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Chuck Dale (left) describes the operation of the Taberna del Gallo, a typical tavern that would have operated in St. Augustine in the early 18th century. The tavern is part of the City’s Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum and Mr. Dale is the Museums and Visitor Services Manager.
Florida's new Secretary of State, Glenda Hood, made her first official trip out of Tallahassee since her appointment in February and she made that trip to St. Augustine on Wednesday, April 16.
First on Secretary Hood’s itinerary was the Republican Women of St. Johns Federated luncheon where she was the guest speaker. Following the mid-day event at Marsh Creek Country Club, the Secretary toured St. Francis Barracks, home of Florida Department of Military Affairs as the guest of the Adjutant General, Major General Douglas Burnett.
By mid afternoon, Secretary Hood, like millions of other visitors a year, was strolling St. George St. touring the state owned historical properties along the famous street which is at the center of St. Augustine’s historic districts. The properties, including the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum are leased by the City of St. Augustine and managed and maintained by the City’s Department of Heritage Tourism. Dr. William Adams, Ph.D., the department's director, led the tour of the properties.
While in the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum, Secretary Hood had the opportunity to see museum guides in period dress interacting with school groups, tour groups and families on vacation by demonstrating blacksmithing, carpentry, cooking and gardening all in a style authentic to life in St. Augustine in 1740.
Accompanying Ms. Hood on the tour was Mayor George Gardner; City Commissioner Donald Crichlow; Ms. Carla Wright, St. Johns County School Board Chair; and Dr. Susan Parker, Ph.D., Community Assistance Consultant with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources.
The day ended with a reception in honor of Secretary Hood at Government House hosted by the Mayor and Commissioners.
Prior to her departure the following morning, Secretary Hood was offered a tour of Flagler College by the college’s president William Abare. The college is housed in Henry Flagler's first Florida hotel, the Ponce de Leon built in the late 1880’s.
During her visit, Secretary Hood had the opportunity to meet, albeit briefly at times, with many people from the St. Augustine community. Many who shared information with the Secretary are associated with St. Augustine’s public and privately held historic properties that often depend on assistance from the Department of State to maintain the high cost of restoration and preservation.
Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood (left) and St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner (center) listen as Dr. William Adams, Ph.D., director of the City’s Department of Heritage Tourism, conducts a tour of St. George Street’s historic district.