Leigh Cort Publicity - Effective Public Relations

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Leigh Cort Travel & Food Journalist

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Eagle Island - Leigh Cort Introduction

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Ghosts on Aviles at the Casa de Solana”
From Halloween until the Ides of March…On Aviles Street

St. Augustine, FL (Oct. 2007) There’s an air of Spanish and British Colonial mystery & charm at the 10-room Casa de Solana (circa 1821). Enter the walled courtyard on ancient brick-paved Aviles Street in St. Augustine and you’ve crossed the threshold to an oasis of times past. Aviles Street is documented as the oldest European Street in the United States and each of the Inn’s rooms connect to the city’s Minorcan history. For travelers that love the thrill of spending the night with a ghost, it’s not about a horror story unfolding but more about the history and people who have spent time there.

The GHOSTS ON AVILES is offered from Halloween, 2007 through the Ides of March, 2008.

GHOSTS ON AVILES - $79/couple
• 2 Tickets to the Spanish Military Hospital – from which Aviles Street got its original name of Hospital Street
• 2 Tickets for the Ancient City Ghost Tour – begin at the haunted hospital on Aviles Street – featured on the Today Show and Travel Channel
• Lunch for 2 at Gaufre’s & Goods on Aviles Street – a quaint European café featuring pierogies and stuffed cabbage, Greek pastries and Polish babka!
• ‘Oldest Ghosts’ – one of St. Augustine’s most popular ghost tale books
• Select your favorite accommodation at the Casa de Solana (2 night minimum additional)

Casa de Solana History:
The Inn is one of the oldest residences with nearly a block of tranquil gardens surrounding it. Aviles Street, which was known as Hospital Street during the British occupation, was built by Don Manuel Solana, a native to St. Augustine born in 1740. The original part of the house (constructed between 1803-1821) is recorded in the Historical Houses of America listing in the Library of Congress.
Seeing Ghosts?
Throughout the years a blonde woman dressed in white has often been sighted opening doors facing ancient Charlotte Street and the bayfront. Appearing in doorways that haven’t been opened for years, it chills the heart of guests and owners who have often spotted a fleeting wisp of her white dress on the staircases and in the gardens. Could it be Mary Mitchel or someone scurrying down Aviles Street to the hospital a few doors away?

Perhaps a ‘marriage of convenience’ sets the scene for the English bride – Mary Mitchel- to wed Spaniard Don Manuel Lorenzo Solana whose parents were natives of the City. When Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for newly acquired Havana, Solana was one of only 8 Spanish gentlemen allowed to remain in St. Augustine during the the 20-year English occupation helping to settle Spanish property claims. A gentleman of immense wealth, influence and prestige, he owned a sugar cane plantation and married Mitchel in 1764. Rumor and historical accounts allude to this being a fortuitous union for Mary & Manuel…he for security during the occupation…she for the stature and luxury that he bestowed upon her.

Doors set the scene for many of the Inn’s ghostly sightings! The Don Manuel Lorenzo Solana House is a fine example of Spanish Colonial architecture …with an ‘English twist’. High ceilings and doors that open onto the street are elements of English style; the beamed ceilings, balconies and doors that open into the courtyard are Spanish in style.

During a visit to the Casa de Solana by The Ghost Hunters University, it was announced that the Casa had “…the most paranormal activity” sighted in St. Augustine. An image of a Spanish Mounted Dragoon was captured sitting in a wing chair in the Montejurra Room…and guests have reported seeing the same image at the door of the Montejurra bath!

Casa de Solana
21 Aviles Street
St. Augustine, Fl 32084

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us 904.806.3613, email us, or use our online request form.



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