Anna Kingsley story at Amelia Musical Playhouse – Chaotic history of early Fernandina

Special to the Observer
January 20, 2020

Turning Tides: The Life and Times of Anna Kingsley, an historical play about the early days of northeast Florida and Fernandina, will debut at the Amelia Musical Playhouse Friday and Saturday evenings, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Written by local historian Jennifer Harrison an sponsored by the Amelia Island Museum of History, the play is the story of Anna Kingsley, an African princess sold into slavery who became a leading plantation owner in her own right.

Anna Kingsley (left played by Lynell Everett) and Flora Clarke, (played by Deena Raysor) are two former slaves married by white businessmen in the play Turning tides: the Life and Times of Anna Kingsley in rehearsal.

A dramatic reading, Turning Tides features many of the colorful characters of Fernandina’s rich cultural history. There is Felipe the Witch (played by Thea Seagraves), courtesan Isabella of Ladies Street (Buffy Wells), the pirate Louis Aury (Will Holder), surveyor George Clark(Dave Roeser), retained by Spain to bring order to the new town of Fernandina who clashes with Fernandina’s first mayor, Charles Seton (Larry Myers).

There is the story of Maria and Domingo Fernandez (Jane Sandhaus-Packer and Paul Lorre) whose Spanish land grants encompassed what is much of today’s Fernandina Beach Historic District, and the invasion of Fernandina by rebels, adventurers and the covert Continue reading

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José Oliva sends firm reminder to cities to back off tree ordinances

By Janelle Irwin Taylor
January 16, 2020

House Speaker José Oliva is sending a not-so-subtle message to local governments not to over-step their authority.

Oliva sent letters to 488 local governments within the states reminding them that they are no longer allowed to enforce local tree ordinances restricting property owners from trimming or removing trees on their property.

He sent the same letter to more than 72,000 tree businesses who work with local governments.

“People should be free to protect their families and homes from trees and landscaping that poses a risk to them,” Oliva said. “The House takes seriously its duty to protect the rights of Florida residents and property owners and prevent government interference with those rights.”

The Florida Legislature approved — and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed last year — legislation preempting regulations on tree trimming and removal on private property. The bill applied Continue reading

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Priscilla Footlik
January 18, 2020

“Morning on Horseback” Photo courtesy of Priscilla Footlik

Editor’s Note: Priscilla has lived on Amelia Island since 2007. Prior to arriving on Amelia, she lived most often in Colorado. She is a retired pre-school teacher and enjoys being an amateur photographer in her spare time.  We thank Priscilla for her contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

Photographers can submitted their photos to [email protected] Fernandina Observer Incorporated is committed to protecting copyright and intellectual property rights. Content provided to the Fernandina Observer must be content that does not violate copyright or intellectual property of others.

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Martin Luther King Jr. events in Fernandina Beach – breakfast, commemorative worship service, and parade

By Susan Hardee Steger

On Saturday, January 18, at 8:00 a.m. at the Council on Aging Life Center, a Commemorative Breakfast will be held to honor Dr. King. Guest speaker will be Ken Amaro. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Thomas Coleman 556-3343.

New Zion Baptist Church will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Worship Service on Sunday, January 19, at 4:00 p.m. (Contact: [email protected])


A previous Martin Luther King Jr Parade (File Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr Parade

January 20, 2020, at 12:00 p.m.

Parade Route: Begins at Peck Center (516 S 10th Street) in Fernandina Beach. According to the city website, the parade route heads west on Ash Street, turning north on South 2nd and then east on Centre Street.


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