STREET NAMES IN OLD TOWN

 

It is not known if the street names were already in existence in 1811 when Jorge (George) J F Clarke platted Old Town and recorded them on his plat map. The original street names were in Spanish, but they have been anglicized and in one case misspelled. The following table shows the original and current street names; the comments in the Derivation column below range from the obvious to pure speculation!

 

ORIGINAL SPANISH

CURRENT ENGLISH

POSSIBLE DERIVATION

1811 map below

1821 map below

STREETS RUNNING NORTH-SOUTH

Not listed

 

Calle de La Marine

Marine Street

The street closest to the water.

Calle Estrada

 

Calle di Estrada

Estrada Street

Named for Juan José de Estrada, Governor of East Florida (March 1811 - June 1812, and June 1815 - January 1816). Enrique White was Governor before Estrada.*

Calle de Amalia

Calle Amalia

Amelia Street

Named for Princess Amalia/Amelia.

Calle del Commandante

Calle del Commandante

Commandant Street

Either in honor of the Commandant, or because he may have resided on this street.

Not shown on 1811 plat

Calle Nuevo

New Street

Presumably it was a new street when Old Town was extended in 1816.

Not shown on 1811 plat

Calle de Los Puertas de la Ciudad

Towngate Street

Old maps spell it ‘Town Gate Street’. Entrance to Fernandina was once through the defended defile at the South end of Towngate.

STREETS RUNNING WEST-EAST

Paseo de las Damas

 

Paseo de las Damas

 

Ladies Street

Paseo de las Damas’ would translate to ‘Ladies’ Walk’ or ‘Ladies’ Promenade’ or ‘Ladies’ Avenue’ suggesting a pleasant place to 'see and be seen'. The inference that this was the red-light district has some plausibility given the nature of the town, but such activities were normally somewhat removed from residential areas. Also it seems unlikely that the planners would name a street for this activity.

Calle di Fernando (OT Guidelines map)

Calle de Sn or Sr Fernando (Tilson map)

Calle (illegible) Fernando

San Fernando Street

The OTG map uses no title for 'Fernando' suggesting that it is named for the King. The Tilson map contains an illegible designation for Fernando, probably either 'Sn' (San or Saint) or Sr (Senor, a term of respect for the King). It would seem unusual to have both the town and a street named for the same person, so having the town named for the King, and the street for the Saint may be plausible. But if it is the Saint, why did the cartographer bother to compress 'San' to 'Sn'?

Calle de White

Calle White

White Street

Named for Henry (Enrique) White, Governor of East Florida (June 1796 - March 1811)*  White was Irish-born, and died April 13, 1811.1

Calle de Someruelos

 

Calle Someruelos

 

Someruelus Street

Named for the Marquis de Someruelos, Captain-General of the Spanish Provinces of Cuba, Florida, and Louisiana. Born 1754; died in Madrid, Spain in 1813. The Governors of East Florida (like White and Estrada) reported to him, and he reported to the Spanish Royal Court. Street signs are currently misspelled. Pronounced SOM-ER-WAY-LOS.

 

 

 

This portrait was painted by Juan del Rio (1748-18??) and is part of the collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (Havana, Cuba), whose permission to reproduce this image has been sought.

 

Calle de los Jardines

Calle de los Jard(illegible)

Garden Street

'Jardines' is the plural of 'Jardin' = Garden. So correctly this should be anglicized to 'Gardens Street'. Or perhaps it was named for the Jardine family; we know that Isabella Jardine lived here in 1817, although not on Garden Street.

 

* Further information on Florida’s Colonial Governors can be found in Wikipedia

1. From The Other War of 1812. James G Cusick. 2007

 

The two maps below are printed in the Old Town Guidelines on pp.5 and 11, but they are rather hard to read. Thanks to Professor Tilson, we have a clearer version of the 1811 map (reproduced below). There are a number of subtle differences between the two 1811 maps, and they suggest that the copy in the Guidelines may be the ‘as-submitted’, while the copy below is the ‘as-approved’ version.

 

The 1821 map shows the extension of Old Town eastwards beyond Commandant Street in 1816. The ‘new’ streets that were added in this extension were ‘New’ and ‘Towngate’.

 

 

 

Titled Plat map of Old Town, Florida, 1811

Taken from Old Town Guidelines p.5

 

 

Alternative map provided by Prof. W. Tilson. Note Estrada’s signature in the Approval box, and the notes at the top left of the map.

 

 

Titled Map of Old Town, Fernandina, Florida, 1821.

Taken from Old Town Guidelines p.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified January 20, 2013