Amelia Island is steeped in mystique and tradition, with a history that dates back for centuries. Eight different nations at one point controlled this prized and scenic island. The full history of Amelia Island is quite complex, interesting and detailed.
It’s believed that Amelia Island was first settled around the year 1000 by the mound building Timucuan Native Americans. They referred to the island as “Napoyca” and made it their home until the 1700s when the island became colonized and fought over by European powers.
Learn about a rich past while on vacation
At one point or another, the British, Spanish, French, Mexico, Green Cross, Patriots of Amelia Island, Confederate States, and finally the United States have laid claim to Amelia Island. Today, multiple historic sites exist throughout the island, with each location telling a unique tale as a piece of the vast history that surrounds Amelia Island.
Amelia Island Museum of History
The Amelia Island Museum of History is located at 233 S 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL and is the first spoken history museum in Florida. There are a number of historic tours offered by the museum which are interactive, fun and will enlighten you about the intriguing history of the island. Admission to the museum is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students.
Docent-led tours of the museum are always available and can be scheduled in advance. A one-hour tour of the museum is held from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day, with details about the events and people that shaped the history of Amelia Island. The tour is free with your admission to the museum.
Other Amelia Island Museum of History Tours
A variety of other tours are held by the Amelia Island Museum of History that appeal to every age level. You can book tours of historic Centre Street in Fernandina Beach, Step-On Tours where a tour guide is offered for your tour bus or van, a South Fernandina Tour of the city’s south historic district. The “Golden Era” tour takes you through the north end of Fernandina Beach.
Ghost Tours which take you through the historic streets and haunted sites of Fernandina Beach at night. Pub tours are held from March through November every Thursday and provide historic information about downtown Fernandina Beach. Those who are 21 or older can enjoy fun and responsible drinking at some of the local establishments. Four free alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks are included.
There’s a tour for everyone at the museum, so make it a point stop by if you’re looking for something interesting to do while you’re vacationing on Amelia Island.
As another one of the top historic attractions on Amelia Island, visiting Fort Clinch State Park to see Fort Clinch is a must. This 19th century masonry fort was built as a seacoast defense by the United States starting in 1847. During the Civil War it was transferred from Confederate forces to the Union and was even used as a communications post during World War II.
You can tour Fort Clinch for $2.00 per person, take photos and learn about its history in more detail. Also, don’t miss the chance to explore the vast 1,400 acres of the park offering fishing, hiking, shell hunting and more. Fort Clinch State Park is open 365 days a year.