Florida

Museums on Monday

Monday is one of our favorite days here at the American Treasure Tour because we get to celebrate other unique museums around the country. There are so many rich and wonderful places out there that, once you've visited the American Treasure Tour thirty or forty times, you're going to need to see someplace else - especially once the weather gets warmer! So, as most of the nation is dealing with snowfall and erratic temperatures, today we journey to a place that is almost always hot:  southern Florida.  We're talking south of Miami southern, but not quite Key West southern.  A town called Homestead.

Coral Castle.jpg

The destination is one of the more impressive sites in the country created by one man.  Now, considering that the collection here at the American Treasure Tour is one man's, that says something about the place. It's called the Coral Castle.  And it's well named, because it's a castle made entirely out of coral - about 1,100 tons of the stuff - and one man created the whole thing entirely by himself. It's something of a mechanical marvel, too. There's a 9-ton gate that is so well balanced that it swivels with gentle force of one person.  So, definitely check out this place the next time you happen to be on your way to the southernmost point in these United States. Or just go through their website, right here:  http://coralcastle.com

 

Conquistadors

Yesterday's blog focused on the important subject of ALF, an alien life form who inspired laughter on network television in the latter half of the 1980's. We included a picture of an ALF doll here at the American Treasure Tour standing next to a small wooden depiction of a conquistador. Now, if you're wondering why ALF would be next to that, you have a valid question there. One we simply cannot answer. But we will tell you a little bit about conquistadors. 

The Spanish were the first Europeans to make a permanent foothold in the Americas after Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered them in 1492. Their legacy is not an especially happy one, but they reached the soil that would become the United States of America right around one hundred years before the English settled either Jamestown, Virginia OR Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

Men with names including De Soto, Coronado and Cortez explored the lands of the now-United States, from Florida to New Mexico, and as far north as Kansas. They described unimaginably harsh conditions, and often exploited the local residents for their food and shelter, warring with native tribes.

One man named Cabeza de Vaca (Which, oddly, translates to "Head of cow" in English) was shipwrecked with a number of compatriots. It took him a full four years to travel from the Gulf of Mexico coast in Florida to familiar lands in Mexico.