Fort George Island Cultural State Park


12241 Fort George Rd,
Jacksonville, FL 32226






State Park - 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
The Ribault Club -
Wednesday- Sunday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The park contains distinct periods in human history; prehistoric Native American cultures, Spanish colonial period peoples and missions, British occupation and fortification, slave-period British and American plantations, and early 1900s golfing and leisure clubs and homes. In 1989, as part of the Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) program, the state of Florida purchased 581 acres on Fort George Island. The purchase ensured the preservation of a number of natural and cultural resources for the public to enjoy.

Spain's establishment of missions for the purpose of Christianizing the Indian population was one of the methods used in their colonization of La Florida in the sixteenth century. Initially, missions were staffed by the Jesuits. Due to the hostility of the Indians, which resulted in the murder of several of the missionaries, the Jesuits withdrew from the mission field in La Florida in 1572. Franciscan friars entered into La Florida in 1573, but at first confined their activities to the immediate vicinity of St. Augustine. By 1587, they began taking their mission to the Guale and Timucua Indians along the Atlantic coast.

The Saturiwa, a Timucua speaking tribe who lived in the Mocama Province, were allied with the French of Fort Caroline, and were thus initially hostile to the Spanish – who ousted the French colonists from the Florida coast in 1565. Huguenot leader René Goulaine de Laudonnière records that their chief, who was known as Saturiwa, had sovereignty over thirty villages and their chiefs, ten of whom were his "brothers". These villages were located around the mouth of the St. Johns River and nearby inland waterways. However, the Saturiwa soon made peace with the Spaniards, and Mission of San Juan del Puerto was founded near their main town on Fort George Island in the late 1580s. During a visit in 1606 by Bishop Altamirano, it was recorded that the mission had over 500 members, including the female Cacique Maria and five of her subordinate caciques from the area.

page information credit: Florida State Parks, Florida Public Archaeology Network, National Park Service, Wikipedia
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors