ROBERT SANDS SCHUYLER

ARCHITECT, DESIGNER, CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LEADER

Robert Sands Schuyler (1830-1895) was born and educated in Troy, New York, where he married Caroline E. Acker (1840-1905).  They moved to Florida in 1881 where he became prominent in Amelia Island political, religious, and civil organizations.  As an architect and designer, he created various important buildings on Amelia Island, including: George Fairbanks house Fairbanks Folly, the Tabby house, the 1886 School House, and the Hirth House.  He also became Clerk of the City of Fernandina and Chair of the Fernandina Library Association when it was created in 1891.

Schuyler served as lay reader of the Santa Fe, Florida Episcopal congregation and officiated in the congregations of Santa Fe, Waldo, and Fairbanks, with the occasional help of Rev. Owen P. Thackara of Fernandina.  He designed and supervised the building of the churches in all three of these communities.  His buildings are prime examples of the Carpenter Gothic style used in the country churches of that era. 

At Santa Fe, Schuyler built St. John's Chapel on land donated by E.B. Ewing.  In the Diocesan Journal of 1880 the church is described as:

   “Neat and properly appointed-consisting of a nave 20 by 40 feet and one transept, containing organ room and sacristy, all finished in open timber, frame and roof neatly dressed.”

The Carpenter Gothic style was developed by architect Richard Upjohn, whom Episcopal Bishop John Freeman Young of Florida had known while he was an assistant rector of Trinity Church in New York City. St. John's served as a model for the churches in Waldo, Fairbanks, and later St. Paul's By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pablo Beach which he designed in 1887.

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Chapels By Year Built

Chapels By Direction (N to S)