The St. Augustine Historical Society began as an informal gathering of a few individuals who met in the downstairs parlor of the Presbyterian manse on the corner of St. George and Hypolita streets. Dr. Milton Waldo, the Presbyterian minister, would converse on a regular basis with acquaintances who shared his interest in natural history. Because of its casual origin the date of the first Society meeting is uncertain. Dr. Waldo later recalled that he and Charlie Johnson, a local boy who would later be a natural history museum curator in Boston, began meeting together over insect and shell specimens in 1881. Dr. Dewitt Webb, the Society’s dominant member for decades, remembered the date as 1883, naming Waldo, Johnson, himself, and a few others as the original members. Probably because of Webb’s importance in the Society, the 1883 date has been accepted as the date of origin.
"St. Augustine Historical Society, 1883-1983,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 64
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol64/iss1/3