An interview with Robert Steinbach
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00014318/00001
 Material Information
Title: An interview with Robert Steinbach
Physical Description: Oral history interview
Language: English
Creator: Robert Steinbach ( Interviewee )
Paul Ortiz ( Interviewer )
Publication Date: 12-6-2011
Subjects / Keywords: Oral history
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua
Abstract: An interview for the Saint Augustine Historic Preservation oral history project
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location: University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Resource Identifier: spohp - SAHP 001
System ID: AA00014318:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:

SAHP_001_Robert_Steinbach_12-6-2011final ( PDF )

Full Text


SAHP 001 Interviewee: Robert Steinbach Interviewer: Paul Ortiz Date of Interview: December 6, 2011 O: Well Mr. Steinbach I want to start by thanking you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do the interview with us today. We really are grateful for it. S: I'm glad to do it. O: Well thank you. I wonder Mr. Steinbach, if we could start by you telling us a little bi t about your family background, w here you are from, maybe where your parents were from, a nd a l ittle bit about life growing up? S: Well I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, December 10 193 0. My father was a Lutheran minister. He was a first generation from Baltimore, Maryland, and my mother was from Woburn Massachusetts She too was a f ir st generation. They were both their parents were German ŽmigrŽs. And I went through public school s in St. Petersburg I graduated from St. Pete High in 1948, went to the University of Florida for a couple semesters, dropped out of that and went to the junior college in St. P ete for a short period of time. Too much like high school so I left that, went to votech [vocational technical] took a course in surveying. Turned out that we just were field grunts for the school board. I learned rudimentary surveying, but that was the end of that. So then a bout tha t time a friend of mine Morgan Smith, who was studying to be an ethnobotanist, came along and wanted to know if I'd be interested in going to FSU [Florida State University ]. And they were excavating a Spanish mission site in Jefferson County, so I said s ure sounds like it's fun So the summer of 1950 I went to FSU and that's how I became involved in anthropology and archaeology. I mean, I


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 2 ! had been to Mexico with my parents and did the Mexican thing and all, but this was my first real introduction to ant hropology. O: That's fascinating. When people think of Spanish mission sites, they usually don't think of the Florida P anhandle r ight? S: No. Smith and Griffin and Boyd wrote Here T hey Once Stood [ Here They Once Stood is a book written by John W. Griffin, Mark F. Boyd, and Hale G. Smith that discusses the end of the Apalachee missions in Florida in the early eighteenth century]. I think it was published in like [19] 51. It was the first study that they really did on the n orthern Florida mission chain. And Smith was the chairman of the department, and he was also the only faculty member [Hale G. Smith established the Department of Anthropology at Florida State University and was one of the first Spanish colonial historic al archaeologists in the Southeast]. [ Laughter] Small department, although it did increase while I was there. I mean, t hey added faculty. I was there three years when Uncle Sam came calling, so I did two years in the A rmy, a little over a year of which was in Germany. So I go t the continental tour for free [ L aughter] I was in a division headquarters and I could sort of arrange my leave time so that it didn't conflict with o ther things. So I got to tr avel around Euro pe quite a bit. I cam e back and finished my undergraduate studies, and then I went to Milwaukee to Lay ton School of Art to study photography for a short period of time [ The Layton School of Art was established in 1920 and was one of the top art schools in the United States until it closed in 1974]. ! Again, I learned a lot but I learned that I didn't want to do that.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 3 ! But I did come back to St. Pete and work as a commercial photographer for about nine months. O: Why photography? Were there people, was it the landscape? Were there people that excited you? S: I wanted to be an ethnographic photographer. I wanted to go out and do the people. So, well commerc ial photography is a real drag. I mean, how many cement plants do you want to take a pictu re of ? [ L aughter] So I still had some GI Bill left, so I went back to FSU and enrolled in the graduate program [The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, known informally as the GI Bill was a law that offered college or vocational education, unemployment compe nsation, loans, and benefits for returning World War II veterans] I was there I guess almost three ye ars. I had a graduate assistant ship that helped pay my way. An d in the interim I met my wife. We got married. I had bought an old Spartan trailer prior to that and parked it out in the woods. So that was our home for the entire time that we were in Tallahassee. Let's see, 1960 I was down on St. John during the summer doing an archeological survey for the park service. Again, I was the field man. Griffin and some other guys were heading it up [ John W. Griffin was the first archaeologist to be hired by the state of Florida, and he was also the director of the S t. Augustine Historical Society] Then in [19]61 the summer of [19]61 Hale and I went to El Morro in San Juan [ Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a 16th century stronghold located in San Juan, Puerto Rico ] O: In Puerto Rico?


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 4 ! S: In Puerto Rico. I n the interim I had put out some feelers for a job because I had finished all my coursework A ll I had to do was a thesis. I was in charge of excavating the water battery, which was right down low down next to the water. And Hale worked topside. I experienced my first earthquake [L aughter] We had rente d this little house, little car port, concr ete block house, and back then in Puerto Rico things were a little primitive. You know, you had mosquito netting and stuff like that. The bed I slept in was an old iron bed, and I woke up in the middle of the night and the iron bed was just a shaking, ra ttling. What's going on? Particularly if you've never experienced something like that. That was sort of interesting. So I came back from Puerto Rico, and I interview ed for the job in Miami. They wanted someone to set up a museum, and as it turned out, they were really looking for someone to raise money. I mean, I would've been happy to put together a museum, but I'm not the type that's very good at fundraising. I can't go out and ask peo p le for money. So they I went up to St. Augustine and I intervi ewed for the job in St. Augustine with H. E. Wolf He was the president of the local bank as well as the chairman of the board. So that s ounded like it was a lot better [L aughter] So that's how I got to St. Augustine. O: Do you remember your interview? How that went and the kind of person H. E. Wolf was? S: Well H.E. was living in that great big house on King Street just to the west of the college, big colonial thing. Earl e Newton took me over there and we went in Now, this is a sumptuous, you know, I mean big deal [Earl e Newton was the director of the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Committee]


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 5 ! Well, H. E. is down there in this little room in a recli ner looking up watching the TV [L aughter] See H. E. was into farmi ng. He had a big cattle ranch. H e was into road construction H e had a road construction business. He was a business man as well as b eing the president of the bank. H e was a mover and shaker in the town. So he said, do you think y ou can do the job? I said sure, I can do the job. So he said, okay, you're hired. I had worked in St. Augustine earlier when I was an undergraduate with Hale Sm ith for the H isto rical S ociety, and had met a fellow named Billy Sanchez who did all of the work for the H istori cal S ociety on their buildings. Billy an d I got a long real well. H e liked to fish; I liked to fish. W e just liked the same things. So they had hired Billy to be the construction superintend e nt for the Arrivas H ouse restoration [The Arrivas H ouse is a Spanish colonial historic property that was restored in 1960 by the Historic St. Augustine Preservation and Restoration Commission] I'll back up a little bit. In 1960 they put together a crew to investigate the Arrivas H ouse. They had an architect; I can't remember his first name. H is last name was Stewart. Charles Arnode was a historian. Hale Smith was the archeologist. John Dunkle was the geographer. I guess that was pretty much the crew. Anyway, they put together, they really oh there was a gal named Drost I can't remember her first name. She was working with some of the maps and stuff as well as Dunkle. They sort of did what they could do, but had disappeared from the scene by the time I got there in [19]61. The material they produced was there, but they were out of the picture. O: What was that material?


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 6 ! S: Well they had Stewart had done the drawings for the Arrivas house, the restoration drawings Arnode had done a bunch of historical research on the ownership of the property. Dunkle had done some work with the maps trying to figure out who was where and so forth because there was a whole series of historic maps starting in 1763 with the Puente map that document ownership and construction materials and stuff like that. So that's what I inherited when I got there. The day before, or two days before I was supposed to go to work, I read in the paper where Billy had died of a massive heart attack, whi ch really hit me pretty hard. So Wolf said, well can you manage those men? I said, sure [ L aughter] Yeah, you know. I took over the supervision of the Arrivas H ouse restoration at point that time. Now by then, Earl e Newton was commuting from I'm pre tty sure Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, but he wasn't there all the time [ Sturbridge Village is a living history museum located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, which re creates life in rural New England during the 1790s through 1830s] He had hired a guy named Doug Picht as an office manager to handle the financial stuff paying the cr ew and all that sort of thing. Along about that time they started hiring more staff. They hired Rita O'Brie n who is professionally known as Cookie. Coo kie was from the Minorcan family so she spoke fluent Spanish. They hired Mari o n Randol ph who was a super secretary y ou know, could make that typewriter sing. Mari o n was pretty strict but she was a good gal. They hired Bob James to do PR; they hired Bo b Gold to be a historian. Earl e Newton pretty much was in charge of the historical research. Gold was mostly in G ainesville. He stayed mostly in Gainesville. H e did do some


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 7 ! work, but I think he was doing some other stuff too because he didn't last long. As soon as he got his Ph D he was out of there. So Newton was doing the historical research and was using assets of the Historical S ociety to feed him information. O: The St. Augustine Historical S ociety [ The St. Augu stine Historical Society was established in 1881 and is the oldest continuously operating museum and historical society in Florida] ? S: In St. Augustine. Doris Wiles was the librarian, and Doris was a pretty straight shooter. Then there was Eleanor Barnes who was the local genealo gist, and her stuff was suspect b ut you know, she tried. I'll give the devil her do. She tried, but a lot of it just didn't hang together later. O: You mentioned earlier Billy Sanchez. What kind of a person was he? S: Oh Billy was a really neat guy. He did all of the Billy never owned a car. He lived over on the island on the water up in a little bayou kind of place over there. He used to work at a boat place over on North Beach, and h e'd commute to work in his boat [L aughter] A little skiff He also built boats. The Sanchez Skiff was his creation and, I mean, it was the de facto boat to fish in the intercoastal waterway at that time. He's just a neat guy. He could do more with a sa w and a hammer and a chisel than most guys could do with a truckload of tools. He ju st had a feel for doing it. H e's sorely missed. Well that's Billy. O: And you mentioned earlier, Mr. Steinbach, your work in the early days with Hale Smith. It sounds like he had a big impact on your early career.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 8 ! S: Yeah W ell he was my mentor H e guided me. O: What did you learn from him? S: Well, pretty much everything [Laughter] W ell, no, I can't say that. He taught an appr e ciation of what we were doing t he historical implications, that sort of thing. And Hale was a character. I'm sure there's many, many wild tales floating around FSU even now about Hale. But he was a neat guy. He was not at all pretentious or anything. He was just a neat guy. O: And you worked with him in San Juan at El Morro? S: Yeah, yeah He had a contract with the National Park Service to do some excavations at El Morro, and so he enliste d me to go down there with him. I think the Park S ervice pretty much decided what they wanted done, and one of those was the wate r battery. There was a hotshot oven d own there that they wanted looked at an d excavated this is where they heated the cannon balls before they shot them so they'd set fire to the ships. You know, hot shot. That was its purpose. So I spent my days down there in the water battery; i t was fun. But I pretty much did it by myse lf. I t was a fairly small, restricted space. Hale had the laborers up to pside doing some work up there. That was what happened in Puerto R ico other than some tours of the island a nd good stuff like that. O: Now you mentioned when you really started the restoration work, the Arriva s house was your first major project? Is that


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 9 ! S: Y eah. Arriv as when I arrived they were putting the roof on it, the single roof on it. And back then, the fire chief was a guy named, I think it was B. M Hall Anyway, Hall was his last name. Hall was really concerned about wood shingle roof in his town, t he first hazard So he made use put t ransite, which is an asbestos board asbestos being the key word on these roofs before he would let us put the wood shingles down. Of course back then people didn't . so what. So to the best of my knowledge the Arriv a s H ouse still has transite sheeting on its roof. It did prove some other prob lems on some other buildings l ater, but that's another story. They finished the second floor. Newton had a guy come down from New England. I can't really re ca ll his name right off the bat. I t'll come to me, b ut he apparently kn ew quite a bit about ninet eenth century architecture because the second floor of the Arrivas house was, I think they decided, I don't know, 1830s 184 0s, somewhere along there. T hey did a pretty good job on the second floor. Of course, you need to see the pictures of the Arrivas house before they started, but we were again, fortunate because the house survived during the age of photography. St. George Street was the most prominent street in the town. So we had ju st lots and lots of really good historic photographs of St. George Street a nd included in that are some very good views of the Arrivas H ouse. T his was used as the model because when they acquired the house, it had a flat roof. The gabled roof had been torn off and replaced with a flat roof. So they used the photographs to re establish the roof configuration. The B oard, which at that point in time was a state commission, was enamored with Spanish colonial. Anything other than Spanish colonial they weren't


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 10 ! intere sted in as far as historic preservation. That was it. So the first floor of the Arrivas house had been somewhat chopped up because it was a business down there on St. George Street. So for some reason and I expect it was because of this Spanish colonia l thing, they decided to change the fenestration on the g round floor to Spanish colonial Now I'm a babe in the woods when it came to historic preservation. I'm self educated. I mean, I went to seminars later on and read lots of books and al l the rest of it, but I don't well Blair Reeves was still in, I guess he was just starting in historic preservation at the University of Florida at that time [Blair Reeves established the architectural preservation studies program at the University of Florida in 1968, which made it one of the first schools in the United States to have historic preservation coursework] In any event, they decided to change it over to Spanish colonial. We put a reja grill work, set out window on the front of it, big heavy board doors [ Reja windows common in Spanish architecture, use bars to create a g rill on the outside of a window ] We got to the windows and I said well, what kind of profile do you want for the muntins for these windows? Newton said, well I don't know, draw someth ing up. So I scurried over to see Al Manucy at the Castillo cause Al, again, he turned out to be my super mentor. Al was a student of the period and a super guy. So we kicked around a few designs. We did all our own work, by the way. We acquired a use d shaper ; it's a machine that makes moldings. We ground our own knives; we made all our own sash. When we had to replicate a finish and everything we used all hand tools. I mean, we didn't go out with a pit saw and saw this stuff, but we'd go to the lumber yard and get it and then we'd


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 11 ! hand plane it so that we removed all the tool marks and stuff like that. How much more do you want to know about the Arrivas H ouse? The fr ont room of it became the board room. The easternmost second floor room became the board room. Newton talked to Al Spiller who owned the Western A uto and a g as company to put in a furnace on the third floor for heat, but the air conditioning was still window units. The remnants of the building that was on the south line of the property, they cut off the front part of it, but that was my office, and Bob James's office was in the remnants of that. We stayed there. T hen Earl e hired a guy from Ohio, from Cincinnati a me dical museum up there, Bradley Brewer And Bradley became the fiscal guy. This is after Newton finally came down and became permanent ; he was there all the time. Bradley brought a guy named Dewey Addlesburger along to head the maintenance d epartment. Dewey had run a tool rental supply. Wha t can I tell you? We finished up the Arrivas house. T hen the next thing we started, I looked up a lit tle bit of stuff in the old lot and block file and I think the second thing we did was the Gallegos H ouse. It w as either that or the Salcedo H ouse but I think it was Gallegos O: Mr. Steinbach, you said a lot of your training or learning was really experience, like hands on. S: It was. It was all hands on. O: What did you learn in the process of the Arrivas house that you kind of carried forward with you?


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 12 ! S: Well I learne d an awful lot about eighteenth century tool technologies and finishes and how people did things. We had some basic stuff to work with. When the English came in in [1 7 ]63, they described a lo t of these buildings in English [laughter] W e had that as a resource, and that was very, very useful because up to that point in time and a gain, I go back to Al Manucy H e's the one that really educated me. He'd been studying this stuff for a long time. So, that's the way I got it. I just hung on Al and he led the way. Gallegos is a case in point. There're two types of masonry construction i n St. Augustine: There's either tabby, or coquina block, two masonry types The tabby constru ction was a form construction. I t was poured wall, and the forms were built. I t wa s a step by step kind of thing. T he forms were approximately 12 inches high, more or less, and you would form up a section of wall, and historically they would mix lime with oyster shel ls and ta m p it into that form and let it set until it hardened sufficiently. T hen they would pick that form up and it had draw pins and a cleat top to it. Then they would set that on top of the first pour and they poured it successively up until they re ached the height they wanted. They also reinforced these walls with poles set in the center of i t, and my suspicion is that the walls, when they got them up, were still too green probably to support the roof. So they put the poles i n there, they could s et the plate on top of the poles and put the roof on it and let the walls cure because lime doesn't cure that quickly. T hat's the way we did it. The only difference was that we used a little cement to speed things up. But we built it exact you know. Al gave me some illustrations of these forms and stuff and how they were made and everything, and that's how we did it.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 13 ! O: What was the difference betwe en the Arrivas H ouse and the Gallegos House in terms of some of th e challenges you faced or S: Well, of course the Ar rivas house was a restoration. It was existing. I t was there. Gallegos was a reconstruction. T he site itself had been occupied by a house I'm trying to remember now whether it was a hotel or a house. It might've been a small hotel. Anyway it had sort of a sub basement in it, and as a consequence, there was little of the original Foundation s of Gallegos left. We recovered some stuff along Fort Alley and some stuff along St. George Street and a little return, but from there on when they du g that sub basement, it was gone. We did recover a barrel well in the backyard, or the remnants of a barrel well. So this was our first attempt I'm pretty sure this was our first attempt at a reconstruction W e used Manucy basically as our source of information. Then we finished that, the property just however you want to go the property next to the Arrivas was called the Spiller property. Albert Spiller I've mentioned Albert before I think owned that property and then ne gotiated with him and they knocked down the house that was there. And then we did the archaeology on that site and recovered the Foundation s of the Salcedo H ouse which was a coquina block house. S o then we started the reconstruction of Salcedo and this was another whole thing because this was coquina. T here was a quarry down at Flagler Beach. I t was actua lly a cement plant down there. T hey were excavating the looser shell to make cement out of, but they had these huge boulder s of coquina. So we hired a local guy with a dump truck, and he went down there and hauled all of these big chunks of coquina up to St. Augustine. W e set to with


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 14 ! axes and saws and you name it, and cut all this stuff into blocks by hand. By hand. And you know, we were going to do it by the book. This is the way they did it, this is the way we're going to do it. And again, fortunately some photographs of the house survived for the faade. I think we did a pretty good job. In retrospect, I would've said that the one major mistake we made was in not using pressure treated materials in a lot of the stuff that was bearing on the coquina. O: But what difference would that have made? S: Because that would've reduced a lot of ro t and stuff later on. O: Okay. S: And we wound up having to replace a lot of that stuff. But at that point in time, it was by the book. That's what they used, that's what we used. So we did that. The second floor was configured as a small efficiency apartment. We did put a little bathroom in it. And the ground floor was leased out as a commercial enterprise trying to generate a little revenue. The last one that we did using colonial techniques was the Ribera H ouse And Hale Smith did some excavati ons, this was the site of the Parks Hotel, and while the hotel was still I'm trying to remember, I think maybe it was vacant but I'm not positive. But in any event, Hale brought his summer school crew over and they excavated the sidewalk in front of the h otel and found some pretty impressive massive Foundation s. Then they acquired the hotel they demolished it, and we continued the excavation to the extent that we exposed the Foundation s. We


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 15 ! excavated the builder s trenches hoping to date the Foundation s because these Foundation s were huge. I can't tell you the numbers right now, but they were really, really big. And we never could find in any of the historic maps any building on that site. Which you have to appreciate that the maps start with 1763. The town was burned in 17 [ 7 ] 2. There was a list of houses that were destroyed, but no one has ever really worked with that list to the point of being able to identify. But we all pretty well decided that that probably was one of these pre 17 [ 7 ]2 houses because Castillo had just been finished, and the m ason that had worked on Castillo would've brought their techniques and technologies probably with them. And they were use d to big stuff [laughter] But the builder s trenches didn't reveal anything. I me an, we were just hoping to find a few pieces of majolica or something that we could date these Foundation s with, but we didn't find anything. So we just had to assume that that's what it was it was one of these missing buildings, and as a consequence we built it back as a really nice house of the first Spanish period. By then, Newton had hired a guy named Bill Jorda n as a draftsman, so we had somebody to draw some plans. Prior to that I just scratched stuff out on a piece of paper. I mean, that's t he way they built them [Laughter] They didn't have a draftsman. Anyway again we did the same thing; w e got coquina from Flagler Beach, we cut it up on site, and we built the building. The only thing that we did do is that we lined the interior of it wi th what they call partition block. It's a four inch thick concrete block to try to mitigate rising damp. All these coquina houses the moisture from the ground wicks up through the coquina. Almost invariably you'll find up at least two to three f eet


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 16 ! up where the plaster fails. I went to a seminar on controlling rising damp; they had all kinds of schemes, injecting epoxy and all sorts of stuff like that. We just short circuited, we just laid block w hich really didn't change things that much on the interior, but the exterior was. The chief mason on that job was Godfrey Pacotti Godfrey was of Mi norcan descent and he ran all the moldings. T his thing is full of moldings around the exterior and everyt hing One thing that stuck in my mind was Godfrey always put Brer R abbit and molasses in his mix when he ran the moldings. He says it runs them smoother [L aughter] Brer R abbit and molasses G ood old Godfrey [Brer Rabbit is a brand of molasses] It's still there. The moldings are still up there, so I guess he knew what he was doing. It was open initially, it had exhibits in it. I think by that time well, let's see. I really have lost track of the chronology here, it's been so long. I know Earl e New ton was there until the end of [19]67. He hired a guy named Dr. Carlton I. Caulkin, who was I think an art historian kind of guy He was supposed to know a little bit about museums and stuff. Carl was supposed to be in charge of the exhibits stuff lik e that He may have been the one that put the exhibits in there. I know I didn't. Agai n, this was the grand push for [19] 65, the quadricentennial. The entire emphasis was on getting stuff out of the ground, m aking a showing in any way you can do it kind of thing The board had a non profit c orporation that was a part of it was actually the same membership, they closed the commission meeting, and banged the gavel, and opened the board meeting. They were the same people. O: St. Augustine Restoratio n Foundation?


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 17 ! S: Yeah. O: Okay. S: I' m not sure what it was called yeah I guess it was. I have no knowledge of those meetings. T he staff was never invited to any of those meetings. As long as Newton was there we didn't come, unless we had to make a rep ort. And then we made it and we left. Rita O'Brie n took the minutes, and the last I saw them they're locked in a vault on the ground floor of Govern ment House right off of the loading dock because Bill Adams hired me to go over there and inventory everything, all of the collections, a while back. They had some leftover silver from when we used to have a silversmith, and that was an asset that needed to be inventoried, and so I remember them opening that vault and seeing all the minutes in there. I have no idea whether they're still there or not. I know that Bill Adams made a copy of the minutes, so they should be around. Where were we? O: One question Mr. Steinbach. Y ou mentioned when you really started with the Arrivas Hou se and as you move forward or when you started, you tried to do things by the book. Could you maybe talk about some of the things that you learned as you moved forward with these restoration and reconstruction projects that you didn't know in the beginnin g? S: It actually became a financial thing. The cost of reconstructing in coquina was just exorbitant. The labor costs were just out of you just couldn't do it anymore, p lus the time that it took to do it. So we began to look at alternatives and unit masonry, or concrete block, was the obvious choice with masonry. The question


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 18 ! that arose was how were we going to disguise the block? Normally when you stucco concrete block after a few years because of the diff erence in the co efficiency of expansion, it cracks. Come and outline the block, that's no good. Okay, so, w e started using something called self furring lath It's a meta l lath that you fasten to the block that holds it slightly away from the surface of the block, and when you stucco it, it keys in behind and you get one continuous piece. As long as you get a control joint every on ce once in a while normally we're not dealing with that k ind of an expanse to begin with but even for the crack, it wouldn't crack like a block it would be a random crack. So that became the method of choice. No w, during [19]61 through [19]65, [19] 67 period when we were building all this stuff, all of this stuff without exception, the properties were acquired through the Foun dation The state provided us; they provided the staff, the oversight, and all of that, but the Foundation is who paid for the materials and th e labor and all the rest of it, and actually contracted out some of the work. Some of these buildings were built under contract. We didn't even build them. We put together the specs and stuff like that, but we didn't build them. Again, it was this great huge push to get the stuff done by the quadricentennial. That's pretty much how things went up until Newton left. Earl e left under somewhat of a cloud. One of his projects one of the things that he was involved with was establishing a pan American museum in the Marin Hassett House which is across the street from the Colombia r estaurant. Carl C aulkin was the curator for that. Earl e also talked the board, and or the Foundation into funding a number of trips for himself to Mexic o to buy stuff, including doors. I'm sure they're still


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 19 ! locked up in Government H ouse, because we us ed some of them in R ibera because they suited it. These multi panel doors with these little cotter pin hinges and stuff, b ut they just weren't suitable for any of the rest of this stuff, the houses would never have anything that elaborate. Earl also had his own antique shop and stuff on Charlotte Street. When this stuff arrived in St. Augustine, we had to sort of sort through it; what belonged to us and what belonged to him. S ometimes, it was a little hard to determine. By then, Bob Harper was working for Carl C aulkin as an assistant. Harper is a really good source. I'm sure he can really tell some tales. In any event, Earl e left in the latter part of [19] 67, and they appointed Bradley Brewer the director. Bradley was just a finance man; he had no background in historic preservation, but there he was. Again, I don't know how long he lasted. But they finally let him go, and they hired another young fellow. By then we were in Government H ouse. [19]66, [19] 67 is when we took over Government H ouse. Earl Newton was there. He moved me to government house to take possession. I was the sole occupant for government house I think for about a year. My office was in the post al inspector's office up on the second floor; that was my office. Between Caulk in and Newton they put together th is grand plan for the Governor's House. And the consequence, they started demolition on the ground floor where the post master and the assistant post master this is in the east wing and basically gutted it. I salvaged what I could, like the doors and some of the trim and hardware and stuff like that, but a lot of the molding and all the rest of it, they just took jackhammers and cut it all to pieces. It was a beautiful terrazzo floor [ Terrazzo is a composite material that i s


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 20 ! either poured or precast, and is used over either floors or walls It is composed of a mixture of marble, quartz, granite, and glass. It is polished over to cr eate a uniformly smooth surface ] In [19]3 6 when they built it, there were two steam trenches t hat ran under that room that fed the radiators. The building was heated with steam heat. There was a big boiler in the basement. In [19] 36 they also had oscillating fans in every room. T here were outlets on the wall They hung up oscillating fans. Of cours e, the building was designed for natural venti lation with all these big open French d oors and windows and everything, so it probably wasn't too uncomfortable for the occupants, even before that. In any event, they blasted it. I remember trying to do a lit tle archaeology for Newton there was some concern about the north wall having been moved. Can't recall the name of the architect right now, but theoretically the north wall had been moved. We never found any evidence that it had been moved, and I never revisited it, so I can't speak to that. Then with Earl's departure, that project just went into limbo. So we're back with. . Let's see what happened next O: I wonder if we could go back a step for a moment. You did a lot of restoration and reconstruction work preparatory to the quadricentennial in 1965. What were your impressions of the quadricentennial, after you had done all of this work? S: Oh, I don't know. I think given the time and the resources we had available we probably did a pretty good jo b, given the focus that was pres ented to us. I think that in ret rospect, it's a shame that the B oard wasn't a little more visionary in regards to historic prese rvation, because they did demolish a couple of noteworthy buildings in this process. These were Victorian frame structures. But


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 21 ! that's hindsight. I do recall at that point in time that Lyndon Johnson came for the event [ Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 19 08 January 22, 1973), served as the, 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969 a position he assumed after serving as the Vice President of the United States from 1961 to 1963] He made a speech from the Arrivas House balcony. There was some concern about the loading on the balcony because all these people were going to be up there. I got a hold of Herschel Shepha rd and I said Herschel how do I check this thing? He said, just measure the deflection. So we just got a whole bunch of concrete blocks and piled them in a pile on the porch to see how far the porch would deflect it. It was within limits, so we said okay, free to go. By then Hersche l was working down for the Colonial Dames [The National Society of the Coloni al Dames of America was founded in 1891 and is involved with historic preservation and restoration of historic sites ] Can't even think of the name of that house now. [ Pause in I nterview] O: Bob, we were talking about Mr. Brewer and some of the key indivi duals during that time. S: As I told you before, Bradley was a fiscal guy. When Earl e Newton left, they appointed him director. But he was pretty much a fish out of water when it came to historic preservation, because he was a fiscal guy and he didn't know that much about. But he was there for another year or two. We need to back up just a little bit b ecause it's important that in [19]67, when Earl e Newton left, H.E. Wolfe


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 22 ! dropped out. Laurence Le wis took over as Chairman of the Board and of the F oundation. Lewis hired Bill Rolleston who was working for the Whitney's at Marineland [ Marineland or Marineland of Florida was one of Flori da's first marine mammal parks and is located near St. Augustine]. Bill was running Marineland. I don't know what happened. I don't. Anyways, he left Marineland and came to work for Lewis runni ng the Foundation This was in [19]67, [19] 68. Bill took over t he F oundation and com pletely divorced it from the B oard. Heretofore, they met as a group; they had the same membership. After Lewis took over, they were two separate entities. They didn't meet together or anything. They were theoretically trying to do the same things, but it wasn't by any stretch of the imagination the same sort of situation. This is what Brewer inherited when he took over. So when Brewer left, they recruited a young fellow whose name I can't recall. He lasted for a very short period o f tim e. He just didn't seem to he was sort of depressed and so forth, and didn't get along it's not that he didn't get along, he just seemed like something was really bothering him. He wound up committing suicide, apparently over a girl. So the B oard then cast about for another director and approached John Griffin John was one of the founding historic archaeologists in the state of Florida. He was the first archaeologist for the whole Florida Park Service he was one of the founders of the Florida Anthropological Society In other words he was there at the beginning of archaeology in Florida really, of the current era. John was the archaeologist at Ocmulgee the National P ark site in Georgia. I had known John for some time. H e and Hale Smith were good friends. John came to me and said, what about it? I really advised him not to take the job.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 23 ! O: Why not? S: Well, because of the current situation with Rolleston and the B oard. There was a lot of conflict. I didn't think it was fair to not give him my honest appraisal. In any event, he took the job. From my perspective, it was super, because John was an academic. He appreciated research. He was the first one that put together a research staff that had some meaning. We converted Government House, second floor, into a research facility. We established a libr ary. W e hired historians, curators, archaeologists, and became a resource for the community. We weren't doing that much actual physical restoration at that point in time, but people wanted to know about their houses, they wanted to know how to fix them up. They wanted to know the history of them, that sort of thing. So that was one of our primary functions at that point in time. We assisted the Greek Orthodox Church in establishing the Greek shrine in th e Old Sala zar house. Papas was the architect. They wanted to do a lot more behind the scenes with that property. They were more than willing to leave the existing building alone, but they wanted to put in a shrine. So I worked a lot with Papas on trying t o find ways to disguise this behind walls and stuff like that. We did some archaeology in the courtyard, which was inconclusive. But John really was the one that set the tone. At that point in time it was a little bit difficult to recruit good historians. Apparently there was somewhat of a demand for them. Frankly we went through two or three. But then the job market dried up for historians, and we were able to attract some really sup er ones. That was a real bonus. I mean that was really, really we got Amy Bushnell who was a scholar. Tony Gano ng Seve ral others that were all


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 24 ! Tony even went so far and became director after John left. So that was John's contribution from my perspective. We sent Tony to Washington to go through the National Archives we got mo ney to send him up there. We sent someone to Spain. Who went to Spain? Someone went to Spain. O: And this is all to build the resear ch library in Government H ouse? S: Right. O: It sounds like that library and the n the records made a big difference in th e restoration and reconstruction work. S: Sure, you had to appreciate that the H istorica l S ociety had a very good library as well. Again, they faced the same thing that most everyone does; funding. It was just a private thing, and they didn't have the money to acquire near as much as they would like to. T his was a period in time when let's see. Paul Weaver was doing work at the University of Florida. I think Paul was working with the parish records, which eventually were translated. This was a most useful thing, because for the first time we knew who some of these people were. A lot of work was done with the East Florida papers It was a period of time when r e search was the dominant thing for the board. I'm trying to remember when we started the de Mesa H ouse. I think John was still there when we started de Mesa Sanchez De Mesa Sanchez used to be called the Spanish Inn, and its previous owner thought that exposed coquina rock was much more glamorous and appealing than stucco, so he proceeded to tear all the stucco off of the building, which of course was providing protection. We did get a grant to do this. Herschel Shepha rd was


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 25 ! the architect on that job. Kathy Deagan did a lot of the archaeology. We did have to install our climate control in the building, and to do that we had to dig some trenches to run duct work under the floors, and K athy and her crew came over and they excavated our duct trenches for us, although she did a lot of other work outside. She was instrumental. Frank Welch, who does paint analysis from up north. We engaged him to do the paint analysis on the building. In oth er words, this was a first rate jam up restoration. Bob Stewart did the interiors. He went out and assembled all of the furniture, matched the colors for the interiors. I just sort of supervised the whole thing. There is a daily journal somewhere that I ke pt on the job, a bound journal. Day by day what we did. So, if anyone's interested, they can hunt that up, get a day by day, blow by blow. That was really the first real restoration that I was involved in other than the Arrivas House. All the other work I had done was reconst ructions, and it was really fun. It was challenging but it was fun. That was fun. O: Was the work enhanced by the records and the research library, is that something that was able to help you at that point? S: Oh sure, yeah. And the staff that was the main thing was the professional staff that we had available to research all this stuff. That was the key to the job. We had people that were dedicated, that knew what to do. That's why it turned out so well. The other restoration that I was involved in was the Joane da House. This was donated by Elizabeth Towers. Her husband was Daughtry Towers, who was a very prominent attorney in Jacksonville. She was given life estate Herschel was the architect on that job, and it was his job, along with me, to figure out how


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 26 ! we configure the interior of this space to accommodate Mrs. Towers without doing any real damage to the structural integrity or the historic value of the house. And that was fun. And we did it. So the Joaneda was another, it was a fun job, and we had two carpenters who were really into it. One of them, actually, was an Englishman who had emigrated from England. They were used to working with their hands, they weren't that big on po wer tools and stuff like that, so that was useful. By then we had our own maintenance shop, we had a lot of other equipment that we could use to replicate some of this stuff. O: You mentioned, Bob, and the de Mesa Sanchez house, the owner had taken the stucco off? What did you do about that? S: Well we recovered a lot of the stucco archaeologically. And there was some left, in situ on the back of the building. This generated quite a little bit of controversy in the town. It was pink. Pink. O: The original color? S: Yes. And Welch documented it. It was aste r scored, which means that the stucco itself was marked as if it were built o ut of block. It's an old E nglish technique. So we have a ash lar scored pink stucco exterior. And we did it. We mixed the stucco with a pink pigment . it was a pigment, we pigmented the stucco; we didn't just p aint it pink, we made it pink, w hich is what they did. And the hue and cry was extraordinary. I'm sure if you go in and look at the scrapbooks of the time because Cookie O'Brien kept a voluminous scrapbook for the board, and I'm sure all this stuff is in that scrap book. I know there was quite a hue and cry over


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 27 ! it. But, we could defend it, so we did. Eventually the stucco faded and people said okay. By then the house had been i ncorporated into the interpretive program. And it was a difficult house to interpret in the sense that we could only allow the people access to portions; you couldn't just let them go wander through it and sit on the couches and play the piano. And so we s et up a schedule; every twenty minutes we'd take a group through. O: This is the Mesa Sanchez house? S: Yeah. We gained an easement behind the Greek Orthodox S hrine to allow people to come from what they called well, it had five or six names I guess over all, but I think the last one was called the Spanish Quarter, or something like that. They eventually concentrated all of their interpretive activities to the east side of St. George Street from Gallegos up to de Burgo Pellicer which was a frame building with the exception obviously of the Greeks. So we passed the Greeks behind, we brought the people in behind the Gree ks. During that period of time we're getting out of context, sort of, because there's way too much to cover in the time I guess we have. In the development of this interpretive program, one of the things that they did was to build a building on St. George Street to accommodate a local re staurant To the best of my knowledge we found a little trace, although the building appeared on historic maps, I don't know that we found any real, solid evidence, but again I wasn't involved that much in that particular project. Bill Jordan worked on it. They basically designed a restaur ant, o ne huge, open space, which obviously would have never ex isted colonially. Although it did have a center beam that ran through it, so the exposed rafters for


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 28 ! this flat roof did bear in the center, so it wasn't quite that modern. Then they used Rocque which was a later 1788 map to justify a wooden extension to t he east, where they put all the kitchen. This was the working part of the restaurant. But it was designed for Michelle Tille a Frenchman, and this was during Earl e Newton's r egime. It was quite successful for quite a time. The house immediately to the nor th was the Tria y House We use d it for a short period of time for interpretation, and then tried to use it when John Griffin was there, we were using it as a bookstore, it was a museum store, but basically was a bookstore. The house, again, to the north of that was the Gomez House. This was a small frame house. Again, it was built using colonial techniques. We hewed out all the timbers, we planed all the boards, and the last time I saw it, it was still standing. We forged all of our own hardware, starting with the A rrivas a guy named Harry Mangus was the blacksmith. Harry was an ex cop. We made a forge out of an old vacuum cleaner, an old Electrolux vacuum cleaner, and laid up some fire brick. That was our forge The anvil. There we go. O: You forged your own tools? S: We forged all our own hardware. Now the tools, believe it or not, there was a hardware store in St. Augustine called Hamblen Hardware that still had a lot of old tools. They would probably be considered antique. He had broad axes, he had boxing axes that they used to use to cut holes in pine trees to collect the sap. They had an axe that the bit was this long on. They had buckets of old hinges. I'd get back in there and I'd just buy all this old stuff. Cut nails. Stuff that you couldn't find anywhere else. That's where we got a lot of our tools that we


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 29 ! used to hue the stones and we picked up broad axes from antique sales and stuff like th at and re sharpened them and used them. At that poin t in time, in the [19] 60s, the shrimp boat building industry was going full blast in St. Augustine, big time. There were five or more shipyards building wooden shrimp boats on the San Sebastian River as f ast as they could build them. L.C. Ringhaver you know about Ring Power, that's L.C. Ringhaver, was the biggest. L.C. was building wooden shrimp boats. He was mass producing them like an auto assembly plant. He'd lay the keel back in the back, then have a bunch of guys bending the ribs, have another bunch of guys planking them, and once they planked them and decked them, they'd put them in the water and finish ed them out. Put the engines in them, and that's where he got in the diesel business. He became a C aterpillar dealer. A l ot of the Greeks there, which again were part of the Minorcan assemblage were boat builders. Harry Ig nitus. Harry built shrimp boats from the get go. He'd hire guys to go out in the woods and cut oak stems, and he didn't care where they came from, as long as they had the right curve for that bow stem. They go out there with a chainsaw, boom boom. There went that piece of oak. And then old Harry would throw them in the San Sebastian and cure them. He liked to cure them in salt water. They'd get out foot adzes and cut those stems with foot adzes So there were people I guess what I'm getting at is there were still people around that had these skills that could sit there with a foot adze and cut stuff out without cutting their foot off, because that's why you did it. You stood on it and cut back to your foot. As far as I know the only other tools that Harry had were ancient, antique old band saw A great, big, twenty inch band saw.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 30 ! Everything else, you know, was by hand. A couple of the guys that came to work for me had been working for Ringhaver, bending ribs and planking boats. They were used to that kind of work. So that was, in its heyday, during the fall and early winter you could walk across the San Sebastian on the deck of shrimp boats. There were that many coming in here from the Carolinas and even from Mississippi and Louisiana, shrimping out there. Now you're l ucky if you can find one or two, they shrimped it out, they fished it out. It's part of the fabric. There were these people around that had these skills. Now I've lost my train of thought . O: Talking about you had the skills and you had places you coul d go find some of the older tools . S: Rig ht, so we're talking the early [19]60s, a lmost basically before television. Obviously before any of the other modern, fun things that we have now. O: When you brought in workmen Bob, to work on these projects was there ever any maybe tension between modern techniques of building or restoration versus having to really get in the mindset of an eighteenth century craftsperson? S: No, the se guys w ere very cooperative all of them. In St. Augustine there was a very strong tradition with the masons. They were all of Minorcan descent. The mason on the Arrivas was K arl Masters And you'd say, oh, oh, he's Masters, but I don't know where the Masters came from, but he was Minorcan as the rest of th em. They were used to working in coquina I mean they taught me about shiners. A shi ner is a coquina stone laid up coquina, it beds; it lays in layers


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 31 ! when it's formed. It's just, [makes noise] okay, if you turn a stone up on edge, you're laying it with the bedding plane vertically; and they call those shiners. They didn't have near the strength as the one laying down, flat. So I learned a term, but it was common knowledge to them, you know? You don't lay shiners, you lay it a ll flat. T hey were used to it. T hey were used to working with coquina. So, I had this ready made resource, if you will, with these guys, because they weren't the first, I mean, their parents and their grandparents. I mean, this came up through generations, and how they worked it and what they did. And the same way with the carpent ers. Uh, I'm trying to think Sterling Rey e s he was a jam up carpenter. He was a Reyes ; he was a Minorcan. Back then, the carpenters the masons were sort of unionized loosely. The carpenters weren't, but in order to be a carpenter is St. Augustine, you had to build your own house, and then have the other carpenters come and look at it. And the joints better fit, and everything bet ter be that was the test. Once you built your hous e, and could prove you knew how to do it all, you were accepted, and you were part of the fraternity O: It was like a guild kind of S: Yeah, exactly. O: Okay. S: So the se guys, you know, we're talking about a small, small town. And outsiders weren't w elcome. The city had a board I'm tryi ng to think of the name of it the plumbing board was composed of plumbers. The only people that sat on the


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 32 ! board were plumb ers. For years, and I'm talking about a number of years after PVC pipe was an accepted materi al for waste, and outside the limits of St. Augustine they prohibited it. You had to use cast iron be cause any fool can glue PVC together, but it takes real skill to punch oakum and run lead in a cas t iron joint. So if you wanted plumbing in your house y ou had to hire a plumber. That was it. I th ought it was interesting. I t goes on and on. For a while, they said, Steinbach, you've got to have a contractor's license be cause yo u're over seeing this construction. I said, okay. So I go down there, and t hey say, okay, here's the stuff for the test, you are gonna take this contractor's licen se. And then somebody said, nah he do esn't need a license, he's the s tate of Florida, they don't need a license [L aughter]. So I didn't get a license T hey let me go on. When they tore down this is later. T his is when Lawrence Lewis of the F oundation had moved on t he city building, which is on the northwest cor ner of Hypolita and St. George, which included the jail where I used to have to go to bail out some of m y guys every once in a while, a nd the firehouse, and the city building. They purchased that property. T his was an Episcopal manse We had some n ice photographs of this house. It was a really neat house. A nyway, to make a long story short, they knocked it down, and when they did, the city abandoned t he building, moved down to the A lcazar, opened the safe. T here w as a huge walk in safe, full of all kinds of files. I walked by one day, and here is the original set of the 1923 city survey, block by block with dimensions and everything. So I just picked it up. O bviously they were throwing it out, so people from the Historical S ociety came and went through some of the stuff and I guess


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 33 ! they salvaged some of it, but it had been open for several days when I wen t by. So I don't know what else happened to the stuff. But, anyway, that's just an aside, but somebody ought t o know about it, I guess. S o anyway, they talked . what's his name that has the Columbia restaurant in town. . Gomez, Gonzales . O: I'm not sure S: Go n zmart into putting in a Columbia restaurant there. So they incorporated some of the elements of the manse in it, but of course they expanded it considerably. So that's how the Columbia got there, but that was all part of the Foundation I wasn't involved in all of that. Now across the street, there was as a part of the Pan American building there was a vacant space. And Mrs. Towers was the mover and shaker for that. There was a statue of Queen Isabella, bronze. I forget the sculptor, b ut he's pret ty famous. That was the center piece of this thing. Well, we developed that plaza, and with Mrs. Towers sort of overseeing the whole thing, and that was my first experience with exposed aggregate, where you lay a bunch of stones and stuff and cement and then you wash it back off and expose the aggregate. I got a lot of h elp from the . what were they? A nyway, the concrete institute, if you will, that's not the name of it, but it's a bunch of people that are pushing concrete, and they provid ed a lot of technical expertise and help to me so that we were able to do, I think, a real ly respectable job And then someone stole the Queen. I t was a bronze statue. But then we recovered it. I'm not sure whether it's still there or not, I know that Rolleston enclosed it in a big locked fence. So I'm assuming it's still there I know when we put it back the second time, it would have taken a lot to get it up.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 34 ! The first time we didn't secure it too well, but the second time we really put it in there. I know Bill Rolleston put a fence around it to keep people out. O: With the exposed aggregate isn't there a problem or a challenge with m oisture over time, or is that S: Not in this regard, this was well, the floors of th e bulk of the masonry houses ha d something called tabby floors. When the British came, they were the first to describe the method that the Spanish used to make these floors. Basically what it amounted to was crushed coquina and lime. And then they tamped it, and would float it. T hat' s what they made their floors out of. Well, when we got trying to replicate th is, lime is very, very soft, and just would not stand up to any traffic at all. So we hit upon a method where instead of using just lime, we us e a mixture of crushed coquina. M ostly we used coquina shell, and lime, and cement. We'd poor the floors and float th em off, and then we t ook a terrazzo grinder, which you've seen cement fi nishers with the big blades of th em? Okay, this was just like that except it had rocks, grinding ro cks, which is the way you finish terrazzo floors. So we pored th em, and then as soon as they got hard enough, you don't want to get th em too hard cause then it gets too hard to grind, we get in there with a h ose and a grinder and we grind th em down til l we start exposing the shell aggregate. I looked at some pictures of the one house we did. W e actually ground it by hand. We had guys with rub rocks down o n their hands and knees grinding. O: Which house is that?


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 35 ! S: T he first little one that we did, the little house on the corner, Artillery S ee, old age is getting me. O: We can pro bably narrow it down [L aughter]. S: I told you about it originally, it was the second or the first one we did . O: Not the very first house? S: Yeah, the one we did where we pored it . the tabby house. O: Not the . S: The Gallegos O: Gallegos house, okay. S: The Gallegos yeah. The Gallegos I was looking through some stuff that was archived at the University of Florida there were some pictures of these guys o n their hands and knees [laughter] with rub rocks grinding the outside floor. So that's how we did the floors. And that was pretty much the technique we used whenever we wanted a tabby floor. We'd pour it and float it and grind it. W hat else? The Ma rin Hasett house, which was the Pan American C enter which is across the street from the Columbia, was built by a contractor. Bill Jordan drew up the plans for it, but I had no involvement in that building. The so called Spanish building, which was ju st to the south across Hypolita, the one with the sort of U shaped courtyard in it. That was the sight of the Weinstein Grocery I t was a nice little Victorian place, but down she went. I did the archaeology, we did recover the Foundation s, the Spanish govern ment owned the property I


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 36 ! presented the findings to the Spanish architect and he immediately dismissed it. He said, no self respecting Spaniard would ever build out a square. The building wasn't a square, but you can't argue with the facts. His name w as Moroso Okay, it's your house. I t's your building I did my part, you know? So, that's a little more history for you. That building is not an accurate representation of what was there. You have to appreciate that cartography is a big part of the res earch that has been done and needs to be done. Properties back then were defined by their fences. There were no surveyors, and of course this led to a lot of litigation, be cause when you're there in the first Spanish period, that's my house and there are my fences and that's mine. The British come in, everyone leaves, t hey go to Havana, they go wherever [inaudible ] Spain and Mexico. But basically, Fis h and his bunch take over. Then, they acquire the property, and they tear it down, they rebuild, they modernize, they do this, they do that and the other thing, then they leave; twenty years later, they're gone. Then we have, for the first time, and engin eer, Mariano de la Rocque who comes in and draws a map of the town. And we have to assume, being an engineer, that his is reasonably accurate. But ag ain, these things are defined the distances are defined not as we do now to the hundredth of an inch, bu t to a third of a vara Oh, you're talking about twelve inches, eleven inches. So even then, when we did archaeological surveys in some of these properties, we found huge not huge -discrepancies between current property lines and historic property lines. We found building s that were on the adjacent property that should have been on this other property. But somewhere down the line, it all got knocke d down, other fences were built.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 37 ! T here 's a new line S o that's still, I think, an area that could benefit f rom a lot of additional research. I know when I was working with it initially, I talked the board into buying me a calculator. Prior to this time, calculators could only add and subtract. The only ones that could divide were these monster mechanical th i ngs. They were this big. They used them in lumberyards. I remember distinctly, it was Hewlett Packard and it cost two hundred and thirty dollars, and the only thing that thing would do is divide, besides add and multiply and subtract. It just had a gre en glow readout but it was a life I mean, I was just on top of the world. Man, for the first time ever I could do a whole bunch of divisions instead of sitting there doing it long hand; I could do it with this thing. And Al Manucy walked in, he saw that thing and he says, you r e down the tube, man [L aughter]. He said, you're modern. But the key to all of that is to establishing control points, and archaeology is the key to controlling the control points. Cause none of these ma ps are that accurate, but if you've got physical evidence if you can say, this building was here and we can identify it on the Rocque map, and that building down there we have evidence was there, and you can measure those two distances, then you can buil d a factor that you can use for all the rest of the measurements, and it can ignore the legal description of a vara which varied all over the country, particularly in the southwest. In Florida I think it was finally defined as 2.8 feet and I think we wou n d up using something like 2.82 or something like that, but, again, to me that's and there's been so much more archaeology done now, I mean the city has its own archeologist I t forever has been defining a lot of this stuff. It would be, I think, a most wo rthwhile project .


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 38 ! O: You mentioned the calculators having a big impact on your work. Over time were other new technologi es that made your job easier -S: Oh, of course. We got the first IBM PC; didn't even have a hard drive. [Laughter] I don't think it did. We paid big bucks for it; we paid well over two thousand dollars for it under state contract. We had WordPerfect and we had some kind o f a spreadsheet, I think. B ut it was a godsend just from being able to write without typos and everything else, and if you wanted a dozen copies, boom! You had a dozen copies. I remember ve ry distinctly the floppy drive these were five a quarter inch floppy drives I remember the floppy drive going out, and IBM had a place in Jacksonville that worke d on it. So I loaded up the thin g and I took it to Jacksonville. I said, you know, this thing isn't working. And the technician said . so we sat t here together and figured out he didn't know that much more about it it's that new. It was a brand n ew technology. People don't really appreciate, this was cutting edge. This was like a smart phone Of course, back then it was all DOS [disk operating system], there was no Windows. You had to write the commands in DOS to make this thing work, which wa s a little hard on secretaries. Cause we were all babes in the woods, but we figured it out. W e got it to work. It was really neat. Later on, we were able to use computers for all of our museum collections. Heretofore, all of that was done manually and of course, the way you do museum collections is a process of accessioning and keeping track and all the rest of it and, you know, it took an awful lot of work. O: I think we'll take a break here, Bob, if that's okay with you. We are at the end of our tape.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 39 ! S: Oh, we ran another one, huh? O: Yeah, this is great. S: Okay [laughter]. O: This is amazing. [Pause in Recording] O: Well, Bob, we re gonna get a little more free ranging in this third part and a couple of things we really wanted to talk about a little mor e is i t's clear that your academic background was very important in terms of the trajectory of your career, can you talk a little bit more about your academic work at Florida State Universi ty a nd you said you had a major in a nthropology and kind of a minor in museum studies ? S: Well, I guess I was hedging my bets a little. No, I enjoyed museum work. We had a small gallery there, with changing exhibits rotating about every six to nine mont hs. With a very small department like they had, we were a little freer in choosing our curriculum. So I was able to take courses other than just a nthropology at the graduate level. I took some art histo ry, industrial arts, ceramics. O f course ceramics ties in with the archaeology, so that's not a big stretch. Florida history, that sort of thin g. That pretty well sums it up. I had a more nontraditional I guess curriculum than I would today.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 40 ! O: Very interdisciplinary and you can see as your career moved forward, you were able to use a lot of these different skills and perspectives and, as I understand it, you were able to do some museum work in St. Augustine to a certain extent. S: Yeah, sure. O: Can you talk about that? S: Well, eventually I wound up as a senior curator; that was the official state title. We had assembled over the years a considerable collection of materials. A lot of this stuff was used in the interpretive program, for instance, antiques silversmithing tools and stuff like that. All o f the folk material that Newton had collected in Me xico was in the collection, a lot of the furnishings, that sort of thing. So it was a fairly sizable collection. It was initially curated in the traditional manner with paper We eventually computerized that and one of my responsibilities, of course, was to maintain it. At that point in time, I'm pretty sure that Bob Harper was the curator. He was working for me. Because all of this stuff was state property, we had to inventory. So that was part of it, as far as museum curation is concerned. I don't know that I can say a whole lot more about it other than at a later point in time after the city took it over, Bill Adams commissioned me to go over there and re inventory it and all that, th eoretically, is still there on a program called Past Perfect. It's a museum collection's data base and that's what I used when I did the last inventory. I can't speak to its existence any longer, but that's pretty much it. O: D o you work in the Spanis h Military Hospital along those


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 41 ! S: No, Carl Caulkin was responsible for the exhibits in the museum in the Spanish Military Hospital. He acquired a lot of artifacts ceramics and glassware and surgical instruments and all that sort of thing. About the only other thing I can speak to in that regard is the Porter watch. They acquired the watch f r o m the Florida Medical Association and he displayed it in a polycarbonate box on the second floor of the museum. Someone like d the watch, I guess better than w e did because even though the building was alarmed, they broke in and smashed the case and stole the watch. And as far as I know it's never been recovered. That's really the only thing I can tell you about the Spanish Military Hospital, other than shortly thereafter they removed that portion of the second floor exhibit which was dedicated to the history of medicine in Florida; tha t was abandoned and later was leased out as office space. O: Bob, ea rlier you eluded to moving into Government H ouse which had been a postal building and you talked about there being really big changes inside the building, can you talk about some of those? S: I think I mentioned earlier that when we acquired the building, Earl e Newton moved me down there to take possess ion. He wanted someone in the building, so I moved into the postal inspector's office to establish a presence. He and Carl Caulkin and others I'm sure, developed a grand plan for the governor's mansion, palace, whate ver. I wasn't involved in that; I was there but I wasn't involved in it. They started initially by demolishing the post master and assistant post master's offices which were an east wing on the ground floor They went in there with jack hammers and tore it all out. I salvaged the doors, t he hardware, stuff like


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 42 ! that, anything that was of any value and moved it to the basement temporarily. When Newton left, the project went on hold and for years a number of years that space just stood vacant like that, all torn up, nothing going on. It was just vacant, demolished, empty space. O: Do you ever meet the postal inspector? S: Oh yes. The postal inspector came by within a week or so after we took possession and demanded the lock cylinders out of the postal inspector's office and one other door that led into the inspection chamber, and at that time informed me that that one key fit all of the postal inspection offices in the country and that they wanted those cyli nders because any locksmith could duplicate the that key if he had the cylinders. So he came and took the cylinders [Laughter] He also told me that he only knew of one occasion when they actually came and were looking for someone stealing mail. He was probably in his forties or fifties, and of course those galleries were just full of dust and you could tell no one had been in them in years. O: These are passageways that people could . .? S: These are passageways that circle the sorting room. The y also provided access to the swing room s which included the lavatories, the bathrooms Now, the access to those were blocked at some point in time with metal strips. Apparently, a law was passed about personal privacy and so they came in and screwed met al plates over those; they were slots with a little lift l id that would open where they could look in there. Of course there were no lights in this thing. It wasn't


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 43 ! illuminated, there were no light fixtures at all, it was total black and paint ed black. S o anyone in there no one could have seen them or known they were there. When we acquired the building it w asn't long after that that we well, the federal government had installed central air conditioning in the building. They were still using the boiler to provide hot w ater through a heat exchanger. T hey weren't using the radiators any longer but they were still using the boiler for hot water. It had thirty ton of chillers great big compressors in the basement that used to be the coal room where they used to keep the coal to fire the boilers and all. The boiler had been converted to I don't know whether it was diesel fuel or bunker C [oil] or what, but there's a big buried tank on the south side of the building that may still be there. I don't know i f they ever dug it up or not, but I know it was there when I was there and that's what they fired the boiler with at that time. We turned on the air conditioning system when we got it and ran it for about a week. We got the light bill and it was somethi n g in the neighborhood of twelve or thirteen hundred dollars, it was on a demand meter. That settled it [Laughter] T hat was the end of the central air conditioning as far as we were concerned. There was no way in the world we could have possibly afforde d any kind of a bill like that. So they reverted to window units to the habitable spa ces where people were working. T hey installed reverse cycle air conditioners. In some cases they removed windows which I probably hid in the basement, and in other case s they f ound other ways to accommodate th em. So, for a period of time that's the way they provided climate control. Later on, they went to residential split systems like you have in your house, and that basically wound up zoning the building because


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 44 ! they were individual small units. So, for instance, there'd be one for the administrative offices, there'd be one for the research department, there'd be one down in the curatorial section, there'd be one downstairs for what became was initially an auditori um and then became a museum space. These were all on separate systems Even further down the line now, you have to appreciate that the electrical system in this thing was put in in 1936, it was a three phase system Somew here along the line I don't think I was still there, actually, I may have been but they came in and they redid the main panel. P ut in a great, big, huge, new one. There were other sub panels that they upgraded. So, they did upgrade the system W hat else can I tell you u p to that regard? The basement we stored all of the archaeological material in the baseme nt. We had torn out the boiler; we had torn out that big chiller and all that stuff and were using that space for storage. The building w as plumbed in copper. E very bit of the supply side of the plumbing was in copper, which is grea t if you can afford it, right? Okay. I don't think I'm telling stories out of school, but a leak developed in the main line that came in to the basement and our maintenance plumber replac ed a brass nipple in the line with a galvanized steel nipple. Do I need to say anymore? They had a horrendous flood. As a consequence of that, all of the archaeological materials were salvaged and moved to the University of Florida, but that's the plain truth. T hat's why the basement flooded. Some people just don't know about electrolysis [Laughter]


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 45 ! O: Bob, you had mentioned earlier the importance of car tography and records, and also al luded to a ruined house list from 1702, can we about that and its importance? S: There is a list that was compiled after the 17[0]2 raid of the houses that were destroyed by the British. These houses were fairly close to Castillo and apparently were fairly substantial. But the list, I recall, lists owners, but I d on't think it was very descriptive in terms of actually locating these properties. It was on the basis of that did I mention about the Foundation s on Riber a previously? O: Just a little bit. S: Well, the Riber a house sits where the Parks Hotel used to be. Hale Smith excavated the sidewalk in front of the Parks Hotel earlier and found some pretty massive Foundation s. Later the Foundation acquired the property, demolished the hotel and we excavated it. We found these really large Foundation s m uch, much wider than anything we had encountered before. We excavated the builder's trenches hoping to find and be able to date these Foundation s, but unfortunately, we never recovered anything that would provide a date. We usually use ceramics; we can d ate the ceramics pretty closely, and if we could find them in the builder's trench we could date these Foundation s or footings. No luck. We had to assume that this thing probably was a remnant of the pre 17[0]2 siege. Since Castillo hadn't been finished not too much previous to that, these were probably masons that had worked on Castillo and were used to building with big stuff, massive stuff. It's conjectural, but that's what we sort of decided.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 46 ! So, we did get the outlines of the building, and then th at was reconstructed using coquina rock. We used some of the antique doors that Earl e Newton had purchased in Mexico. T hese were fancy, multi panel doors. We fabricated all of the sash and shutters and all of that ourselves cause we didn't have any of that kind of stuff. The building was wired, the interior walls were lined with unit masonry, commonly known as partition block not quite four inches thick, to provide a smooth surface and also to mitigate any problems with rising dam p. Rising damp is eve n now in de Mesa Sanchez they're probably still having problems with rising damp in the re because no one seems to be they talk about injecting these things with epoxy and all that sort of stuff, but to date I don't know that anyone has really come up with an adequate solution. So anyway, the block basically isolated the coquina stone from the interior which solved the problem as far as the interior was concerned. O: In speaking of maps, I think you had mentioned at one p oint in an earlier conversatio n that you found a particularly valuable map, the Rocque map, can you talk about that? S: We had obtained a copy of the Rocqu e, a black and white copy, full size. In fact, we had it mounted on boards. I t's a big map, a really big map. No I take that back, we blew it up We blew it up and out of there. I went to Tallahassee looking for information on some of these properties and land grants and all the rest of it, and there was a building across the street from the State C apitol and they h ad an original copy of the Rocque map in color. It delineated the materials, so if it were pink it was masonry and if it were brown it were wood, and you get a


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 47 ! lot of combinations. As a for instance, with Salc edo House the main structure is pink but th e one story shed addition is brown. It was really pretty neat because we didn't find any evidence of this little shed on the back cause it was wood. So then we had the justification for building it out of wood. So it was a go ld mine. It was a real gold mine. Yeah O: We had talked Kathy Deagan had came up a bit in the earlier conversation and you talked about the importance of archaeology and how that has played a big part in historic preservation. Did you know Chuck Fairbanks ? I know Kathy Deagan had trained under him and S: Fairbanks was a professor at FSU when I was in graduate school. B est teacher I ever had. He was jus t super. When . let's see. I' m trying to think of his name when the chairman of the department at University of Fl orida passed away I don't know whether Chuck went there before he died or after he died, but I know he went to University of Florida, and that's where Kathy Deagan started under Fairbanks at U of F. The first time I met her they were digging back on Spani sh Street and she was just in a field school back there, one of the grunts doin g the diggin g I would meet her every once in a while at the Florida Anthropological Society meetings and stuff like that, but I didn't know her particularly at that point in t ime. It wasn't until much later after she got her Ph.D. and started really focusing on Spanish Colonial architecture and archaeology that I became well acquainted with her.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 48 ! O: I find it really interesting that you were still going to the anthropologica l professional meetings. S: Sure. Well, these were people I came up with, you know. They were such a small group. T here weren't many of us [laughter]. O: Now, were you getting information from those meetings, taking n otes maybe, or S: Oh, they just presented papers, and stuff like that. Some of it was interesting and some of it wasn't particularly interesting. But it's a good organization. I think Smith and . let's see. I'm runnin g out of names now. I used to know the founding guys; I know they met at John Griffin's father's house in Daytona Beach. That's where they founded the Florida Anthropological Society. Goggin probably was there, John Goggin I think John just had one lun g. John was one of the first guys that did underwater archaeology in Florida. He scuba dived, and I'm pretty sure he only had one lung. I don't know where that came from, but I think it sort of surprised me [Laughter] I know that they did so me work on the St. Mark's River, I can remember that. Spaulding had a store on the St. Mark's and I remember Fairbanks and Smith and a bunch of us went down there and did some scuba diving along in that area. I think that's about all I know in that regard. O: Wher e there other professional societies or fields that you kinda kept abreast of? S: Well, the Association for Preservation Technology, I attended a number of their annual meetings. We subscribed to their bulletin. It was quite helpful, but again, the focus it was technique, technology and that was what was helpful. I learned


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 49 ! a lot; I went to one of their seminars on the use of epoxy consolidation, I think it was at Williamsburg. It was a really, really informative seminar. I'm trying to th ink of anothe r name right now. W ell, any way, we subscribed to during John Griffin's tenure in particular we subscribed to a number of scholastic journals. After he left, they started twiddling with the budget and we kept droppin g our subscriptions and at the end I thi nk it all they quit. But there is a tremendous amount of stuff in the library, th e back issues of all this stuff. T hey are not current by any means, but there's a lot of good stuff in there. O: N ow, you mentioned Colonial Williamsburg, did that have any kind of impact on the work that you all were doing? S: It's hard to say specifically. E arly on, the B oard never came right out and said something like that. They had a statement to the effect that it's bet ter to restore than reconstruct, you know, to pres erve, restore, reconstruct kind of thing. Initially I think they were looking at the city, recogni zing that it was a living city, t hat it wasn't a Williamsburg. Y ou didn't own the whole thing. I think later, when they started really looking at this thing and realizing they needed to concentrate their efforts that they began to focus on the north end of St. George Street. I think then, the Williamsburg thing sort of took hold a little bit more and that they started focusing on crafts and an enclosed villa ge. This is what developed into the Spanish Quarter, or whatever they call it now. They ran out of money and there w as some competing factors that there were people that didn't want to sel l and stuff like that. B ut I think that pretty much describes it. Newton was always a big fan crafts. One of the board members was a guy named William


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 50 ! Sims and there was a Britisher in St. Augustine named Sims. It's a little foggy, but h e convinced Sims that this guy I think he did, I shouldn' t be too positive, but I think he convinced him that this guy was a silversmith So Sims bought as part of the F oundation they bought a property at the corner of Charlotte and Cuna Street on the no rthwest corner. This was a two story frame residence. So Earl e says, w ell we' ll knock the top off and put a roof on it and call it a Sims house. Okay, Charlie [laughter]. That's what we did. That's the history of the Sims' house. Now, we went out and hired a guy that was a he was a young fellow that was a silversmith Bill Jord a n got a bunch of plans out of Williamsburg for silversmithing furniture and tools and stuff. He went out on the antique market and bought a bunch of tools and stuff, and they set this guy up in this house as a silversmith. And he did, and he made nice stu ff. He really did he was good. His big thing, sales item, was pewter spoons because all you needed was pewter and mold [laughte r]. You know, because people the bulk of the tourists are not gonna pay big bucks fo r these really fine pieces of but he did sell it. He sold a lot of that stuff. Initially, he actually operated on the ground floor of the Arrivas Ho use before we rehabbed the Sims H ouse, and then we moved him over there. A b out all I can say about that. O: Bob, you mentioned earlier about a gent leman by the name of Al Manucy can you talk a little more about S: Al Manucy was my mentor. I knew Al from my undergraduate days when I was over the re with Smith. He was the word, and Al spent his life his professional life at least researching Spanish Colonial architecture, and specifically St.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 51 ! Augustine's colonial architecture and history. I relied on him, you know, just almost to the exclusion of anyone I mean, he was the word. H e was the man. And whenever I had a question he wa s more than willing to share his knowledge with me. Any information he had he was an open book. I could have never made it without hi m. He was just a super guy. Ab out all I can say. He had an awful lot of stuff long before he published The Houses of S t. Augustine the book itself. He had an awful lot of that material he was building up over a period of years. That's the stuff he shared with me, among other things. Of course, Luis Arana was at Castillo, he was a historian at Castillo. Luis was more into the documents, he wasn't so much into the architecture, but he was also a good source. His wife Eugenia worked at the historical society and she was quite fluent in Spanish and was quite helpful in translating a lot of stuff. That was sort of the bunch that were around at that point in time. O: When you think back on the Preservation B oard and its work, were there some of the governors' appointees to the board that k ind of stand out in your mind? S: Well, all of the governors, until we got out first R epublican, appointed people to the board who were interested in St. Augustine and its history, period. They were not political appointees. I think over half of them, probably, were republicans. But the y were interested in St. Augustine history, and as a consequence, governor after governor reappointed them. Of course some of them dropped out and they would find others to bring in, one of them being Mary l ou Whitney. I liked Maryl ou she was something. I don't know, one little tale. They were at the board meeting discussing having some kind of a little


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 52 ! soiree or something, and they said, whoa, we gotta raise some money. So Mary Lou said, w ell, okay boys, chip in. They were all sitting around a board table and she throws a hundred dollar bill on the table expecting all of these other guys to pull a hundred out of their pocket and lay it on the table [laughter]. Well, people like Mike Gannon didn't have a hundred dollars in his pocket. Anyway, that wa s the kind of person she was ; she was a real sort of a fire br and in a way, not really a fire brand but, you kno w, she was I liked her. I liked her moxie She was a good girl. Lawrence Lewis, he was a nice guy but he didn't live there. He lived in Virgini a. He had houses, he had a house in St. Augustine, he had a nice big yacht in St. Augustine, but he didn't live there. He would just come in for the board meetings and stuff like that. Every once in a while he'd invite the whole bunch out to the [inaud ible ] golf reso rt or whatever it is for lunch. T hat was fun. He was okay. I think he got a lot of bad advice, but that's neither here or there. Of course when the Foundation went its own way with Rolleston then they got involved. Rolleston was a promot er. He came from Marineland, which was a tourist attraction, and all he could see in St. Augustine was another tourist attraction. In a sense, I think he was sort of like Wal ter Fraser of the [19]30s with the Fountain of Youth and all that kind of stuff. Bill had a very abrasive personali ty. No one got along with him, or very few people got along with him, maybe his secretary, but that's another whole story. They got involved in this project out on the north of town, this early village kind of thing sort of pattern a little bit after Williamsburg. He did hire two really good historians, Gene Lyons and P aul what's his name I can't think of this name. Anyway, they're at Flagler


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 53 ! College, or one is, and Kathy Deagan and Al Manucy He did good research for that project, but he devoted all of the resources of the F oundation to that project and to this film that they made. So, all of the other restoration activities that they had been previously involved in died on the vine. Bec ause all of their resources were going toward these two projects. I'm trying to thin k what . it's been a long they did a diorama down on Cordo v a Street that was a model of the city kind of thing with a whole bunch of lights that lit up and a soundtrack and, I mean, it was really a touristy kind of thing. But that was Bill Rolleston ; that was his idea. I mean, it provided historical fact, and in that respect I think it was legitimate, but it was still s ort of hokey. Anyway, you sort of get the drift that this it all went the other way. In the interim, the B oard acted as a community resource. We advised people on restoration, on grant applications, on construction and restoration techniques and technologies, that sort of thing. The historian, particularly Amy Bushnell spent a lot of time developing interpr etive materials to use in the Spanish Quarter so these interpreters would have something to base what they were saying on; to what extent they followed it is another question. It was along about th at time we had a blacksmith. I t was a wood frame, again bu ilt the old fashioned way just out of hewn timbers on the corner of Cuna and Charlotte Street. Coco Mikler was an ex FEC [Florida East Coast] railroad welder. H e used to weld railroad bridges. Coco was good with stee l. I knew Coco real well. W e used to go out shrimpin g and stuff. If we needed any hardware or anything, Coco was our man, he was the one that forged it. Later on, we built within the Q uarter, we built another blacksmith, and it


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 54 ! was built as an interpretive project. In other words, the peop le that built it were in costume and period dress, and it was built lift slab, like I described earlier for Gallegos It did have a thatched roof on it which is sort of a no no for a blacksmith [Laughter] But it never caught fire! Or at least, I don't think it ever did. It became part of it integrated the blacksmithing into the interpretive program. By then Coco had left and there was a series of other younger people that came, a nd by then it had turned into, you know, the y just heated up a piece of stee l and beat on it and sparks flew and made the kids happy and that was about it. O: Can you tell me about the work you did even after you retired you were sti ll working with records in the Government H ouse and . S: When the state dissolved the Preservation B oard, th ey leased the buildings to the C ity of St. Augustine. They turned over the operation to a fellow, for the life of me I can't recall his name right now, but I think he was sort of a PR guy. He didn't know anything about historic preservation. So things really started getting pretty bad, so the city went out now, Bill Adams had left long before this and gone in and formed his own private company doing historic research for towns and cities and people and so forth. Even after I retired I did a lot of work for Bill after I retired from the B oard while he was still in private practice. They got Bill back, and of course the first thing he did was to lock up the library cause, you know, there was a lo t of stuff, what happe ned to it k inda thing. Bill did his best to pull the thing back together again and he hired me on several occasions to do property assessments and museum inventories and stuff like that. I'd go over


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 55 ! there and work for a while, come home, and back and for th and all that. He even hired me for a short period of time to run the interpretive program cause he couldn't find anybody to run it, whoever was running it retired. So he said, all right, I gave you an apartment you come over here. So I'd go over the re five days a week, but I didn't last long at that. T oo far from home. Until he got someone, that was only for two or three months. So I was involved in St. Augustine during that period of time to a considerable extent, actually. The n when we wanted to reorganize when we first set up the research department, one of the first things I did was to set up something called the lot block file. Hereto fore, there was you couldn't find anything, I mean, where's this, where's that. So we took the 1923 official map of the city of St. Augustine and said, okay, this becomes our criteria. It used those lots and those blocks, and if the majority of a property falls on that lot, that is the number that you give it even though it historically extended over. So that's how we established the lot and block file. We tried to file all of the research materials that we generated on the buildings in that file. We ll, when I left it was intact. I n [19]88 it was intact. Then, considerably later, this was just before Bill lef t over there, he asked if I would come over and bring the lot and block file over here and go through it and try to reorganize it. This was about four or five cardboard file boxes. So I said, sure. So I brought it over here and I started going through i t and it was a not a disaster, but it was people had been in it. I could tell a lot of people had mis file d stuff and all kinds of stuff. So I just kept it over here. I told Bill, I stole it. He said, good, cause I don't know anything about i t, I don 't know where it went. I t disappeared. Of


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 56 ! course, shortl y thereafter, well, the Ci ty put in somebody else to run it for a short period of time, then the University of F lorida took it over. Once the U niversity took it over, I said, hot dog, I can get rid of that. That's how it wound up at the University of Florida. I'm really bad at names now I'm gettin g tired, what's his name, Paul [woman's voice asks, Weaver?] No, no, the librarian where you work. O: Oh [woman's voice asks, Tom Caswell ?]. S: Tom Cas well. Telling you, I'm getting tired. I think Bill got a hold of Tom and anyway, Tom came over and we put all the stuff in the trunk of his car and off it went to the University of Florid a. But that's the only thing. T here is still tons of stuff. I mea n, there's files and files, all of the interpretive material is still over there, I hop e. I know Tom did an inventory. Didn't he catalog the library? [woman's voice answers, yes.] He catalog ed the library. It was catalogued, by the way. T here was a catalogue card file that . Gene Lyons's wife catalog ed the library a number of years ago. She was a libra rian, so we had a card catalog. Y ou could pull it out like the old timey days. So it was catalog ed at one point in time and it was at about that point in time I think that Amy Bushnell was gonna try to do something with the photographs, but she never could get a grant to do it. So I'd mentioned to Tom several times that the photographs are a key to it, but just like so much stuff, I kno w what a lot of stuff was that used to be there. So I've agreed to go over there and meet with Tom and go through the material and see if we can identify anything that's missing or whatever. That's pretty much where we're at on that issue. That's how th e lot and block file wound up online.


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 57 ! O: Do you go back to St. Augustin e frequently now, or do you -S: Never. O: Never [Laughter] S: Seldom. Very, very, very seldom. You have to appreciate that when I went to St. Augustine in [19]61 it was this lit tle, small, sleepy town that from St. Augustine beach to Crescent B each, there were no houses. And from Crescent Beach to Matanzas I nlet there were no houses. On North B each, you could count the houses on one hand. T here was nothing. This was our playgr ound. When we moved there we said we'll never leave. Honest to G od, it was you just I used to like to fish, I don't fish anymore, but not because I don't like to fish, I don't like the people that fish, they're very inconsiderate now. In fact they are downright rude. We built our first house on Moultrie C reek in St. Augustine south, it was a subdivision that had maybe a dozen or two dozen houses in the whole thing. I had my own little private boat ramp and in Moultrie C reek right across from the house. I'd come home from work and I'd think I'll go out and catch supper, you know. I ha d a little boat to throw in the water right out the creek, catch a few fish come back. It was that way. A nd the bulk of the people that I worked with these are the journeymen, the craftsmen, the carpenters, and the masons and all, these are the people th at I associated with, more than anyone else, and they are the ones that t aught me all of the good stuff where to go fishin g how to go fishin g where to go huntin g, how to go hunting you know, a ll that kind of stuff. One of th em had a camp down on Pellic er Creek We used to go down there


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 58 ! hog huntin g. H is son had a couple of catch dogs. You ever done that? That's a fun thing [laughter]. Well, you ride around til l you find a fresh hog track, you turn the dogs loose. O: Wow. S: The dogs were one of th em was an old bulldog named Bull. Rattiest old dog you ever saw all cut up. He run in there in the palmettos and everything else and he'd catch the pig by the ear. Then he run into the thicket with a couple of little, short pieces of rope like this and grabbed that hog, flip it up, throw it around and ch! You know, and tie him up. Depending on what you call it, see, cause now, Preston King who was one of the carpenters he had a hog claim down there. You notched the ear of the pig and you record it in the court house and those are your pigs. And if we catch a sow then we'd n otch all the little pigs, turn th em back loose. Then the Jacksonville people started comin g down there and killing th em. See, progress. The timber companies came in and plowed up all the hammock planted pine trees. So there went the quail hunting and everythin g. I mean, you know, it just I'm too old. That's the way it was. It was a very enjoyable lifestyle. I got to associate with a lot of people from the top to the bottom and I don't regret a minute of it until it all went south and St. Augustine was discovered and that was it. So I guess it was in the late [19]70s or early [19]80s we started looking around for another hidey hole. Then we found Yankeetown in [19]84, and bought some property on the river. We've survived. O: You survived, yeah [Laughter]


SAHP 001; Steinbach; Page 59 ! S: We've survived the developers and we're happy. O: All right. Bob, I want to thank you for three hours of your time today and I really have learned a lot. S: You are more than welcome. I was glad to do it. O: It is tremendous knowledge and thank you so much. S: You are more than welcome. O: We appreciate it. S: Sure. O: All right. S: Okay. [E nd of I nterview ] Transcribed by: Taylor Jeanot June 15, 2012 Audit Edited by: Nicole Cox June 21, 2012 Final Edit by: Erin Conlin February 20, 2013