Thursday, January 5, 2017
Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida), FPAN is in the process of assessing the extent of the damage. However, sometimes we discover that Matthew has befriended us by unearthing something from the past! So was the case when we assessed Spengler Island.
|Historic aerial view of Whitney Mansion prior to burning|
|Mary Todd Lincoln|
After the fire and passing of many decades, nothing of the Whitney home is left above ground. St. Johns County did an archaeological survey in 2010 where test pits revealed the footers (foundation) of the mansion. We never would have located the house location without a former 2010 survey crew member guiding us through the thick brush (thank you Eric Giles!)
What was only revealed through excavation in 2010...
was now exposed from downed trees due to Hurricane Matthew...
Brick and coquina footers, along with pottery and glass pieces from the era, had been churned up by the hurricane. Not a treasure from Mary Todd Lincoln's stay, but a treasure for an archaeologist!
Once again, the visit to this site reaffirmed the necessity of the HMS program and the importance of keeping an eye on our cultural heritage - for better or for worse!
Text by FPAN Staff: Robbie Boggs
Photos by: Robbie Boggs, biography.com, St. John's County