5 Piratical Points of Interest
- In the 17th and 18th centuries, Amelia Island was a safe harbor for pirates. Our port is among the deepest on the southeast coast of the United States, allowing pirate galleons to enter even at low tide.
- You will see friendly pirates roaming the island to this day thanks to the Fernandina Beach Pirates Club, which is a civic and charitable organization made up of “Amelia Island’s Goodwill Ambassadors to the World"
- The best documented pirate is Luis Aury, who arrived in Fernandina in 1817 to take over the island. Claiming to be an officer of Mexico, he raised the flag of the Mexican Republic and annexed Amelia Island to Mexico. Local inhabitants fled as they did not want to join his motley crew. He was made to surrender to the Americans 3 months later and his ghost is said to still haunt the jail house on Third Street.
- Local legend has it that, somewhere in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, there is unclaimed buried treasure marked by a chain hanging from a big oak tree (the "money tree"). Several people reported seeing this chain, so they go home to get a shovel only to return and find that the tree and chain have vanished!
- A high point of the annual Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival is the Pirate Invasion by ship at the waterfront, accompanied by “cannon fire” and followed by fireworks. (May 1, 2015 - make your plans now!)