As a follow-up to my most recent post, I had a meeting on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 with Dr. Susan Parker, the Director of the St. Augustine Historical Society. Operating out of the Oldest House Museum, the St. Augustine Historical Society is committed to the preservation and interpretation of historically significant structures, artifacts, and documentary materials that concern the nation’s oldest city.
Photos courtesy of the St. Augustine Historical Society.
The mission of the St. Augustine Historical Society is to acquire, preserve, and interpret the historical resources of St. Augustine and its sphere of influence for the benefit of the public through its stewardship of historic buildings and collections, research, publications and educational programming. The St. Augustine Historical Society collects objects and records that document St. Augustine and its sphere of influence or assist the Society in its mission to preserve, interpret and educate.
Dr. Parker very cordially agreed to meet with me to discuss the upcoming 1715 Fleet Conference that is being sponsored by the Fleet Society and our desire to perhaps partner with the St. Augustine Historical Society to advance the success of the Conference. Dr. Parker was very accommodating and enthusiastic about our plans. In the end, she offered to partner with us and in that regard we discussed potential events that we could co-sponsor. The Fleet Society is extremely pleased to have formed this relationship with the St. Augustine Historical Society.
Following my meeting with Dr. Parker, I met with Laura Stevenson, Director of College Relations at Flagler College. The purpose of my visit with her was to see whether or not it would be feasible to host our Conference at Flagler College. Ms. Stevenson escorted me around the College and we visited several likely venues. Flagler College is located in the heart of St. Augustine. The stunning Spanish architecture throughout the campus is strikingly beautiful. In our estimation the Fleet Society could not have chosen a more appropriate venue for our Conference.
At this point, we are confident that arrangements can be made to secure a room at Flagler College for our Conference. We have the option of securing one of several rooms but final arrangements cannot be made until the College’s schedule for classes in the spring of 2017 can be ascertained. We should know around March or April of this year as to what room or rooms may be available for our use. The best room, in my opinion, is the small auditorium located at the Student Center which has theater style seating and can accommodate 105 individuals comfortably. The large screen and state of the art technology is available in this auditorium. However, if a conflict in scheduling renders this auditorium unavailable for our use, there are other rooms that will accommodate our needs.
Ms. Stevenson also showed me a wonderful, sunny second floor facility to host our catered lunches which will be a part of the Conference (much like we had in Vero Beach). This room, called the Solarium, is inside Ponce de Leon Hall (the former Hotel Ponce de Leon). This room provides a breathtaking rooftop view of St. Augustine and the Bay area.
At this point I think it can be safely said that the Conference will be held in St. Augustine during the last week of March or the first week of April 2017. Again, this is tentative, depending on the College’s schedule. The Fleet Society is confident that the Conference will be hosted by the Society at Flagler College. The St. Augustine Historical Society will be partnering with us and providing considerable credibility, as well as technical support and advice.
More on our upcoming Conference will be provided in a future post.