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Orlando Public Library

Haunted tales open doors to old St. Augustine's past

We're moved into prime day-trip weather, when cooler temperatures brighten the prospect of strolling historic streets, and none are more historic than St. Augustine's.

I've always loved historian Michael Gannon's quip that by the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal. Begun in 1565, our old city was founded decades before the traditional Plymouth-landing date of 1620.

And for decades, St. Augustine tourism has been based on claims of the "oldest" this and the "oldest" that: market, house, schoolhouse, jail and so on. In recent years, though, the St. Augustine tourism market has seen a distinct shift in emphasis...