The Menorcan Cultural Society was founded in the 1980s to preserve and promote the heritage and culture of the Menorcans who left their Mediterranean homeland to make a new life in the New World. They are the only Menorcan society in the United States, and have a worldwide membership.
Setting sail for British East Florida, 1400 people left the Mediterranean in 1786 and included Menorcan, Greek, Italian, Corsican, and French peoples. This was the largest single group of European settlers to immigrate as a single group to the New World.
Spending the first nine years toiling under harsh conditions and even harsher treatment, the Menorcans were decimated by disease and starvation. The remaining members, now less than 700 souls, walked to St. Augustine.
Patrick Tonyn granted them a space in the northwest section of the old walled city and when a second Spanish occupation and the eventual acquisition of Florida by the young United States, the Menorcan colonists and their descendants have been an integral part of St. Augustine and St. Johns County for more than two centuries.