Archive for the ‘Amelia Island Scenery’ Category
Cities throughout the US adopt a particularly animal to signify heritage or local wildlife and Amelia Island is no exception. In our case shrimp were chosen as this island was the beginning of the commercial shrimp industry in the US. We already have the annual eight flags shrimp festival the first weekend of May each year, and this is another step in honoring the local heritage of shrimping. Businesses on the island purchased the shrimp figures and then local artists did the decorating and art work. They are scattered around downtown and in front of businesses around the island.
Some are humorous, some nostalgic and some just plain fun! We appreciate the efforts of many local businesses and the artists involved in adding to the character, charm and local culture of this beautiful island!
One of the must have pictures when you visit Fernandina Beach is with Peg Leg the pirate standing near the downtown visitors center. He was created by a local artist to honore the Iland’s pirate history and was restored about a year ago after the Florida sun worked him over. He stands just before the railroad tracks that run along side the marina and city docks and is honored to welcome all guests to our historic town. The visitor/welcome center has all the information one could need regarding lodging, attractions, events, restaurants, maps, etc. that any visitor can find useful. It’s also the first place you can meet the very friendly folks who live on our Island and volunteer at the center. In addition to the quaint town, great restaurants, beautiful historic homes, and unique shops, the vast majority of our guests comment on how friendly people are on this Island and in the historic town. We definitely agree and believe its because they have all found a little slice of heaven by living here, are enjoying the “Island Time” pace of the area, realize how fortunate we are to not have traffic jams and the busy-ness of many locales or perhaps just naturally friendly people find this place! Regardless we know from experience with thousands of guests each year that you will find this unique place one that you won’t soon forget and will plan to return whenever you can.
The Marina has always had a small center with bath facilities for visitors that come to Fernandina by boat to the Marina. For the last several months a new facility pictured at left has been under construction adjacent to the original bath area. It will add to the hospitality for those arriving by water and provide more support and services. The Fernandina harbor has been an important element in the town’s history and in its heyday often had 300 or more ships anchored or waiting to unload. Today is has primarily pleasure boats since cargo ships would dock at the port facilities rather than the marina. There are still fishing boats ready to take those so inclined out for some fun, boat tours of Cumberland Island and a ferry to St. Mary’s all leaving from the marina.
Living in an historic town has benefits and one is to see old homes being restored and returned to use. We have several going on currently and they range from small to quite large. One nearby on Ash street was formerly the Embers restaurant that is being converted to a private home. It has been estensively reworked both inside and out and is starting to look very impressive. The other restorations are also all along Ash street and are near the Florida House and 29 South Restaurant. We often see homes that are beginning to approach serious deterioration and always hope someone will see the value in restoring them and creating extened lives for these unique places. A challenging factor in restorations and repairs I’ve made here at the Williams House is that homes from this era have dimensional lumber through out their construction (ie. 2×4′s actually measure 2 in by 4 in instead of today’s dimensions of 1.5 by 3.5 inches). So you either have to find old lumber or build combinations of boards that match the thickness and width of the old lumber. We are thrilled to see the historic district continue to renew and refurbish some of its oldest dwellings and to help preserve the unique and unusual history of this area.
One of the pleasures of living on Amelia Island are the terrific sunsets and sunrises. Pictured here is last night’s sunset over the marina in downtown Fernandina Beach. It’s pleasant most evenings at the Marina with a bit of breeze and nice calm waters. Visitors line the dock with cameras and family, waiting for just the right level of sunset to capture that special Kodak moment. Deborah and I usually take a walk downtown for some excercise on most evenings. Spending a few minutes by the docks, catching glimpses of all the visiting boats and watching visitors enjoying the sights makes one feel fortunate to be living in this beautiful place.
Hitching posts, buggy whips, blacksmith shops, and stables for horses are long gone, but we are left here with a small reminder of what time and life felt like when horsepower meant something and a fill up meant water and food for your animals. We are happy to be living in a historic district where such markers of time still remain and we can be reminded occasionally of the slower pace and perhaps more enjoyable pastimes of a different era.
The town has been experiencing a visitor recently in the form of a large white Egret. Normally located near marshes and streams, I’m guessing he is about town searching for the secluded but reachable Koi and fish ponds. As a later picture shows he visited the woman who lives next door to check out her fairly large Koi pond. He came so often she has now decided feeding Egret’s is not one of her hobbies and has given away the Koi and closed the pond. We have a smaller Koi pond at the Williams House, but apparently he hasn’t found it yet, or the fish hide effectively near the bottom. I noticed our resident attack cat Cinnamon was no where to be found when a worthwhile adversary showed up. When you operate a bed & breakfast you’re never really sure when your next visitor will be arriving!