THE AVERO HOUSES--A LOCATION ANALYSIS
John R. Dunkle
This report is made at the request of Mr. Earle Newton August 20, 1960,
This report follows a report made by Dr. Charles Arnade entitled "The Avero
Story; An Early Saint Augustine Family With Many Daughters and Many Houses."
This report was received by me August 20, 1960.
The problem, as posed by Mr. Newton, was to locate the Avero complex
houses as specified by Dr. Arnade and indicated on the Puente map of 1763.
This location analysis results from work accomplished in approximately two and
one-half days. The pressure of other activities necessary to complete work
prior to termination of contract August 31st precludes the spending of further
time on this analysis. Briefly the findings are as follows:
The locationsofi.three.~houses are definite. The first of these belong.
ed to Antonia Avero and is No. 68 on the Puente map. This building was situated
on the property immediately south of the Arrivas house, which property now
houses the Museum of Yesterday's Toys. The second property, located with finali4-
ty, was the so-called Arrivas house, Puente No. 67. Restoration work is pro-
ceeding on this house. The third property, located with surety, is that listed
by Puente as No. 81, belonging to Antonia Avero. This property is the present
so-called Salazar House.
The Alfonsa Avero property, Puente No. 66, lies just north of the
Arrivas House, in roughly the same position as Rocque house 44, but more proba-
bly between the Arrivas house and Rocque house 44. Archaeological findings by
Dr. Smith would indicate the presence of houses in that area, one of which is
probably the Alfonsa Avero house, Puente No. 66.
The most difficult house to locate is Puente house 64, which is listed
as belonging to Blanco. In terms of map overlays this house would seem to be
No. 5 on the Moncrief map, No. 46 on the Rocque map, and on lot 25 of the present
city map. (See attached overlays). However, the location of the Blanco
property is complicated by the property assessment which Dr. Arnade cites in his
This Blanco assessment specifies 812 cubic varas of stone which is
equivalent to approximately 7308 cubic feet of stone. This equals 730 linear
feet of wall, one foot thick, ten feet high. This much material could not have
been used on the Blanco property, Puente No. 64. Thus, it would seem that if
the assessment applies to the Puente 64 area the Blanco house probably must have
included more than shows on the Puente map. At this point certain speculation
may be in order. At the time the Puente map was made the Spanish were facing
the problem of what to do with their property when the English arrived. Sales
of land seem to have been made daily. It is possible that Puente 65 and Puente
63 also belonged to Blanco and were sold by him to Carmona and Rivera, respec-
tively, Thus the Cotilla survey may have included more than shows as Blanco
property on the Puente map. An inspection was made of the Rocque houses 45,
6 and 47, which lie in the area of the Blanco property. Taken together the
total wall area is 668 linear feet, just shy of the amount indicated by the
assessment. Furthermore, the pattern of rooms as listed in the assessment
fits this piece of property fairly well if 45, 46 and 47 of Roaque are all
taken into account as being the Blanco property. However, as Dr. Arnade pointed
out, it is also possible that the assessment could be applied to Puente house
No. 80, which is listed as owned by Antonia Avero. An analysis of this property
indicates that there were 650 linear feet of stone needed, again just shy of the
assessment figure, and that the interior arrangements of rooms, as specified by
Rocque, are sufficient in number and disposition to fit the Blaneo assessment,
Analysis of this assessment by Mr. Stewart indicates 11 to 15 rooms inspected
by Cotille, the assessor. Thus, either the extended Blanco property (Puente 64)
or the Antonia Avere property, Puente 80, would fit the assessment.
In our further attempt to arrive at the answer to the question--
where was the Bl*nco property?--a title analysis has been made. (See attached
sheets). Blanoo property 64 quite clearly is shown on the Monorief map of
1765 as the Kipp property, No. 5. This property, together with that of Rains-
ford also shown on the 7onorief map, No. 4, was purchased by Rainsford in 1767.
He sold it to Stine in 1770, who sold it to Ceeil in 1783. There is a gap in
the information but evidently it was sold to Saloede in 1784. It shows on the
Rocque map, together with Roeque 44, 45 and 46, as belonging to Saloedo, The
Rocque property 46, which stands on the side of Blanco's 64, was sold to An-
tonia Ursina in 1791. It is described as being wood and stone. In time this
property was sold to Catalina Usini in 1815. However, if this Blanco property
is to fit the Blanco assessment, the property must have included what is shown
by Rooque as house No. 47 and listed as owned by Clark. This lies partly on
land formerly owned by Rivera, Puente 63, and Perez, Puente 62. These two
properties were sold to Fish in 1764 and show on the Moncrief map of 1765 as
Fish property. On the Rocque map of 1788 this shows as Clark, a wooden two-
story house. It seems probable that Clark came into possession of this property
between 1765 and 1788. He held this property at least through the 1800 tax
list which lists Clark--a wooden house. It is reasonable to suppose, that Clark
replaced the'existing Puente structures by a structure of similar size. Thus,
it is quite possible that Rivera's stone house, Puente 63, was itself a two-
story house, replaced by Clark by a wooden two-story house in the English mode.
One small piece of evidence which leads one to believe that the assessment fits
Blanco 64, rather than the Antonia Avero No. 80 house, is the assessment list-
ing of certain outbuildings. The outbuildings show on the Rocque map in the
Robque-45, 46 and 47 area. No outbuildings show in the Rooque house 5 area.
However this evidence is not very positive since outbuildings are not of a
permanent nature generally.
Three methods were used in trying to locate the Avero complex houses,
One, overlays were made of maps by Puente, Qastello, Solis, Monorief,
Rocque and the present city map by Poe.
Secondly, attempts were made to fit the Blanco assessment to possible
Thirdly, a title analysis was made to see if we could tie the present
structures to the Avero beginning It is in this latter area that more research
needs to be done. Especially we need to know where Blanco, Carmona and Rivero,
Puente 65, 64 and 63, purchased their property. Further, we need more informa-
tion during the British period to get the chain of ownership from Puente up
through Rocque. Attached are the overlay maps, the analyses of the properties,
as to size and arrangement of rooms, and the analyses of title.
1. Puente 66, the Alfonsa Avero property, is not extant. It lies
in a vacant lot excavated by Dr. Smith to the north of the
present Arrivas house.
2. Puente 67, the Arrivas property, is now being restored.
3. Puente 68, the Antonia Avero property, is located on the
site of the present Museum of Toys.
4. Puente 81, the Antonia Avero property, lies in the location of
the present Salazar House. The present house is much smaller
than the house as shown on Rocque as No. 5.
5, Blanco house 64 is no longer extant. It should lie in
present lot 25. It may have consisted of several structures,
in accordance with the pattern shown by Rooque, lots 45, 46
and 47. If so, the Blanco house extended into present lots
24, 25, 26 and possibly 27.
The only remaining problem is tying the Blanco assessment to either
property Puente 80 or property Puente 64. It will be .impossible to do this
'until such time as records of property title during the English period are
located and analyzed. It will probably also be necessary to review the change
of title just prior to the Puente maps so as to establish whether Blanco, Fuente
64, sold some of his property to Rivera and Carmona, and possibly to Perez, thus
extending the total Blanco area to the 55 varas specified in the assessment,
for neither Puente 80 or Puente 64 give a front footage of 55 varas.
Lack of time on my part precludes further research into this problem.