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The City of St. Augustine is soliciting suggestions for the naming of the conservation area in Lighthouse Park, south of Santa Monica Avenue, for Maria Andreu, the first female lighthouse keeper. This property was designated as Undeveloped Conservation Park Land in 2016; however, at that time, a name was not suggested. The recommended name is “Maria Andreu Conservation Area at Lighthouse Park.”
Ms. Maria Andreu was a Minorcan and the first female lighthouse keeper in St. Augustine following the tragic death of her husband, Joseph Andreu, who was the keeper from 1854-1859, when he fell to his death while whitewashing the tower of the lighthouse. At the time of her husband’s death, Maria was left with six children and no means of support. The community petitioned for her to become the keeper, earning $400 annually. As the lighthouse keeper, she was responsible for keeping the light on for mariners in distress. She was the keeper from 1859 until 1862 when the light was darkened during the Civil War.
“I commend the Lighthouse Park residents for continuing their work together as neighbors, to come together in suggesting this name,” commented Vice Mayor Leanna Freeman. “I’m happy to sponsor this naming, and believe Ms. Andreu is a very appropriate historic figure who contributed a great public service to the community.” In accordance with Resolution 2016-15 which outlines the process for the official naming of public parks and city facilities, Freeman is sponsoring the request to name the public space.
According to the resolution, suggestions should consider neighborhood or geographical identification, natural or geological features, a place or event of historical or cultural significance, the articulated preference of residents of the neighborhood surrounding the space, or a deceased person or persons who has made significant and outstanding contributions of public service to the community.
Suggestions will be gathered through an online survey, which will include providing a brief supportive statement as to why the name is suggested. The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LighthousePark
Submissions also may be mailed to: Communications Department, City of St. Augustine, P. O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085; faxed to 904.825-1096; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.