By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 4/20/2019
Occurred: 7/1/1967
Posted: 11/1/2015
Topics/Keywords: #Florida #Photography Page Views: 1136
Photos I took during my explorations of the wilderness near my home in St. Augustine Beach.

In 1967, I lived in a brand-new home on St. Augustine Beach, in a community called Coquina Gables. This development had been superimposed on a system of streets that had been laid in the late 1920s, before the Great Depression put a stop to silly things like investments. But those old streets provided access to the Florida scrub jungle, and my sisters and friends and I spent many summer days—when we weren't at the beach, itself—playing in the woods.

I was a budding photographer in those days, taking photos with any camera I could find, ranging from my grandmothers twin reflex and my mom's Brownie, to a $0.50 Diana camera I bought at the local Woolworth's, and a 3-D stereo camera I borrowed (and broke) from a neighbor.

And, since I've never taken a photo I didn't keep…here are pictures I took in the woods and at the beach.

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South of Coquina Gables

South of Coquina Gables

South of our little development was nothing but Florida scrub. My sisters and friends and I spent every day each summer, either exploring and playing in the woods, or going to the beach...usually both.

Mosquito Control Ditch

Mosquito Control Ditch

Covered in algae, the ditch system on Anastasia Island would seem to be unintuitive. After all, the water in it was stagnant enough to allow the growth of so much algae; so wouldn't that be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes? Still, it was the sixties; they called it the mosquito control ditch and no one I knew of questioned it.

Beyond F Street

Beyond F Street

The ditches had to be dug by digging equipment; such equipment required roads to be delivered. So, there was a dirt or sand road alongside the southernmost ditch past F Street.

Jungle Canopy

Jungle Canopy

The area south of Coquina Gables was quite overgrown.

Crossroads

Crossroads

The streets on which Coquina Gables was placed had been laid back in the late 1920s, before the Great Depression put an end to housing investments for 34 years. Those streets had been paved but not maintained, so were very overgrown and even impassable in spots.

Grandpa Feeding Seagulls

Grandpa Feeding Seagulls

Once I got my license, I was put to work driving my grandfather to the beach, where he would feed the seagulls bits of leftover food and stale bread.