Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours on Amelia Island

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Rich History of Amelia Island

Old Towne Carriage Company  904~277~1555

There's something quite romantic about riding in a horse-drawn carriage as you listen to the horse's shoes tap the pavement and hear about our rich history. Because we had the deepest natural seaport in the State of Florida, visitors have been vacationing on this golden isle for centuries. It was discovered by the French in 1562; and after the Spanish took control in 1565, they named the island "Santa Maria."

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The Spanish named our town "Fernandina" in honor of King Ferndinand of Spain. The island's name was changed to "Amelia" by the British who occupied the island from 1763 to 1821 (Princess Amelia was the daughter of King George II). The Spanish returned in 1783 and were overthrown by the Patriots who hoisted the fourth flag in 1812. This was replaced by a swashbuckling Scottish privateer, Sir Gregor MacGregor, with the Green Cross flag in 1817. The pirate, Luis Aury, raised the Mexican Rebel flag at the end of that same year. Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821.

Within a few decades, Senator David Yulee arranged for the first railroad in the State of Florida to be run from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key on the west coast and for the city to be moved from Old Town Fernandina to its present location. Shortly thereafter in 1861, the Confederate flag was raised and this lasted for about a year. The period from 1875 to 1900 is known as the Golden Years, a time of great prosperity when our shipping industry and tourism boomed. As you ride the carriage, you will see the elegant Victorian mansions that were built during this era including our "silk stocking" district. And, if you like, we can tell you about archeological excavations such at the "Dorion Dig" which revealed much about the island's history.
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Old Towne Carriage Company ~ P.O. Box 1317 ~ Fernandina Beach ~ Florida ~ 32035 ~ Phone: 904-277-1555

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