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500 Years of Maritime History


According to LAMP archeologist Alyson Ropp, the speakers that the program regularly brought to the students were of such high quality that the LAMP crew decided to offer the series to the public as well.

St. Augustine Lighthouse historical photo

So, with a bit of funding help via a grant from The Florida Humanities Council (through the National Endowment for the Humanities), LAMP was able to put together the “500 Years of Maritime Florida Free Speaker Series:” a line-up of lectures covering a variety of topics concerning Florida’s storied past, both on land and water. The series features some of the most respected professionals in the fields of history and archeology, including, of course, maritime archeology. It promises to be informative and fun, with updates on what is currently going on with LAMP as a part of the program.


According to Ropp, “The program was really born out of a lecture series we do during our field school every year and a desire to expand it to others in the area throughout the remainder of the year. We have historians and archaeologists coming from all over the state to engage with our local community and share that history. Their distinct research of Florida history will bring something different to the St. Augustine community.”

Lighthouse Stairs

The series, which began in June, continues through spring of next year and brings noted historians such as Dr. Michael Francis of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, widely considered the pre-imminent historian of early Spanish History in Florida. Also scheduled is noted shipwreck archeologist Dr. Gregory Cook (University of West Florida), along with LAMP’s own Brendan Burke, who wrote the widely acclaimed history of St. Augustine’s Shrimping Industry, and the Director of LAMP, Dr. Chuck Miede who will talk about all the exciting things he and his team have been involved with in 2018 (possibly including more information about that famous ship which washed up on the shores of South Ponte Vedra Beach this spring).

Aerial view of the St. Augustine Lighthouse

Ropp is looking forward to digging into the heart of the series. “We are definitely looking forward to hosting this speaker series here at the Lighthouse. Not only is it bringing in a series of speakers to the local community, it is also connecting the Lighthouse to the community, providing a space to come together and learn the preserved and protected history of Florida in the nation’s oldest port, and the guardian of St. Augustine, the Lighthouse.”

500 Years of Maritime Florida

For more information about the St. Augustine Lighthouse Speaker Series, please visit the St. Augustine Ligthhouse website here.

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