• Cannon firing on the gundeck of the Castillo de San Marcos

    Castillo De San Marcos

    National Monument Florida

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    Afternoon Thunderstorms can create dangerous amounts of lightning strikes. If Lightning is visible from the Castillo, Gundeck closures will take place. Click this link for the local weather forcast. More »

From Battlefields to Classrooms Torchlight Tour

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Date: February 10, 2014

Contact: Amelia Vela, 904-829-6506 ext. 233


St. Augustine, FL - Join us on February 15th for a special look at St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos, then known as Fort Marion, between 1875 and 1878. In the 1800s, as western expansion increased, violence between Native Americans and white settlers escalated and essentially ended the traditional way of life for the Plains Indians. After the Red River War, the U.S. removed over 70 warriors; Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, Caddo. They were transferred from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Fort Marion, the old Castillo de San Marcos of Florida. 

At Fort Marion their warden, Captain Richard Henry Pratt, managed the prisoners as a military unit and recruited local women to teach them English and basic elementary skills. These and other efforts led by Pratt and the teachers were an attempt to “Americanize” the group. Assimilation into the white mainstream culture would require education, hard work, conversion to Christianity, self-support, and rejection of their traditional culture. 

There will be two nighttime candle-lit tours of the fort covering this period in history, with both lasting roughly 45 minutes. Tours depart from the ticket booth at 6:45 and 7:45 pm. Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis at the Fee Booth and will be $8 per adult ages 16 and up, $4 per child aged 5 to 15 and children under 5 free. Space is limited. For questions, please call (904) 829-6506 ext. 233.  

Did You Know?

WWII Coast Guard graduates marching across Castillo de San Marcos drawbridge

The Castillo de San Marcos was used for military purposes during WWII. The Coast Guard utilized the fort for training exercises and ceremonies throughout the war years. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument St. Augustine, Florida