This history of Fernandina Beach along with all of Amelia Island dates back thousands of years.  The Timucuam Indians are believed to have been the first inhabitants of the island, and scientific evidence suggests that they lived there as far back as 2000 BC.

            In 1513, The Spanish were the first Europeans that claimed the island for themselves.   This however did not stop the French from landing on the island in 1562 and attempting to settle there.  This first attempt failed, but in 1564 they returned and made settlements.  A year later, the Spanish who had long ago claimed the land for themselves, came through the area and killed the French settlers.

            After this eradication of the French from their land, the Spanish ruled the island for nearly one hundred years until 1763.  With the arrival of more and more Europeans, also came disease.  The Timucuam Indians did not have natural defense against these foreign diseases, and by the late 18th century were nearly all gone. 

            As a result of the Treaty of Paris, the British came into control of the island in 1763.  Their rule lasted until 1783, at which time the second Treaty of Paris was made, and returned to island to the Spanish.

            During the early 19th century, Amelia Island was controlled for brief periods by the Spanish, Americans, and Mexicans.  Florida, along with Amelia Island became a US territory in 1821.

            For more information, including the history leading up to present times, check out this detailed history of Amelia Island.