Sunday, January 29, 2023

Mission San Luis de Apalache

Scott and our first Guide dressed as a Spanish settler. That's the Council House in the background. New thatching is scheduled for installation soon. 

If our journey isn't too long, we look for a place to stop at lunchtime, either a recreation or historical place where we can walk and/or tour. The Mission San Luis de Apalache was a perfect choice. The big parking lot provided a private spot to have our lunch before going in to explore. The Mission San Luis de Apalachee was a Spanish Franciscan mission built in 1656 near Tallahassee, Florida. It was located in the settlement of Anhaica (also known as Anhayca Apalache or Inihayca) capital of Apalachee Province. The mission was part of Spain's effort to colonize the Florida Peninsula and to convert the Timucuan and Apalachee Indians to Christianity. The mission lasted until 1704 when it was evacuated and destroyed to prevent its use by the approaching militia of Creek Indians and South Carolinians. 
Because all the buildings were burnt the post hole locations and boundaries were still visible after centuries helping the reconstruction. The Church and Council House faced each other across the central common and were about the same size 

The Apalachee were the most stratified and populous native peoples in Florida and part of the Mississippian culture of mound builders and had well-established administrative and religious systems. They generally coexisted with the Spanish buy had begun to be seriously alienated by 1698 and when the mission was destroyed, they immigrated in various directions with the largest group moving west, eventually to New Orleans. The tribe has remained cohesive there and has returned several times to view the museum and contribute. 
The grounds were quiet lovely and we were able to get in a good walk.

 The buildings at San Luis included Spanish and Apalachee residential areas , the Franciscan Church and Spanish fort, as well as the native Council House, which was one of the largest historic Indian Structures in the southeastern United States at the time holding 2,000 - 3,000 people! Beginning in 1996 Archeologists have reconstructed the church, fort, Council House and a few residential buildings.  We met several guides around the property that spent time with us filling us in on the history. It was a great break in our trip west, which was a short day to begin with. Next stop, the Santa Rosa RV Park in Navarre, FL. 
Our second guide, the resident blacksmith.

He showed us around the fort and talked about
the soldier's life and the war that caused the 
decision to burn down the settlement. It was the
War of the Spanish Succession or Queen 
Charlotte's War,

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