city's defences for future purposes, but as the centuries passed by many of those watch, towers, fell to ruin and vanished, but not the northernmost tower that one was closest to the city center and
The years it saw frequent use by the MID seventeen hundreds, it was torn down and replaced with a stronger stone version, although still. Serving more as a watch tower than anything else. It's not until this contain eighties that records listed as a lighthouse, but that change was likely what saved it from fading away like the rest of the towers. There were tense moments and tragedies. Over the decades there followed one lighthouse keeper in eighteen. Fifty nine fell off the scaffolding wall. Painting the tower and died on impact a few years later, as the civil war was beginning a confederate sympathiser snuck in and stole the large lens and essential equipment, so that approaching union forces would benefit from the light all those years exposed to the sea spray and tropical storms took their toll on the structure to so in the late eighteen sixties, funding was provided to replace it with a more modern version. Work began in eighteen, seventy one and the city buzzed with excitement about the project and that's the setting where the
He'll tragedy took place. It said that the light housekeeper at the time was a man who has a Kyar petty who lived there with his wife and for children as the construction move forward. He was right, they're keeping the light lit, while his children played with the children of the workers. the site. If you ve ever been a kid around grownups building cool things, you can probably imagine the excitement they all felt each day. Their favorite games, apparently was to ride in the small railcar that was set up to transport supplies and materials from the doktor, the job site. Whenever it wasn't being used by the workers, the kids would Why men and write it down to the shore where a wooden beam across the tracks stopped it from falling into the water? Think of it like a more mundane version of the mine cars from Indiana Jones in the Temple of doom, but without the call to billions chasing after them, and I think you ve got a pretty good picture of the scene. but on July, tenth of eighteen. Seventy three that game turned deadly three of them
he children, along with the daughter of one of the workmen, all climbed into the railcar and pushed off as the car moved down the track toward the water. It picked up the speed that made the ride so fun for them, and no one else worried because they knew that the beam at the end of the track would stop them, except the beam that day wasn't there. I won't described the worst details of that tragic ride, although I'm sure you can probably fill in the blanks yourselves when the workers heard the crash, they rushed to the scene only to find a real car and all of the occupants underwater upside down, only one of the children were saved. The youngest petty girl, while the rest were claimed by the sea, unable to process their loss and grief the family packed up and move north far from the shores of Saint August, But if the stories over the years are true, even though the family law, the lighthouse behind a part of them, has stuck around since
eighteen. Other light housekeepers have reported unusual activity inside the main house, where the parties once lived is a the keeper who served their between nineteen. Fifty three and ninety four, five had to move out and live in the building at the base of the tower because he couldn't handle all of the unexplainable events there. Others have reported the sounds of footsteps. On the second floor, when the house was known to be otherwise empty, there have been unusual light spotted through windows and the typical cold spots inside that are often associated with paranormal activity. But honestly, it's the stories that provide the most chills stories like this one in a maid nineteen fit. He's. The lighthouse received an overhaul that automated its function and a residential keeper was no longer needed to use the space. The house was rented out to locals for some extra cash and one of those answers a man who live there. In the mid nineties, sixties reported a frightful experience of his own.
Retired to his bedroom at the end of a long day and gone through his nightly route with no unusual deviations after climbing into the covers and turning off the light, he fell right, asleep and soon evening turned to the middle of the night. At some point, though, he walked back up his bed surrounded by darkness and couldn't shake the feeling that he was no longer alone in the room, ass, his eyes, adjusted to the light he glanced around and then caught his brow. there at the foot of his bed, was the ghostly vision of someone standing perfectly still gazing, with empty eyes at where he lay the ghost he claimed of a little girl.
The past has a way of fostering story. If folklore is a plant, then time is the water given enough of it. The seed will take roots, begin to grow and eventually flourish, and if there's one thing Saint Augustine has in abundance it's time at the risk of mixing my metaphors I like to think of time as a sort of runway the longer the stretch of pavement, the more opportunity an airplane has to get up to speed and take flight. In that sense, say not
Dean has one of the longest runways around over four hundred fifty years of time, in fact, and that's plenty of room for stories to be born, run their course and then fade away as the world moves on to something new. But of course not everyone can move on. The past is into winter coat that weaken slough often pushed into a closet for a lot of people. The past is the presents its with him every day, whether they like it or not, and that not just as true for the family of James Morgan Back James Morgan. Seventy seven, if you remember James, was the little boy who love boy who the large oak tree in the tool, a modest Terry after his tragic death, his family wrestled with how to move forward fully aware that the past would never leave them alone. So, as I mentioned before, they bought a number of plots near the basin that tree and buried little James and one of them.
Their hope was to live out their lives, remembering their lost boy and eventually be laid to rest beside him. It's romantic and powerful, but for the Morgan's it prove to be too difficult of a road to walk, honestly, it's hard to blame them, so not long after his burial, the family moved away, leaving the grave of James behind. But the Morgan's aren't entirely gone. Obviously their story is still whispered today, but it goes beyond scraps of folklore, because over the years, visitors to the cemetery have reported the most unusual experience, many have seen the shape of some one running in and out of the tombstones near the old oak, sometimes scrambling up the tree to vanish into the branches
and more than a few concerned, adults have approached offering of warning to be careful to be safe because, after all, climbing can be a dangerous activity and what they claim to find their up in the branches. Always seems to surprise them. Although knowing what you know now, I have to imagine More than a little expected. They claim. The figure in the tree was that of a little boy, a boy dressed in old fashioned, clothing. A city is older, Saint Augustine will never suffer from a lack of story honestly
The hardest part of taking you want. Two days journey was deciding which tails to visit and which ones to skip. If I had my way, we'd still be here hours later, exploring them but I've saved one more to wrap up this episode. Stick around after this brief sponsor break to hear all about it. When we talk about the Puritans, we often talk about freedom. After all, they were a group of settlers who left the country that hated them for their religious beliefs and came to the new world looking for a better life, but they weren't the first to do that. Decades before their arrival in the early fifteen sixties, it was the French who crossed the Atlantic, they might
I ve been running from persecution, but when they set up Fort Caroline at the place where the Saint John River spelt out into the Atlantic, they certainly intended to be a safe haven for protestant Christians. Life for those early settlers was rough the first year so much like the legendary stories about the Puritans. These early french colonists wouldn't have survived without the generosity and support of the local Temecula people, but their biggest threat came in one thousand five hundred and sixty five. Shortly after the arrival of spanish Captain Menendez Now we ve dirty talked about how men and, as established the settlement of Saint Augustine, named for the feast day by the saint of the same name, but that's not the first thing. He did because his primary orders hadn't been to settle new land. It had been to defend the territory from, french invasion so after crossing the Atlantic Menendez first attacked for Caroline. It didn't go very well for him, though. The French had received strong reinforcements just a couple of weeks earlier, and they were able to
repelled the spanish assault. It was only after Menendez retreated that he sailed about forty miles south and set up a fourth of his own, but his failure would follow him after taking a few weeks to gather their strength. The French sailed out of Fort Caroline and approached the freshly minted let of think Augustine. But do you remember how I discuss the dangers of the coastline there near the city yeah? Well, it seems the French weren't to knowledgeable about that and got caught in a massive storm that prevented them from attacking, in fact, most of their fleet sank and Menendez, Sir an opportunity leaving some defenders behind in Saint Augustine. He marched most of his troops north, the Fort Caroline, where they quickly overran its defences, and this is where the true character of men was revealed. While he took roughly fifty women and children prisoner the rest of the inhabitants of the fort rounded up and executed, they were, after all, enemies of the church being Protestants.
In his mind, at least with the threat of Fort Caroline removed Menendez and his troops marched back south to Saint Augustine, but headed deeper south along the coast. A few days later, it seems the storm that had prevented the French from attacking them had dash their ships on the rocks, but there were some reports of survivors and he wanted to catch them. The French, found them first and flew the white flag of Surrender Menendez, however, wasn't the sort of person to offer peace to Protestants immediately after taking them into custody? He had them slaughtered, except for the few who confessed to secretly being catholic from that day forward. The tragedy was referred to as the Matanzas. The spanish word for massacre nearly two centuries later in an effort to better their defenses in the area. The spanish build a fort there and name that's after the slaughter that took place there in one thousand. Five hundred and sixty five Fort Matanzas still stands today, a reminder
cruelty of Captain Menendez, it seems that Saint Augustine didn't have the best of starts, which might explain much of the darkness that followed Just about everywhere, you look today. The city secrets lay hidden just beneath the surface, and after all these years, the true history of the city has made something abundantly clear. If there really are ghosts in the ground of Saint Augustine, we certainly know who put them there. This episode of lower was written and produced by me. Aaron monkey with research by alley, steed and music by Chad, Lawson Lore, is
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.