St. Johns County was one of the two original counties – Escambia was the other – established July 21, 1821, when Florida became a United States territory. The history of this area goes back even further. St. Augustine, the county seat, is the oldest continuously-occupied European settlement and port in the contiguous United States. It was founded by the Spanish in 1565.
St. Augustine recently celebrated its 450th anniversary. Since it was established, it was controlled by the Spanish (1565-1763), British (1763-1783), Spanish again (1783-1821) and United States (1821-present). The settlement of St. Augustine was destroyed a number of times during its first two centuries making research for that period a challenge. Our area is also home to the first legally-sanctioned community for freed slaves in what is now the United States.
Neighboring counties include:
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