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Brief History of Amelia Island

Originally home to the once-thriving Timuncuan Indians, around 2,500 B.C., it has also been

Nearly 80% of Florida's Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in the surrounding waters, with 2 million pounds of shrimp delivered annually to the Fernandina docks.
the home of an English plantation, an international port, Civil War fort, turn-of-the-century playground for rich tourists, terminus of Florida's first cross-state railroad and world headquarters of the shrimping industry, which was first modernized here.

An aura of simple innocence belies what was once a hotbed of corruption, buccaneers and bootleggers. Named for the daughter of England's King George II, Amelia Island, was under the Spanish flag in 1807, when the Jefferson Embargo closed all U.S. ports to foreign shipping. The Spanish harbor of Fernandina became the nation's center for smuggling slaves, liquor and foreign luxury goods, as well as buried pirates treasures.

Amelia Island played another historic role during the Cuban War for Independence (1895-1989), when freedom fighter Jose Marti was overheard plotting his strategies in his island suite in the Florida House Inn (Florida's oldest surviving hotel). This led to the demise of the ill-fated revolution.