Image Above: Flagler College, formerly known as Ponce de Leon Hotel and Alcazar Hotel, St. Augustine
Table of Contents
- Who built St. Augustine?
- The Star Fort
- Grand Architecture and Great Fires
- Old Maps of St. Augustine
- The ancient lines
- Did Flagler build in 1888?
- The Palace of Anastasia Island
Who built St. Augustine?
When I visited St. Augustine, Florida in 2022, my first reaction was surprise. The architecture was unlike anything I’d seen elsewhere, much less Florida.
The buildings are said to have been built by Henry Flagler an executive at Standard Oil (now Shell Oil), close friend and business partner of John D. Rockefeller.
Originally built as Hotels they were allegedly completed within just one year, in 1888.
The structure in the front of the image above was once called Alcazar Hotel and the one in the back Ponce de Leon Hotel. The block on the right was called Cordova Hotel. Flagler built three massive Hotels beside each other, within only one year. He must have been expecting a lot of guests! Alcazar and Ponce were designed by architects Hastings and Carre. The Cordova Hotel was designed by Franklin Smith. Franklin Smith was the person who inspired Flagler to invest in St. Augustine. At least that’s the official story.
Image Above: One of the Alcazar towers with a lion’s head. Photo 1891. The Lion motif is found throughout the city, for instance “Lion’s Bridge” built some time after the Flagler-era, in 1927.
Image Above: The roof of the Alcazar Hotel. While stunning to look at, there’s something distinctly un-American about this architecture. Is this really how the cowboys of the 1800s would design their Hotels?
The Flagler Museum agrees the Hotels were built and opened in 1888.
The Alcazar Hotel today is called Lightner Museum.
What kind of technology was used to erect so many places at such fantastic speed? Modern construction companies take longer for projects of similar size.
Where did they get the workforce to build so quickly? According to the census, the population of St. Augustine in the 1880s was approximately 2200 people. If we exclude women, we’re left at 1100. Take away old men and boys it leaves us with 500 men who could potentially have constructed the buildings. That’s assuming that none of them were not already busy with other jobs. A more realistic assumption is that of the 500 able-bodied men, 50 might work in construction or be looking for employment (an optimistic guess). Neither 50 nor even 500 would have been enough for all the places Flagler is said to have built. Where did Flagler get his workforce? How many were involved? Records that show how all this was made were not readily available at the time of this writing.
Almost everything we know about St. Augustine is informed and influenced by Rockefeller associate and Standard Oil executive Henry Flagler. Unfortunately the Rockefellers and their associates aren’t the most reliable sources of information.
John Rockefeller was the richest man alive at the time. There are dozens of books that have documented the shady and criminal business practices of Standard Oil. John Rockefeller is also known as the father of the pharmaceutical industry. John’s father was a known con man. This is what history.com says about John’s father, William Rockefeller:
“William’s money had come from a slew of shady business ventures, from pretending to be a deaf and blind peddler to posing as a doctor to hawk patent medicines”.
“Suspected of horse stealing and even indicted for rape in 1849, William had been an unstable father figure”.
“For years, he had lived under assumed names and was known as Dr. Levingston before his death. He “had a big jug of medicine and [he] treated all diseases from the same jug,” an associate recalled, remembering that the supposed doctor would laugh about his concoction magically being able to cure anyone willing to give him money”.
Despite attempts by the family to distance themselves from their father, “The Rockefellers had known their father’s location for years and had been sending him money”.
John D. Rockefeller spent a lot of money to brush up the public image of the family and pretend he had nothing to do with his father. Even so, many of his criminal activities came to light. For example in 1911, the Supreme Court found that Standard Oil was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, an illegal monopoly and ordered it broken into 34 separate companies. Standard Oil under both Flagler and Rockefeller also bribed politicians, illegally spied on competitors and politicians, secured illegal railroad discounts, blocked competitors from using railroad lines and other resources and more.
Today when I walk through St. Augustine, I see Henry Flaglers name on street signs, murals, statues, in churches, colleges – everywhere! In his day he had been exposed as a ruthless criminal, but over time, they managed to turn him into “the man who built Florida”, a heroic figure we owe the whole State to.
The Star Fort
The star-fort pictured below is called Castillo San Marcos, the Castle of St. Mark. This most prominent feature of St. Augustine is said to have been built by the first Spanish settlers between 1672 and 1695.
While visiting, I saw they had placed brand new cannons on the upper platform and also around the fort. The interior rooms were decorated with beds and clothing of what Spanish soldiers barracks would have looked like in those days. The cannons, cannonballs, bunk-beds, flags and clothing were all added to the structure to build a narrative that the star fort was built by Spanish soldiers. I asked a tour-guide if these things had been found at the fort, he told me they hadn’t and that it’s part of the “staging”. They also do “reenactments” there where cosplayers dress as Spanish soldiers.
Notice the size of humans beside this massive structure:
As shown in my article The mystery of star forts, we find them worldwide – in the desert of Australia, in the Pacific, in Russia, in Persia, in Arabia, in Europe, in Africa. They were part of a long-forgotten culture that replicated it’s design on all continents. We have to ask whether it was really the Spanish soldiers that built the structure. I’m not saying they weren’t capable of building it, but they just as well may have already found it there upon their arrival. They may very well have placed cannons there and slept there in bunk beds. But did they actually construct it? And if so, why didn’t they construct anything of similar size?
The walls of the star-fort are packed with seashells. That’s perhaps not surprising. Most castles and forts had water surrounding them, for protection. There’s a drawbridge leading to the castle, meaning it was built to be surrounded by water. But: I found that the higher walls and even towers also had petrified seashells packed into the stone. The whole place must have been underwater long enough to get seashells stuck to it.
Grand Architecture and Great Fires
We are told the star-fort is ancient but the other buildings are recent. They built one absolutely magnificent structure and then nothing else impressive for the next few hundred years. One mega-structure and after that only wooden huts. That’s unusual.
Then, in the late 1800s Henry Flagler came and made St. Augustine the town of marvelous architecture that it is today. So marvelous in fact, that Clint Eastwood, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson own homes there.
The building above was also allegedly built by Henry Flagler as a Presbyterian Church in 1889 and as a memorial to his daughter. It only took one year to build. It was built at truly superhuman speed.
I asked the great Oracle, Google, how long it takes to build a Cathedral and got this answer:
250 to 300 years! Wow! But Google doesn’t know superhero Henry Flagler who has a Cathedral designed, planned and constructed within just a year. Unfortunately I found no construction photos of this world record accomplishment. When a person who is linked to some of the greatest con-artists of all time tells you he built a cathedral, no an entire city, within a year, isn’t that grounds to be skeptical?
Almost all buildings are said to have been designed by Carre and Hastings, architects from New York who apparently made many iconic buildings around the U.S. including the world famous New York Public Library. The buildings they made in St. Augustine have no resemblance to the ones they made elsewhere. The architects only opened their practice in 1886, and in the same year Flagler started building structures in St. Augustine. What a rapid rise to success!
Above, one of the interior ceilings of the “Hotel Alcazar” (now Flagler College). Flagler claimed to be a “lifelong Presbyterian Christian”. The symbolism used in his buildings, while beautiful, doesn’t really resemble any Christian tradition I know.
Normally, Presbyterian Churches around the country were known as modest wooden buildings such as this:
Below is the Church in 1891, just a few years after it was newly completed. The photo was taken by George Barker of Niagara Falls, NY. The new Church doesn’t look that new to me. It has signs of wear. There is a coloration line, as if the building had been underwater or underground for some time.
I’ve visited St. Augustine three times. On each visit my suspicion of there being something wrong with its History, grew. Yes, I doubt these structures were made in 1888 or 1889 by Henry Flagler. No, I don’t doubt someone as rich as Flagler could have made them in such a short time. The Rockefeller family had enough money to finance all of these projects. I doubt it based on everything else I’ve learned about ancient America. The strange looking buildings have often turned out to be much older. As previously explained, buildings that looked like this, were used in “World Expos”, claimed to have been built as temporary exhibition halls. Here’s a beautiful one in Buffalo, NY around the turn of the Century:
Many were said to have burned down in accidental fires or intentionally demolished because they had only been “temporary”.
Flagler also built absolutely massive buildings in other places in Florida “within one year”. For example, both of these Hotels in Palm Beach took 1-2 years each to build in 1894 and 1896.
Modern construction companies have a lot to learn from Henry Flagler it seems. I’ve seen much smaller buildings take years to build. I’m not saying it’s impossible with enough workers and unlimited funds. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any documentation about who these workers were, how they were recruited, how these places were built and what building techniques were used. They just churned out one massive structure after another. The superhero also built the massive buildings in Miami, Jacksonville, Ormond Beach and other places.
Like so many other places of the time, St. Augustine experienced a fire in 1914 that burt down most of the town, but Flaglers structures remained. St. Augustine experienced another major fire in 1887 the same year Flagler was starting to build there. Strange how entire cities burned down in those days. Who knows what disappeared in the fire? Why were Flagler’s buildings spared?
This fire happened during World War I. Was it really just a fire? Mere fire doesn’t cause rocks to crush, only explosions, impacts and bombings do that.
The image below is the San Marco Hotel in 1885. It is said to have been built in 1884 by a man named Isaac Crufts. It would have been Flaglers greatest competitor had it not burned down in 1887.
The major tourist attractions of St. Augustine, according to guidebooks, is the “oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States”, built in 1706:
Imagine this architectural feat, hundreds of years after they had Star Forts and Pyramids (we’ll get to those soon). The Europeans that accomplished building those grand structures couldn’t put more than a small wooden hut together as their school?
Old Maps of St. Augustine
Returning from my trip, I hopped online and discovered the town existed on the oldest maps of Florida. It’s been around for over 500 years. Unfortunately there is close to zero documentation on what St. Augustine used to look like on drawings, paintings, postcards or photos before the 1880s. For a 500 year old place that’s very unusual. Where has all the documentation gone?
Is it normal that a town exists for 500 years with almost no development? Knowing that humans love to develop, it’s highly unlikely.
This 1562 map of Florida already features St. Augustine (see upper right):
Here’s a 1607 Mercator map showing St. Augustine (at the bottom) along with strange long-gone strange sounding places such as Saturia, Halinacanir, Athore, Olotacara, Anacaroucou, Salinacali, etc.
Here’s a 1706 map showing St. Augustine with castle-like buildings (enlarge screen to see the structures, marked red):
I couldn’t shake the feeling the city had been architecturally developed long before Henry Flagler came along. The map above confirms my hunch. But where did these high towers disappear to and why aren’t the depicted on old drawings or paintings?
According to the Library of Congress, this map was made in 1762. The map is deliciously interesting for researchers of alternate History.
St. Augustine is as spread out as it is today. There is a center and then left and right of it you have suburbs. You see a line drawn from the old star fort (Castillo de San Marcos) to another star fort named Negroo Fort (also called Fort Mose on other maps). Downtown St. Augustine is another fort in and of itself and it’s interior is well developed. The two townships on either side of the star forts are called “Indian Towns”. One Indian town has a Church that is, on other maps, called “Indian Church”. For the researchers who claim that the star forts had something to do with energy generation and dissemination, it’s interesting that a line was drawn through the towns. It could also be nothing more mysterious than a road, but I didn’t find this line on other maps that show roads.
What is “Fort Negroo”? Official records say that it was a military fort held by black soldiers.
All I learned in school is that black people had been brought to America as slaves to plantation farmers. I never learned that the ancient black people had their own armies operating of their own fortresses. Official History explains this by saying that “Spanish Florida granted black slaves asylum“. It’s interesting that this asylum entailed a fort, weapons and an army. I won’t outright call this fake History (the idea that these black soldiers are asylum beneficiaries), but it sure seems like a lot of things were omitted from our school books. This timeline of African-Americans on Wikipedia only refers to blacks in terms of slavery. It even talks of African slaves in St. Augustine. Not once does it mention blacks in any other function.
Here’s a 1671 drawing of a still fortified St. Augustine. It’s interesting that everyone, including what looks like royalty, are black. These certainly don’t look like “asylum seekers”. I’m not implying that Africans were not slaves, but old images and maps tell us there was more going on than the timeline shows.
A map of St. Augustine in 1764:
A comparison to Google Maps:
At first I thought that this area…
…Corresponds perfectly to the area pictured below. I thought the smaller structure on the left is the Alcazar Hotel, below it the Cordova and the Ponce de Leon Hotel is the Governors House:
But a closer look revealed that the scale I am using was incorrect. This was a good example of my own expectation clouding my judgement. The Governors House and the Church on the old map still stand today, one block lower:
The ancient lines
One block higher is the walled enclosure that once surrounded St. Augustine. There appears to be no trace of it today. The 1764 map was surprisingly accurate in scale.
I thought I had debunked myself and closed this topic for some time. Later, following a hunch, I returned to it to re-inspect. I discovered something amazing. Notice the red-colored wall. Each of the protrusions on the wall, corresponds to the location of a significant ancient looking structure!
The pointed protrusion on the far right side corresponds to the place where the gigantic San Marco Hotel once stood. Today it’s a collection of buildings of the St. Augustine Civic Center.
The triangle to the left of it corresponds to the exact location of the allegedly Flagler-built Methodist Church (image below):
The next triangle corresponds to the back building of Flagler College. And the round protrusion on the far left corresponds to the front of Flagler College and the Lightner Museum.
The wall ran along what is today known as Cordova Street. The street has the exactly same outline as the wall:
The protusions from the wall look large compared to the buildings inside the town. Considering how accurate the 1764 map was in scale, I will assume the structures in the wall were that big. From this it follows that these strange ancient looking buildings we see in St. Augustine may have been part of this wall or some of its parts taken from the wall! It’s hardly a coincidence that each protrusion has a corresponding red-roofed building standing at the same spot today.
There are three more triangle protrusions. If we follow Cordova street to the left, it’s on the same line as the wall and has red-roof buildings at the approximate locations of the protrusions:
The first of the remaining triangles corresponds to the back building of the Lightner Museum (image below), removed some distance from the former Alcazar Hotel:
The second triangle appears to correspond to the next long building with a red roof, labeled “Cordova Developments” on Google Earth.
The third and final triangle on the far left, at the top of St. Francis street, is where today we find the beginning of a lake. It’s the only place where there is no red roofed structure.
I’m happy about this discovery. If Flagler did in fact build these places, why would he put them on this ancient line? Why would he place them where star-fort towers or lookout points used to be? Was he repurposing already existing building material? Did he believe in ancient energy lines?
I looked for more information on when the walls were demolished but came up empty. Did Flagler demolish them?
Soon I learned of many more large walls around St. Augustine and also the names they had. The wall I had been researching was called the Rosario line, apparently built in 1718. Then there was the Cubo Line from 1704 and the Hornwork line from 1706:
A bit further out the Mose Line:
The strange thing is how deep I had to dig to find out these lines even existed. I found them over surveying maps of St. Augustine not on mainstream websites about History.
I found this reference on a historic webpage titled “Old city Gates and Walls of St. Augustine“:
The last known time the walls were used in
conflict was during the Second Seminole
So the wall was there in approximately 1842 but gone 40 years later. Nobody seems to know where it disappeared to. And nobody seems to know why red roofed buildings correspond with the protrusions of the Rosario line.
There is an Encyclopedia page on “The Cubo Line“. There, we learn two interesting things:
“In 1820, the newly appointed royal engineer, Ramón de la Cruz, proposed improvements to the Cubo line that were implemented by June 1821”
“Most of wall has disappeared, short section reconstructed”
How is it possible that several large walls, even bigger than the star fort, just disappear? This is where we start treading on faked history territory. As with other places, there is an unusual information gap between the 1820s and 1880s. I put “City Wall St. Augustine” into a search engine and not a single one of the first-page results told about where the wall and its towers went.
Below is a 1740 drawing of St. Augustine by Thomas Silver. It apparently shows a battle that was waged against the town. The red roofed towers are interesting.
The most notable feature of this image is the Pyramid on the upper left side. A close-up:
I must have missed the part in History lessons where the Christian Missionaries from Spain built Pyramids. This one is similar in size to one that was found not far away in the Florida town of New Smyrna. I posted pictures of that pyramid in this article: The native Americans spoke Ancient German
The Pyramids could point to older civilizations, perhaps linked to the “native Americans”.
Going hundreds of years further back we find this map from 1586:
I am not sure what this mysterious oversized tower in the hills is. Maybe it’s the ancient light tower on Anastasia Island:
Not far away from the tower again what could be Pyramids (or a Pyramid):
A high rez close-up reveals several walled enclosures:
There is an aerial view of St. Augustine from 1885, three years before the Flagler buildings are said to have been built.
On this beautifully drawn image we see the star fort on the right. We also see the huge Hotel San Marco across from it, although I am a little surprised that it’s already operational, smoking chimney and all, considering it was supposed to have been built in the year the map was published.
At first sight I thought that this drawing debunks my notion of Ponce Hotel already being there prior to 1888. Where I thought it would be, I found only an empty lot. But I had misread the map, once again.
All the structures are roughly present in the correct place even if they’re not drawn with architectural precision. Let me first show you on Google Maps:
Notice the place marked “Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine”. The street it is on, leads directly to Flagler College, the red-roofed structure at the top. Across the street from it you see a smaller structure with the two towers.
Now consider the 1885 map:
The building marked “1” is the Cathedral Basilica. The street leads straight to a larger complex of structures (16, 33, 30). Across from it, to the left, we find a smaller structure that appears to have towers. The drawings are not very exact, but everything is where it should be. Even the fountain is at exactly the place I found it when taking a walk there.
This is my first piece of evidence that Flagler did not build the structures. They were already there. Either he unearthed them, purchased them or simply stole them. Or, if there were already existing buildings there, he bulldozed them and built something new (of course all within a very short time).
Did Flagler build in 1888?
Is there any evidence at all that Flagler built the major buildings of St. Augustine?
Following a rigorous search for construction photos I only found two photos of questionable value. If a photographer took these two photos, wouldn’t they have taken more? Even so, these photos appear to debunk my theory, despite the map above:
Except that the image above is undated and I was unable to find any scholarly source for it. I took it from the stock photo website alamy.
An oddity: The building was fully finished while the surroundings are undeveloped. Instead of streets, sidewalks, electricity poles and lamps we find mud:
The image above, however, has signs of old-school photomanipulation and/or a photo-error. I can see the outline of the faded-out towers. The photo does not show the construction of the Hotel, as some webpages say. It shows the construction of the garden in front of it, if anything.
Again, we see a fully complete building surrounded by dirt as if it had been excavated or unearthed rather than built. Where do we normally build structures without the benefit of streets? How is it possible to build this in a very short time without streets to transport materials? And where are the architectural designs for these buildings?
The Government website Floridamemory.com has apparently misdated several images of the “Alcazar Hotel”. Either that or it wasn’t built in 1888.
From an 1887 ad for an “Electric Bath” at the Alcazar Hotel (pretty early for a Hotel that was built in 1888):
Here’s a menu I found of the Hotel Ponce de Leon. It’s dated January 10, 1888. Interesting, considering that it was completed later in the year. They must have been really impatient to get going if they’d start serving food while the place was still a construction site.
Source of this piece of evidence is a page titled “Historic Photos of St. Augustine” on the website “Wyoming Tales and Trails”.
The drawing below is dated to 1887:
It’s claimed to be an architectural drawing of how it’s supposed to look like and this is why the buildings in front of it can’t be found on later photographs. Close-up:
Here’s from another historical website. A photo said to be from the “1860s” with the “Flagler” building in the background:
I guess one could say that all of these are errors. But at some point the errors become so many, you ask yourself whether the official narrative is in error. Why would a respected publication as “The St. Augustine Record” be mistaken by two decades?
This photograph is from the website of the “Museum of St. Augustine” and it’s undated:
You’d think a museum would care to date images. Historians and Governments complain about the rise of “conspiracy theories”, but it’s their own negligence that gives rise to them. The image looks older than the 1880s. In the distance mid-photo you see the two towers of the Ponce de Leon and the chimney stack not far from it. A little further to the right, the Cathedral. At center-left a strange pillar with which I’m not familiar. Nor can I explain why the town is almost devoid of people, except for two or three people standing in the front. There are many photos from that time showing towns and cities devoid of people, as shown by many researchers. One theory is that these places were artificially repopulated after a “great reset” or cataclysm. Others would probably say the photo must have been taken early morning before people woke up. But there are hundreds of other 1840s to 1870s photos of entire cities being empty.
Below is another undated photo that looks older than 1888 and shows the Alcazar. It’s funny how the photos that look really old are often posted on historical websites without a date. The antenna-like crosses atop the “Ponce de Leon Hotel” also look interesting.
The “Methodist Church in Carrera Street”, across an empty lot.
The church still stands today:
This too is claimed to have been built within one year in 1886 by Henry Flagler, as a Methodist Church. It’s amazing that Flagler would build both a Presbyterian Church and a Methodist Church. Why would a “lifelong Presbyterian” build a Church in a denomination at odds with his own?
It’s mind-boggling just how many buildings these folks churned out between 1886 and 1888. What was used to transport the materials? Where did the rocks come from? How many people were employed? I found no records of any of it. One book about Flagler claims that the rocks were hauled from Anastasia Island, right across from St. Augustine. No evidence is provided. How were the rocks transported before a bridge was built? The Bridge of Lions was built in 1927.
From the page:
Prior to the Bridge of Lions in 1925, there was a wooden bridge, called simply, “The Bridge to Anastasia Island” or “South Beach railroad bridge”. It was built in 1895, and after a major renovation in 1904, the bridge could accommodate a trolley.
As I found no mention of bridges existing in 1888, I wonder how this much material was transported from the Island. Is it possible that the great wall and towers around St. Augustine were re-purposed and used by Flagler as building materials? That’s my theory for now.
This postcard was published by Geo Barker of Niagara Falls, New York. The photo won a Grand Prize Diamond Badge in 1887 and a Gold Medal in Paris 1889, according to the stamps on it. How is it possible that it won a prize in 1887 when the Hotel was built in 1888? And why is the area around the Hotel fully developed when, according to photos allegedly made later, it was all mud? Even at the copyright date of the postcard itself, 1889, the area wasn’t yet fully developed, according to other photos. If this postcard is accurate, it would mean the photos showing undeveloped dirt lots are not from 1888 or 89.
A late 1800s photo of streets being laid. “We built these fantastic structures, now let’s build some really simple streets”.
One of the problems here is that I spent hours looking for images of St. Augustine before Henry Flagler came along to save the day, but I found hardly any. Here’s one image said to be from 1855, but it doesn’t show downtown:
I found many images of the promenade at the sea and next to none of downtown, almost as if they had been removed. I went through search engines typing “St. Augustine” and every single year, as in 1824, 1854, 1867, 1760. I came up with almost nothing.
This 1879 photo shows the bell tower of the Cathedral Basilica in the background.
According to the Government website floridamemory.com the photo below is from 1870:
The problem with these dates is that the tower you see in the background was said to have been added to the Cathedral Basilica by Henry Flagler in 1887, after a fire and while he was building the rest of St. Augustine.
The Government website says “ca. 1870”. Many photos on Government websites, including Library of Congress now say “ca”, which means “approximately” or “around”. Some even give dates like “between 1860 and 1942” which is the same thing as saying “we don’t know from when this photo is”. I believe this is done because History has been so horribly butchered. To avoid accountability, photos are no longer assigned to a specific date (photos often had dates on the back of them).
The structure today:
Several previous versions of this Church were burned to the ground. One built in 1565 burnt in 1586 and another burnt down in 1599. Another was built in 1605. The Cathedral was again built in 1793 according to historical websites.
A historical website says this:
Here’s a photo I’d rather not have found:
It’s the first photo I find that appears to debunk everything I am saying here. I found it on Pinterest, but it was undated. It was linked to an article in St. Augustine.com, the local newspaper. But the article no longer existed. Even so, it is missing a significant building that is supposed to be behind the Basilica, set back from the street a little. I’m referring to this building, which is today called “The Treasury”.
The Treasury was built in 1926, long after Flaglers time. And yet, it boasted the same style of architecture as all the “Flagler buildings”, so I counted it to them before I went online and was told it’s from another time. Or perhaps the tower was taken from elsewhere and put atop the Treasury. It’s the highest building in St. Augustine.
I went to Google Earth to take in the same perspective as in the old photo above:
Damn, I debunked myself! I found a “Flagler-style” building that was clearly not present on old photographs.
Or did I? After letting the article rest unpublished for some time, I had another, much closer look.
Lo and behold, the photo that had deflated my research, contained clear signs of photomanipulation. Here’s a cut out of the relevant section:
Four issues: The cross atop the church is suspended in the air, attached to nothing. The half-circle object below it looks like it’s been partially erased or belongs to another building. There’s a faded upward-moving line sticking out from a balustrade. There’s an unknown roofing structure behind the balustrade. Manipulation of photos has existed since the invention of modern photography and this photo has all the signs of it. It looks amateurish.
Why is it necessary to manipulate a historic photo like this? Maybe because it showed a building that wasn’t supposed to have existed in those days:
Whatever the reason, if they are willing to use photomanipulation it makes researching St. Augustine History complicated. At the time of this writing, the photo was available here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/332070172494508823/
The Genealogical Society has a list of all Business Licenses that were issued in St. Augustin here:
Unfortunately it only lists licenses beginning in 1887 – the year of Flagler. Business licenses are issued to the Alcazar and Ponce Hotel almost every year, including 1887 (one year before it was allegedly completed). I wish it listed Business licenses prior to 1887. What’s the reason for so many things starting in 1887? If the aerial view above is correct, St. Augustine was already a bustling small city long before that. Where are the photos of downtown, the postcards, the public records from before that date? One sure sign of someone having fabricated a History is when records and pictures of a specific period are missing.
The Palace of Anastasia Island
This is the most anomalous photo I found during my research:
Unfortunately I was unable to retrace my steps on how and where I found this photo. I had since deleted my browser cache and never could have guessed that I’d find no trace of this building anywhere else. I didn’t realize the Internet was wiped clean from any hint there was a huge structure across from Castillo San Marcos, on Anastasia Island. There is no indication of this grand building on the Wikipedia page, on old photographs, on historical websites. It’s memory has been erased. I recall having found this photo in a private collection an old lady posted on her Blog but I don’t recall the name.
The mere fact that I can’t find anything on such a large building indicates that someone has actively removed references to it. All the “Anastasia Island Historical Photos” webpages that I found, only showed the lighthouse.
Even the shape of the Island has changed. For comparison:
The place where the Palace stood now has normal houses:
Even more strange: This part of Anastasia Island is shown as undeveloped beach and trees until as late as the 1950s. If the structure was built in the 50s, it’s even more bizarre I’d find nothing on it. I’ve waded through surveys of Anastasia Island and countless aerial views from all decades. The thing that bothers me the most about this is that the photo quality doesn’t look 1950s. It looks like something from the 1850s. The earliest method of photo processing is called Daguerrotype. This kind of photography was mostly discontinued after the 1860s and completely disappeared by the 1900s. The photo above looks Daguerrotype. But the Lions Bridge, built in 1927 is standing. The island is fully developed. Maybe the photo itself is fake. Or maybe it’s a drawing, made to look like a vintage photo. If I find out more about it, I’ll be sure to add it here.
So far we have a Hotel Menu, a Hotel Bath, a Postcard and a bird’s eye view map telling us that these buildings stood before “Flagler built them in 1888”. We also have ancient walls that have disappeared, some ancient Pyramids and a mysterious star fort. We have the Government misdating photos (or Wikipedia misdating them), disappeared buildings on Anastasia Island and strange ancient maps. We have an information gap between the early 1800s and 1880s. We have structures that have mysteriously burnt down. We have rich crime families defining “History”. That should be enough to awaken anyone’s inner detective.