“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fernandina Beach in Nassau County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Plaza San Carlos

Plaza San Carlos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 25, 2010
1. Plaza San Carlos Marker
Inscription. This land high above the Amelia River was a campsite for Indians in pre-historic times, as early as 2000-1000 B.C. In the early history of the state, it assumed military importance because of the fine protected harbor on the northern boundary of Spanish Florida. In the first Spanish period, a village of Franciscans and Indians was established here by 1675, and a Spanish sentinel's house was documented in 1696. From 1736 to 1742, James Oglethorpe stationed Highlanders on this site. After the withdrawal of Oglethorpe's troops in 1742, the area served as a buffer zone between the English and the Spanish until 1763 when Florida became a British possession. When Spain regained possession of Florida in 1783, this harbor was an embarkation point for British Loyalists leaving Florida. The U.S. Embargo Act of 1807, which closed all U.S. ports to European trade, made the border town of Fernandina a center for smuggling. On March 17, 1812, a group of Americans known as the Patriots overthrew the Spanish battery, but the U.S. flag replaced the Patriots' standard after one day. Spain regained control in May, 1813, and completed Fort San Carlos in 1816. As the fort's parade ground, this site was named Plaza San Carlos.
Erected 1976 by General Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society of Amelia Island in cooperation
Plaza San Carlos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 25, 2010
2. Plaza San Carlos Marker
View looking west showing where White Street ends at the Amelia River and the northern end of Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park.
with Department of State. (Marker Number F-249.)
Location. 30° 41.334′ N, 81° 27.375′ W. Marker is in Fernandina Beach, Florida, in Nassau County. Marker is at the intersection of Estrada Street and White Street, on the right when traveling south on Estrada Street. Touch for map. This historical marker is located at the northeastern end of Amelia Island in Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park, which is situated along the Amelia River, near the confluence of the Amelia River with the St. Marys River. It is in this area that the St. Marys River marks Florida's northern boarder with Georgia. Marker is in this post office area: Fernandina Beach FL 32034, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort San Carlos (within shouting distance of this marker); McClure's Hill (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Clinch Military Road (approx. one mile away); Fort Clinch (approx. one mile away); Fernandez Grant (approx. 1.1 miles away); Phelan-Verot House Built Prior to 1866 (approx. 1.2 miles away); David L. Yulee (approx. 1.2 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fernandina Beach.
Regarding Plaza San Carlos. It would seem that the Plaza San Carlos area
Plaza San Carlos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 25, 2010
3. Plaza San Carlos Marker
View looking southwest across the Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park, with the Amelia River in the background.
is an important part of Amelia Island's rich and storied past. One of it's more unusual claims to fame is that there has been eight different flags hoisted above the Plaza San Carlos area, more, it is alleged, than any other location in the United States of America.

The eight different flags that have flown above Ameliaís shores are: French from 1562-1565; Spanish 1565-1763; British 1763-1783; Spanish (again) 1783-1821 with 3 interruptions — Patriots 1812, Green Cross of Florida 1817, Mexican Rebel Flag 1817; United States of America 1821 to present with one interruption — the Confederate Flag, 1862.
Also see . . .
1. Fernandina Beach FL. This link provides historical information on Fernandina Beach, Florida, and discusses briefly the Plaza San Carlos. (Submitted on July 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

2. Moments in History: Gregor MacGregor Captures Amelia Island, Florida. This link, provided by the Amelia Island Living eMagazine & Travel Guide, gives some additional historical information on the history of the Plaza San Carlos. (Submitted on July 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
Additional comments.
1. Pippi Longstocking House (aka Captainís House or the Downes House).
Directly across the street and impossible to miss when passing through Old Town is the Captainís House (also known as the "Downes House"). This historic home borders the Fernandina Plaza and can clearly be seen from the river boats passing by, with its high tower and gabled dormers. Itís also known as the “Pippi Longstocking” house since the late 1980s when the movie was filmed on location at the home. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted August 9, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

Categories. Colonial EraMilitaryNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on February 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 862 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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