Widely known for white-sand beaches, and a resort-like atmosphere, we’ve set our sights on Amelia Island for the 2018 Rent Manager User Conference. Florida’s northernmost barrier island, its rich history, picturesque landscapes, colorful culture, and charming southern hospitality make it routinely hailed as one of the United States’ best island destinations.
We’ve fallen in love with this paradise and can’t wait to share it with all of you next month! In anticipation of our departure, we had to share some of the unique facts, figures and features we’ve learned as we’ve prepped for our island adventure. Read on to catch a glimpse of what awaits you on Amelia Island…
What’s in a Name?
What’s in a name? For an island that’s been home—both temporarily and permanently—to people from all over the world for centuries, Amelia Island has had its fair share of monikers.
- Napoyca – given by the Timucua people, who camped on the island for many years and officially settled there around 1000 A.D.
- Ile de Mai – French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault christened the island this in 1562
- Isla de Santa Maria – named by Spanish Franciscans in 1573 when they established the Santa Maria de Sena mission on the island
- Amelia Island – in the early 1700s, the island was named by Georgia’s founder and governor, James Oglethorpe, in honor of King George II’s daughter, Princess Amelia (even thought the island was still under Spanish control at the time.
- Fernandina Beach was named by Enrique White, the governor of Spain’s East Florida province in 1811 after Spain’s King Ferdinand II.
The Island By the Numbers
4 known names
13 miles long by 4 miles wide
117 holes of golf – six 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course
90+ restaurants on the 13-mile island
52 blocks of historic district in Fernandina Beach with 400+ buildings on the National Register of Historic Places
1,400 acres comprise the historic Fort Clinch State Park. Construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847, to become a part of a series of masonry forts built between 1816 and 1867 known as the Third System Fortifications.
115-years-old, the Palace Saloon, Florida’s oldest bar, opened in 1903
151-years-old, Florida House Inn, Florida’s oldest inn, built in 1857
180-years-old, standing at 67-feet-tall, the Amelia Island Lighthouse is Florida’s oldest lighthouse. It was relocated brick-by-brick to Amelia Island in 1838-1839 from its original location on Cumberland Island. It was originally built in 1820 on neighboring Cumberland Island, but due to a shift in the channel’s course, was deemed more useful to be placed on Amelia Island instead, so it was dismantled and rebuilt.
The Journey of Amelia Island’s Eight Flags
Kingdom of France: 1562-1565
Spanish Empire: 1565-1763
Great Britain: 1763-1783
Spanish Empire: 1783-1812
Republic of East Florida: 1812
Spanish Empire: 1812-1817
Republic of the Floridas (the Green Cross of Florida): 1817
Republic of Mexico: 1817
Spanish Empire: 1817-1821
United States of America: 1821-1861
Confederate States of America: 1861-1862
United States of America: 1862-present
Additional Fun Facts About Amelia Island:
- Amelia Island’s Palace Saloon—the oldest in Florida—managed to stay open during Prohibition by selling gasoline and ice cream, along a few other items both on and off the menu…
- Roughly 10% of Amelia Island is protected park and preserve land
- Amelia Island was a bit of safe harbor for pirates and privateers because the port is one of the deepest on the southeast coast of the U.S., which would allow the large pirate ships to enter even at low tide.
- The island was so full of pirates that at one point, most of the 300 or so vessels anchored in the harbor were pirate galleons.
- During the 17th and 18th centuries, Amelia Island was a haven for pirates and scallywags, including the likes of: Blackbeard, the Laffites, Luis Aury, and Gregor MacGregor, and stories of their buried treasure have been passed down over generations.
- It is widely speculated and supported by many historians that there is presently buried treasure off the coast of Amelia Island.
- The “Florida Stories” audio tour app provides countless insights and plenty of helpful information about Amelia Island and 10 other unique cities around Florida. You can download this free app to your phone to help you navigate the island in your free time while at RMUC.18!