Return to St. Augustine  in the
Progressive Era
Florida National Guard
St. Francis Barracks
Franciscan Monastery Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion
The state military department or the Florida National Guard works in one of the most historic buildings in St. Augustine.   
The property was leased to Florida in 1907 by the Federal Government. The Federal government had owned it since
the Spanish transfer. On June 28, 1832 by an Act of Congress, St. Francis Barracks became a Military Reservation and
a year later was occupied as a military post by a regiment of Light Artillery. It remained a military post until September
12, 1900. When the British were in St. Augustine they had transformed the former Franciscan headquarters to a military
barracks. The Spanish in the 2nd Spanish period left it as a barracks. In the 1st Spanish period it was the Franciscan
Monestery Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion.

It was originally built of logs in 1588 and destroyed by fire March 14, 1599. In 1610 the newly-built wood convent
became the Capitullar House of the Province of Santa Eleno de la Florida. Rome chartered the religious province under
the order of the Franciscans.

In 1702 Governor Moore of Carolina and on October 22 burned the convent and destroyed the convent library. The
monastery was rebuilt using coquina rock quarried on Anastasia Island.

The British government liked the site because the convent had the best well water in the city. Major Moncrief of the
British Army converted it into military barracks.

In 1901 the Sisters of St. Joseph from Jacksonville moved in. The Sisters of the Convent, Church and St. Mary's Home
was destroyed by the May 3, 1901 Jacksonville fire. The orphanage stayed at the Barracks for one year before
returning to Jacksonville.

The main barracks was gutted by fire in December 1915. The building was rebuilt after the State Legislature on June
14, 1921 approved an appropriation of $40,000 for the repair and restoration of the structure. F. A. Hollingsworth was
the local architect under the direction of Adjutant General Charles P. Lowell.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
Photonegative of a stereoview by E. & H.T. Anthony Company, number 9654.
Circa 1870s
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
circa 1885
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
September 1964.
Photographer: Ted Newhall
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
St. Augustine United States barracks
Cooley, Sam A. (Samuel A.), photographer
Date Created/Published: [1865]
Library of Congress
United States Marine barracks [St. Francis Barracks,St. Augustine]
William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942,
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1880 and 1897]
[Fort Marion, the barracks, St. Augustine, Fla.]
Related Names:
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [ca. 1900]