DeMesa-Sanchez House - The Spanish Inn June 16, 1977 (8 pages & note)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011621/00053
 Material Information
Title: DeMesa-Sanchez House - The Spanish Inn June 16, 1977 (8 pages & note)
Series Title: Herschel Shepard Project Files
Physical Description: Unknown
Language: English
Donor: Shepard, Herschel ( donor )
Publication Date: 1977
Physical Location:
Folder: 7704 DeMesa-Sanchez House
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- St. Johns -- St. Augustine
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: AA00011621:00053


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Investigation of Attic

Attic of kitchen and space to east to west.
Wall plate on north side is 4k" deep by 8" wide and is hand hewn.
There are a total of 7 ceiling joists spanning from masonry wall to masonry wall.
Six of the ceiling joists appear to be hand hewn.
The 7th, which is the 3rd going from east to west from the face of the chimney in
the east wall, has been cut apparently with a vertical stroke saw.
The joists appear to be equally spaced.
T The first joist is located at the west face of the chimney in the east wall, then
the joists are equally spaced and the final joist is against the masonry wall at the
west side of the building.
The spacings of the joists varies 352, 36.
The approximate spacing on the average is around 36 inches on center.
The size of the ceiling joist is as follows:
o Starting from east to west: 3 by 7-3/8, 2* by 74, 3-1/8 by 6 and this is the mem-
- ber that is cut on Aar vertical stroke machine, 2-3/8 by 7 24 by 7-1/4, -2 by 7-3/4 &
the last one against the wall is 2-3/4 by 62.
1i This ceiling joist is hard against the face of a plastered coquina gable end.
- The ceiling joists bear directly upon the plate at the north wall and on top of
the ceiling joints and notched down into the tops of the hand hewn ceiling joist
is a 7-3/4 by 1" vertical saw supplementary plate upon which the roof rafters
The roof rafters are located approximately on the center lines of the ceiling joists.
The rafters are toenailed directly upon this supplementary plate.
The fact that this plate is vertical sawn indicates that the roof has at least been
All of the rafters have been vertical saw cut.
The depth of the rafter over the east masonry wall is exactly 41.
Then from east to west the size of the rafters is as follows:
3-7/8 by 3-1/8, 44 by 3, 4-1/8 by 34, 3-3/4 by 3, 4 by 3-1/8, 4-1/8 by 3, and
3-3/4 by 3, the last member being hard against the stucco surface of the gable
end at the west end.
Correction, the last member stands off the gable end by approximately 3".
These members are framed on top of the supplementary plate on the north wall by
being toenailed to the top of the plate.
They are not notched in or over.
At the ridge, the rafters are butt jointed in a vertical joint and there is evidence
of a toenailed connection, although they may be spiked through from above.
The shape of the gable is not symmetrical.
The south side of the gable is at a considerably lesser slope than the north.
At the north wall, the slope of the rafters is almost exactly 12 and 12.
The rafters on the south half of the roof are not the same size as the rafters on
the north, but are generally somewhat smaller, particularly in depth,although
the span is greater.
There are three collar beams or wind braces located at every other rafter.
These are scrap material measuring approximately 5 by 2.
t-These braces are vertical saw cut.
'Another of these braces measures 5/8 by 5-3/4.
LThis is the center one.

The previous dimension was from the western-most.
The eastern-most is 3/4 by 5,".
They are not installed horizontally, or level but slope up to the south slightly.
The size of the rafters on the south side of the gable are as follows: starting
with the rafter over the masonry wall on the east side-
First rafter is 3-3/4" over the masonry wall.
The next is 3-3/4 by 3, 4 by 31, 3-7/8 by 3, 4 by 3A, 4-1/8 by 3, 4 by 3, and
3-3/4 by 3 which is the last rafter on the west side adjacent to the masonry
gable end wall. (f A& 1w- xA" fxAC)
The framing of the rafters to the supplementary plate on the south side is similar
to that on the north.
The runners supporting the lath for the ceiling of the room below are circular saw
They measure approximately 3/4 by 3" and are spaced at approximately 16" on center,
but not exactly.
The laths themselves are circular saw cut at the ceiling.
At the south wall the ceiling joists are notched slightly to receive the supple-
mentary plate.
There is lath with stucco visible between the ends of the ceiling joists and supplementary
short stub columns between the main plate and the bottom of the supplementary ~
All of the lath and stucco work appears to be of recent origin.
The rafters over the porch to the south are scabbed to the east face of the ceiling
The tops of the porch rafters are in the same plane as the tops of the main rafters
and extend out over the porch, but it can't be seen from inside whether the roof picl
changes or not.
A typical porch rafter measures 3A" deep by 2 '" wide: correction 2-3/4 wide
although this may not be a true dimension due to the fact that these are cut on
a bevel .k a4- a74" c
All roof sheathing boards appear to have been either vertical saw cut or were run
through a standard planYing machine.
The latter seems to be more possible.
These marks are almost certainly planing marksin fact
The edges of the sheathing boards were circular saw cut.
These boards.measure 7/8 by 7-3/4 typically and are spaced apart slightly to a
varying degree sometimes a i", sometimes up to 2".
All nails visible penetrating the sheathing are wire nails.
No cut nails are visible anywhere in this sheathing.
The bottom of the tin roofing is directly laid to the top of the sheathing.
At the east gable of this space masonry work appears to have been accomplished
all at one time. bia
There are some cracks in the wall at the southgable, the cause of which is uncertain.
The chimney or upper portion of the chimney is not centered on the gable, and in
fact is of irregular shape.
The top of the fireplace or chimney extending up from the room below is not sym-
metrical with the upper portion of the chimney extending through the roof.
The portion of the chimney from the top of the ceiling joists to just below the
rafters is of coquina.
The portion of the chimney just.from this point penetrating the roof is brick.
The top of the masonry terminatO with the top of the ceiling joists measures 5'8"
wide by 2'3" deep, measured from theace of the gable end out tZ. 4 voZ.
The center of this construction is approximately one foot south of the center of the


plate act as nailers to receive the lath.

The upper portion of the chimney at the lower portion, approximately half way
up in the attic measures 1'9" by 3'11" and the north face of this extension is
- approximately 4" south of the north face of the masonry construction below.
S The upper portion of this part of the chimney tapers in slightly to the bottom
of the brick work, which measures approximately 3' wide by 1' from the east
to west.
) The north face of the brick portion of the chimney is about 1' north of the
center line of the gable.
O The masonry gable end at the west end of this attic space appears to be symmet-
rically constructed.
The center of its gable aligns with the ridge of the gable over the east room and
the gable end is symmetrical about this line.
It is apparent that this masonry construction preceded the wooden joists and rafters
visible in this eastern portion of the building.
At the south end of this gable end, a parapet wall projects above the low portion of
the gable.
S This masonry wall is an extension of the masonry wall visible on the floor below
and forms a parapet that terminates within the attic space west of the gable wall.
The gable wall apparently was constructed prior to the parapet for there is a dis-
tinct construction line where the parapet meets the top of the sloping portion
of the gable.
'2Te following is a description of the central portion of the house.
The masonry wall with the parapet located just off center down the middle of this
wing of the house begins at the gable end wall at the east end of this portion
of this house and extends to the west.
The evidence that the parapet was constructed after the gable end can be found in
first the construction joint which occurs between the masonry construction and the
gable end wall; secondly, in the fact that short kick raftersA which are not now
in use and which have been removed for the six bays on the east end of the
These kick rafters supported a lower sloping roof to the south.
Below the kick rafters, there is evidence that earlier stripping was located on top
of the main roof rafters.
Therefore, this would indicate a sequence of three roofs.
The earliest roof, over this middle portion was a symmetrical gable, the slope of the
northern half of which was 12 and 12.
However, the southern half appears to be slightly greater pitch, perhaps 13 and 12,
and it is obvious at the ridge that the angle thus formed is less than 90 degrees.
Inany event, the ridge continues the ridge from the room to the east.
From bottom of ceiling joists to top of rafter at ridge center line is 6' 81".
The rafters at the north wall spring directly from the top of the wall plate.
The wall plate is not continuous from the room to the east.
There is a butt joint within the thickness of the gable end wall.
In this portion of the house, there is no supplementary plate bearing on top of the
ceiling joists; rather the roof rafters spring directly from the top of the
plate and the ceiling joists are spiked with two large head long spikes to the
side of the rafters.
It is apparent that an earlier ceiling was in the roan.
What appear' to be earlI ceiling joists are located approximately 4" above the
top of the present _jla g upon which the lath is nailed.
The roof sheathing boards and metal roofing a. typical above the eastern room are
continuous above this room.
The width of the attic from face to face of roof rafter at a point even with the
top of the & to which the lath is nailed is 129".
Inside dimension of the north rafter from ridge to same point on inside face is 99".

Inside dimension of the south rafter is 96*.
These dimensions were measured on the first rafter pair to the west of the gable wall
on the east side of the middle portion of the building.
The rafters are not side f but are tly mortisedand tenoned together and
pegged at the ridge.
The south rafter contains the tenon; the north rafter, the mortise.
Pegs are hand carved and measure approximately 3/4" in diameter.
Over the gable at the east end the first rafter pair is built into the top of
the gable and flush with the top of the gable.
These measure 3-3/8" deep by 3-3/4" wide.
The next pair measured: north rafter, 3-3/4 by 4-7/8, south rafter, 3-3/4 by 4-3/4. WxD
Supplementary rafter 2-3/4 wide by 4;" deep.
This pair is marked with the Roman Numeral VIII.
The original pair are hand hewn and the supplementary rafter is vertical saw cut.
The next pair to the west, north rafter measures 3-3/4 wide by 4-3/4 deep, south
rafter 3-3/4 by 5" deep, supplementary rafter, 31 by 3-7/8".
Finishes same as noted before.
This pair has the Roman Numeral VIIII.
The next pair north rafter measures 3-7/8 by 31, south rafter 3-3/4 by 4, both hand
hewn, Roman Numeral II.
Supplementary rafter s 2-3/4" wide by 3-7/8 deep vertical saw cut.
Bottom side of this'afte has evidence of nail holes and some fire marking, which
is true for the pair.
The next pair has the Roman Numeral X eLb&
North rafter is flanked by a pair of 3/4 by 7-3/4 seathee full length nailed on with
cut nails.
The width of the original member is 3-3/4".
South rafter is 3-3/4 by 4", hand hewn.
supplementary rafter, 3-5/8 wide by 31 deep, vertical saw cut.
This pair of rafters occurs adjacent to and just east of the chimney at which a
break in construction is visible.
This pair is 16" east of the east face of the chimney.
Cumulative dimensions of rafter spacing measured from the inside face of the east
gable to the west are as follows: each dimension is read to the west face of the
rafter 321, then 681, 108, and 146 to the last pair to the east of the chim-
The additional dimension from the west face of this last pair to the west face of the
rafter occurring on the west face of the chimney is 33-3/4".
The original ceiling joists in this area are hand hewn and measure approximately
1-3/4 by 3-1/8.
These joists may have been nailed to only one side of the rafters.
The plate above the north wall is in very poor condition and is approximately 5"
in width.
Depth cannot be verified.
There are short stubbed columns located in the former parapet wall on the west side
of this attic space.
These columns support the supplementary rafters that continue the present south roof
These members are vertical saw cut and rest on plinth blocks installed in notches
which apparently were originally provided to 1e kick rafters similar to
those still in existence in the western-most part of this attic not yet des-
These short stubbed columns measure 3 by 4; the first to the east, the second is
3 by 7, the third is 2-5/8 by 8, and the last 31 by 4-1/8.
There is evidence in the north parapet wall that a wooden plate does support the
ends of the rafters on the south side of the gable.

4') D- -ri^ _r' Vss '

-17' _VV
The chimney has a strange configuration in that only the eastern portion extends
through the roof.
The bottom portion, which is supported by planks at the level of the plaster,
measures approximately 2'll by 1'5" and extends above the ceiling approximately
The eastern portion of the chimney extends through the roof.
The east face is flush with the lower portion and the upper part of the chimney mea-
sures 13" from east to west and 18" from north to south.
The chimney is composed of an orangy brick under-fired and very poorly constructed.
It was apparently plastered or stuccoed on the exterior faces.
The following describes the western portion of the central part of the house in
the attic.
The general almost symmetrical gable configuration in this portion of the attic con-
r tinues as found in the east part of the attic. ijerte, "+e
However, this portion of the attic has a shallow *~t tray"'type ceiling.
This may be an indication that the same type of ceiling was formerly located in the
eastern portion of these spaces.
The framing is similar to that in the eastern portion except that on the ceilings
a supplementary flat board has been located between each pair of rafters, span-
O ning from north to south to support the plaster laths.
_ These supplementary framing members vary greatly in size some are hand hewn some
are circular saw cut.
3 None appear to be vertically saw cut.
All of these members are of scrap lumber, some of which has been used previously.
All of which is a clear indication that this ceiling is of relatively recent originK
!X 'n this western portion of the attic to the white boards located in the attic space
at the eastern edge of what may be the earliest portion of the house.
There are, beginning at the approximate center line of the chimney, six pairs of
rafters and ceiling joists.
2 he rafters ar numbered beginning at the center line of the chimney o nthe east.
Nume 3V mdh fr vrtic tia, eI, V, and VII.
Tese members are all paired and are all hand hewn.
These members appear to have a better hand-hewn finish than the members in the east-
\ ern portion of the attic.
The first supplementary rafter on the south side of the roof located above the
approximate center line of the chimney is vertical saw cut. I11
However, supplementary rafter, at pair is circular saw cut; also at f3 also at
^ and iV C7-) "-Il
SIn sing down the kick rafters in this portion of the roof, it is apparent that
qh -"hey do not intersect where the supplementary rafters bear upon the wall at the
south side of the house.
They fall a few feet to the north of that intersection if projected.
It should be noted that there are white-washed wide planks measuring 1 by 8t at the
east end of the attic, and measuring approximately the same plus or minus at the
west end of the attic.
These planks are half lapped and are white-washed both faces at both the east and
west ends of the attic must bc provided.
The remains of these planks are also visible at the very top of the gable.
The planks are nailed to the west face of attic framing, and there is clear evidence
in the parapet wall to the south that these planks at one time at least extended
as high as the top of the kick rafters in those walls.
The planks at the west gable end went right to the ridge of the framing.
These planks are all nailed with hand wrought nails.
There is evidence at the west end that there were vertical studs to which these planks
were nailed at one point in time.


However, this may not be an indication of stud lines since these markings in the
boards do not seem to penetrate.
These boards were in place prior to the.application of the last coat of stucco
to the parapet wall visible in the attic.
The dimensions of the shingle stripping located on the southern rafters is approx-
imately 1 by 2 and these members are located approximately 7" on center.
Shingle nails visible in this stripping are cut nails.
The stripping was apparently pit sawn. (or lf z- 4 AW)
~ome loose members of stripping in the attic indicate that the stripping is held
to the rafters with hand-wrought nails.
The west end of the middle section clearly demonstrates that the western portion
0of the house preceded the- middle portion, at least as far as roof construction
is concerned.
Portions of earlier stripping stilL exist adjacent to the white-washed boards at the
west end of the middle portionlattic, clearly indicating that the east slope
U of the west part of the building at one time continued down above the plate
of the west wall of the west portion of the building.
The following comments referto the attic over the main western portion of the house
stretching from north to south.
All roof framing members in this portion of the attic are hand hewn.
Some of the rafters are framed in cypress.
Ceiling joists appear to be %B pine.
Ceiling joists are half lapped into or onto the rafters and secured by two spikes.
The spikes appear to be hand wrought.
The ceiling joists are half lapped to the.north face of the rafters.
The rafters are numbered with Roman Numerals which are not consecutive and which read
from north to south as follows:
Gable end framing is not numbered.
Then XVII, then XIIII, then XII, then XIIIII on the west rafter and VX on the east
Next XI and IX respectively on the west and east rafter.
Next XIII and IIIX respectively on the west and east rafters.
Next X on both rafters.
Next IXX and XVI respectively west to east.
Next VIII both rafters.
Next VI both rafters.
Next II on west rafter, no mark on east rafter.
Next VII on west, VII on east.
Next V on both rafters.
Next IIII on both rafters.
Next III both rafters.
There are a total of 18 groups of rafters and joists from north to south, including
the one against the north wall and the one against the south wall.
The sizes of rafter groups and joists are as follows: W K D
From north to south, first note that the roof pitch is almost surely 12 and-12 as vis-
ually evident but not checked by measurements.
First group against north wall at both west and east rafters; width indeterminate
because of wall; depth approximately 5", wooden peg at ridge is missing.
The joist is spaced approximately 2" from the face of the wall and measures 3-1/8
_, by 4.
Group XVII west rafter 4i by 5, east rafter 3-3/8 by 4', joist 3-3/8 by 3-3/4
Group XIIII west rafter 3-3/4 by 4-5/8,east 3-3/4 by 4-3/4, joist 2-7/8 by 3-3/4
Group XII west rafter 3-3/4 by 4i, east rafter 4 by 4~, joists 2-3/4 by 4A

Group XIIII and VX west rafter 31 by 4-3/4, east rafter 3-3/4 by 4L, joists 34
by 4*.
Group XI: 3 by 4-3/8, 4 by 4, 3' by 3/4
Group XIII: 4 by 4-3/4, 3* by 4A, 3* by 3
Group X: 3-3/4 by 4k, 3-3/4 by 4+, 2-3/4 by 3-3/4
Group XXXI and XVI: 34 by ?, 3/4, 34 by 5, and 3 by 31
Group VIIII: 4-1/8 by 4-1/8, 3-3/4 by 4;, 3* by 3-3/4
Group VIII: 44 by 4-3/4, 4 by 4,, 2-3/4 by 32
Group VI: 4 by 5, 4 by 44, 3 by 04
Group II: 31 by 4-3/4, 3-3/4 by 5, 3 by 3
Group VII: 4 by 4-3/4, 4 by 5, 3 by 3-3/4
Group V: 4 by 5, 4 by 4, 3-3/4 by 3t
Group IITT: 34 by 4i, 34 by 4-3/4, 3t by 44
Group III: 4 by 5, 4 by 44, 34 by 4
Final group is partially built into the south end wall
The width of its members could not be determined.
The depth however is 5 on the east, 44 on the west.
The joist is approximately 2 to 3" off of the face of the wall and measures 3 by 4,.
Three-quarter inch thick boards span across the bottoms of ceiling joists to support
lath for plaster ceilings.
These members are approximately 16" on center and average 4 to 6" in width.
At the eastern edge of the main house attic, rafters kick out from the main rafters
on the east side to the top of a later parapet apparently constructed on the
existing masonry wall below.
This must be verified, however; this parapet appears to be a continuation of the
south wall of the center space of the building.
A valley beam continues the slope of the kicker rafters from the middle portion of
the building around the corner and along the east side of the main portion of
the building.
A shaped valley board is still located above the valley rafter.
There is evidence between the kicker rafters and the spring line of the main rafter
that an earlier roof continued down to an earlier ridge or eJe opposite the
The inverted dished ceiling of this portion of the house is considerably higher
than what appears to be dished ceilings in the middle portion of the house.
The plate line appears to be approximately 1l" measured vertically from the top of
the lath totlthe top of the plate on the intermediate partition running east to
west across this portion of the building.
This portion of the building exhibits the same killedd sheathing boards seen else-
where and the metal roof continues above this portion of the building also.
At the ridge, the rafters are mortise and tenoned and held by means of a wooden
peg approximately 5/8 to 3/4" in diameter.
t t- he tenon is on the east members; the mortise in the west members.
At the partition flanking the fireplace in the middle portion of the building, the
studs appear to be rough sawn circular cut members to which the white- washed
Splanks are nailed in at least one case with wire nails.
S Faces of the present chimney adjacent to the white-washed planks4o not bear any
evidence one way or the other as to whether the planks butted the chimneys in
a their present configuration or not.
At the masonry gable wall, at the east end of the central portion of the building
^. cand at the west end of the kitchen area, the southern extension of the gable is
wood framed.

The gable wall tends to end at the south face of the parapet extension.
In any event, there is no evidence of the masonry wall extending to within at
least 2' of the attic south of this gable.