A centennial reenactment of the second Old Spanish Trail (OST) auto highway association’s 1916 Pensacola conference will take place Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 1–3, in downtown Pensacola.
In 1916, Pensacola Mayor George Heinrich, who provided funds and lobbied diligently for better roads across the state to Pensacola, warmly welcomed OST members to the city with one of the largest receptions ever held in Pensacola.
At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Lee House, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward will welcome guests — coming from St. Augustine, Florida to southern California — at the opening ceremony of the OST100 conference. At that time, he will accept an “Official OST City” designation for the City of Pensacola from Charlotte Kahl, chair of the OST100.
Over the past few years the Old Spanish Trail Centennial Celebration Association (OST100) has formed a partnership with the University of West Florida Historic Trust, enabling lectures to be held in Old Christ Church as well as OST cities, counties and parishes across the country.
OST100 will display their highway revitalization, preservation and beautification success stories in the Museum of Commerce in Historic Pensacola Village on Friday, Dec. 2. Beyond lectures and exhibits, the conference includes walks with historian Carter Quina, the American Institute of Architects, and stories by John Appleyard.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, a motorcade of modern and vintage classic cars will drive the OST from U.S. 90 across Scenic Bluffs Highway, past the Floridatown ferry dock, to view the restoration of the red brick OST roadway, east of Milton, Florida.
Elected officials and representatives from the cities of Pensacola and Milton and their historic and preservation organizations, the University of West Florida, Pensacola State College, Gulf Power, and the Florida and Alabama Auto Clubs have been working all year to create an interesting and educational experience for those who love the open road.
The free conference is open to all who register before Thanksgiving. Conference information and registration packet can be found on www.oldspanishtrailcentennial.com.