Tolomato Cemetery Tour

cemetery

Since the 1700s, the Tolomato Cemetery has been standing on Cordova Street.  Perhaps you’ve peered at it through its closed gates: ancient headstones and tombs, a little white chapel and stately southern trees.  It’s beautiful, but because of its historical significance, preservation is of utmost concern, and public access to the Tolomato Cemetery is limited.  June 17 is one of the few days in 2017 that you will have the chance to go inside.

Built on the site of a Franciscan Indian mission, this Catholic cemetery is almost as old as the town itself.  Over 1,000 former St Augustine residents were buried at the Tolomato Cemetery, from the First Spanish Period through the British Period, the Second Spanish Period, and into Florida’s early statehood.

It was the final resting place for people of Spanish, Cuban, Greek, Menorcan, African, Irish, and Haitian descent.  St Augustine’s first Bishop is buried there, as is one of our governors, and soldiers from either side of the Civil War.

The Tolomato Cemetery is located at 16 Cordova Street, approximately a three minute walk from Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast.  Tours will be held from 11:00am – 3:00pm on Saturday, June 17.  The tour is free, but donations are encouraged.

The cemetery is right near the city gates and the fort, so go for a walk afterwards.  Stop for a drink along the bay front and watch the ships go by, or get some serious shopping in on St George Street.  Grab some seafood or perhaps some tapas, then go hear a band.

And then come back and relax at Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast.  The Garnet Room has a king size bed with a dramatic maple headboard.  The armoire, bureau and tables are all antiques.  So, in fact, is most of the furniture in the inn.  Carriage Way is like St Augustine that way: You’re never far from history.