Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Title: Documentary history of No. 39 St. George Street
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 Material Information
Title: Documentary history of No. 39 St. George Street (Lot 5, Block 7) St. Augustine, Florida)
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
41 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Saint Photios Greek Shrine (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Avero House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 41 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896485 x -81.313233
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090509
Volume ID: VID00084
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L5

Full Text

Documentary history of No. 39 St. George street

(Lot Block 7) at. Augustine, Florida
Present owner: Colonial at. Augustine, Inc.

On February 10, 1763, a "Definitive Treaty of Friendship and Peace...
was concluded in Paris, between Spain and Great Brita In exchange
for the return of the island of Cuba, Spain ceded F orida to Great
Britian. The Spanish citizens of t. Augustine wre given permission
to sell their properties to British subjects w thin a period of 18
months from the date of ratification f the reaty.

Don Juan Jose' Elixio de la Puente mad a map, dated January 22,
1764, with a key listing the owner, lo measurements and building
material of each house in St. Augustin7 On the Puente map, the site
under consideration here is listed as/

No. 81, Block E, Stone house 'f Antonia de Avero
North-bouth. East-West
15 varas 71 varas

Some of the residentswere able to dispose of their properties
within the allotted time, but a great many found no buyers and left

their properties with Puente for disposal when they evacuated to
Havana. Puente, in turn, sold them in trust to one Jesse Fish, who
was to dispose of them whenever possible and remit to Puente or his
An examination of the Jesse Fish Account Book (st_ Florida Spa 1
Papers. Mauript ..a -h rariy o Uongress) gives no indication
that this particular house and lot was ever conveyed by Antonia de
Avero either to Puente, Fish, or any British subject before remove

to Cuba. It is therefore assumed to have reverted to the British
Crown, in 1764.

^). E1% tvuL -d ~-v V dbCQt W^~ C V 4 -PL^Hi,

In 1768, Dr. Andrew Turnbu brought a number of settlers from
the Mediterranean area t found a colony at New S na. This venture
was unsuccessful, in 1777 the refugee. rom the Turnbull co y,
accompanied athollc priest, Pa other Pedro Camps, agteto
St. aus e, where they were given lands in the northern part of
town by the British governor, Patrick Tonyn. They found the only place
of public worship to be the Anglican church, St. Peters, on south
St, George Street., oVfrnoo-wQtai-Jnt.e mr- a of
adtreat o173-n- c--te---Co. :

guaranteed the liberty of the Catholic religion to inhabitants of
Florida, handed over the house then on this site to Father Camps for
use as "a private oratory for the use of the Cath&lic Minorcans",

The Treaty of Versailles in 1783 returned the Ploridas'to Spain.

Again, a period of 18 months was given for disposition of properties,
this time by British subjects, most of whom were removing to England
or the Bahamas,
Many old Floridians, former residents of St. Augustine, or their
heirs, returned "with the idea that each of them had a right to ttake
possession of their respective property, and others, by virtue of
power (of attorney) and transfers, without any other formality than
that of saying "this formerly belonged to me, or to my grandfather,
or to my uncle, &c~ (easpedes to Galves, May 8, 1785. Translation
in report of Alexander Hamilton, 18th Congress slt Session, Document

158; May, 182).
Others returned to f ind that their former holdings had been sold
by the aforementioned Jesse Fish, and attempted to collect the funds
due from him.

painstaking work, produced a map of st. Augustine, while
to show every house in existence as of April 16, 1788.
showed the ground floor plan of each house, and indical
accompanying key the name of the owner or occupant, the
material of the house and its condition. On this map,
under examination is identified as
Masonry and squared stonework house, wil
two story section, with a portion of the
boring lot annexed, with the fence which
spends to the house also of masonry; its
roofs, frames and floors in bad condition
the custody of Antonio FernanAes.
Antonio Fernandez was the son-in-*0 of Antonia de
Lieutenant Colonel in charge of a company of Spanish D]
arrived in St. Augustine in 1784 with a power of attori
mediately took custody of the Avero houses* (The otheo
considered in this study. For the history of one of t)
house, see o 1 saoribano, January, 1963, pp. 8-15)g

the deplorable condition of the houses in the city, a3l

which were uninhabitable, and asked that power be gives

'Meanwhile, in 1790, Governor Quesada arrive
town, He found that unless inaediate steps were
would be a complete loss. He ordered that a Wli
houses that had reverted to the Spanish Crown, i
at public auction. (Quesada Inventory, 1790, 7:
Division, Dept. of Agriculture, Tallahassee)*
Quesada's appraisers deser ibed the house 1
as follows.
Masonry house and lot of the King occupied
iita y Oalazar, bounded on the West with Ga
East with lot of the King; on the North wil
Cantos and on the oouth with house and lot
Measures on the front Xorth-bouth 15 varas,
100 1/2 varas; that at the rate of 1/2 real
amounts to 753 3/4 reales

tone wall 30 varas long by 4 varas high o0
at 2 1/2 reales per sq. vara)amounts to 30(
Two wall partitions 11 varas long by 4 vari
at 2 reales per sq. vara amounts to 88 real
Two arches with 3 square-stone pillars as*s
at 1 hi walie


Another wall partition 5 3/4 varas long by 3 varas
high at 2 reales per sq. vara)amounts to 30,reales 30 3/4
Two wallson one floor Csecond storf~ 12 varas long
by 4 varas high at 2 reales per sq. vara amounts
to 96 reales 96
Two testers" (walls?J 11 varas long by 4 varas
high at 2 reales per sq. varaFamounts to 88 reales 88
One stone stairway with 3 pillars valued at 80 reales 80
One continuous wall 32 1/2 varas long by 4 varas high,
at 2 1/2 reales per sq. vara amounts to 325 325
For the carpentry with respect to doors, windows,
floor and roof, valued at 200 reales 200
Eugenia de hita y balazar, the occupant, was the niece of
Antonia de Avero, the daughter of Geronimo Josef de Hita y Salazar
and Juana de Avero, Antonia's sister. she had returned to St. Augustine>
about 1783, La 'i %F.& l'Ac" "v . .l mI.

In 1788, DPoa VicttaaEa&&-Gtallen-Antoniats daughter) gave l

ugenia: dev ita hvaacr permission to use "a masonry house almost
i n ruins so that she could live in and take care of it while the
S' Government determined about this property". The house was located
"in front of the house on which Don Tadeo de Arribas now lives."
While kugenia was occupying the house, it was sold at the public
auction of April 8, 1791, to a new settler by the name of Romualdo
Micklasauveich, who came to her and asked her to vacate. she complied,
but shortly thereafter Micklazuveich begged her to return to the house
while he went to Georgia to get his family and possessions. bhe agreed


to move back, with the thought in mind of looking for another house.
On August 26, 1793, Micklazuveich had not yet returned, and hugenia
had already bought a small house of her own to live in, and requested
the Government to tell her to whom she should deliver her aunt's

house. (Memorial 8/26/1793 -
Governor 4uesada replied that news was being circulated that
Micklazuveich was dead, and although he did not believe this, he was
convinced that he would not return and turned the case over to the
Accountant ,for **1i^... .._..
decis houe should again be auctioned n

b) ^ November 10, 1794, Don Gines de Oliba, of the 3rd Batallion of Cuba,
asked for "the house on Royal street, No. 45, which is in ruins and
the walls deteriorated, bounded East with the lot of the King, North
by Francisco Uantos, bouth with the house and lot of Juan aanchez:,
This request was accepted, provided Oliba would pay the same
price,for it that had been agreed upon by Micklazuveich, 810 pesos.
Investigation proved that the latter had never actually paid any
money for the house, nor put up a bond for security, as was the
custom. Oliba refused to accept it at this price, stating that the

roof was gone, the walls falling down, some of them on the ground,
and that he believed 385 pesos (the amount of the 1790 4uesada
Appraisal),was a fair price. Or, he said, he would accept the terms
of a new assessment. On December 12, 1794, the Accountant decided that
the house should again be put up for sale and reappraised. Martin
Hernindez and Micolas fursell, Master Carpenters, valued the lot at
( 262 pesos 4 reales, the masonry at 410 pesos and considered the
carpentry all useless, worth 10 pesos; total 682 pesos 4 reales.
Notice of a new auction was posted.
In February 1795, Victoriana Guillen stated that she understood

f i

that the sale be suspended until all evidence of

de Avero had been presented. Victoriana was the
Antonio Fernandez, in whose custody the house ha

presented as proof of ownership various document

will made tYo years previously in Havana. The t
deceased husbands, Don Joseph Guillen and Don Jo

children by each of them, bhe declared that Bla

sions to their marriage, and that all of the pos
after his death except those which she herself h

marriage, had been acquired during said marriage
presented the last will and testament of her fat

dated Jecember 17, 1743, in which he claimed as

in which I live with their sites, and four slave

not give location of these houses, ("houses" he

group of buildings that comprise a residence sue

outbuilding, etc.)' However, three witnesses: D

de Flores and Juan Aimenez, all agreed that the

had been occupied by Guillen during his marriage
and that both Guillen and Blanco had built addit
As a matter of fact, Antonia de Avero stated tha

titles of domain and ownership (tLtulos de Domin

Husband, Guillen, rebuilt the house before his de
second husband, Blanco, added a room or rooms to
;o Cuba in 1763. 'h is no suffici t evide
the ruini eof the a e A ti i 1J9 o he,
n part of it, was built before Antonia't mar

In March 1802, Manuel de Castilla, Captain c
if Cuba, as husband of Dona iafaela Fernandes (Ar
Lnd the heirs of Victoriana Guillen (Antoniats ds
other) presented a claim for the house "located
)on Juan 6anches~t
The Accountant, as Fiscal of the Royal Hacie

opinion that sufficient proofs had been delivered
ind the Royal Cedula of June 17, 1801 which "resa
'avor of those indebted to the finance, the payme
interest on the houses and lots they had acquired

ie delivered to the heirs of Dona Antonia de Aver
representative Don Manuel de Castilla. Three mc
opinion of the Counoellor Ortega, was filed, decl
uesada No. 45) should never have been included
of house of April 8, 1791; that the bidder Mickla

Don Manuel Castilla of the house and lot that i

. for himself and the other heirs of Dona
took him to the said house and with the custom

him in and gave him possession of it, which he

opening some doors, shouting and giving orders

details of the boundaries, he "brought along w

Master Mayor of the Royal Works, whose measure

varas front, XN- and 91 varas depth, Nh-W,"

On January 28, 18U4, Manuel Castilla and

his wife, the first with power of attorney of

of Dona Victoriana Guillen, the second as daug

Victoriana (daughter of Antonia de Avero) sold

Sergeant of the Batallion of Cuba, the lot and

6t. George street, which bounded it onthe West

of the Castillo and another lot of Domingo Cer

lot of the heirs of Don Francisco iuis del Can

heirs of Don Juan ranches; said lot with the w
to him and to the heirs of Dona Antonia de Ave
Governor on June 2, 1802.

The above deed would seem to indicate tha

over which there had been so much controversy


y Juan Triay, to Josefa Montesdeoca.
In the deed he states that at the settlement
nly 15 varas frontagej was included, and that I
ought of Francisco Ruiz del Canto over 13 years
avo purchased 37 varas frontage from del Canto,
ents in the 1815 deed are 3% varas NS- by 91 vai

ine, there was a coquina house on the lot; whett
walls" of the old house sold to Crespo repaired
whether it was a completely new structure, is not

Josefa Montes de Oca kept the property for a
hen on August 16, 1816, she sold it to Isabel RC
husband, Manuel Romero, had passed away the previ
er with four minor children, ranging in age front
he following september 16, Isabel executed a moz
or minor children the amount due them from her 1
nd pledged her house as security. ohe describes
ad recently purchased from Josefa Montes de Oca,
.s follows: t

'or 8 squares of pisos of the flat roof of the f

14 squares of pisos of the flat roof of the go

w w -11-
pesos reales

The moulding of the chimney 10
1 cupboard with its door and ironwork 15
Total 960 8

August 31, 1816 Martin Bernandez

Appraisal of the same house with respect to

75 varas of masonry wall of the front 187 4
30 n of the part on the north 75

75 " east 107 4
30 " n n south 75
45 o of the dining room and entry on the south 84
28 of the dining room with the pillar 70
84 of ceilings of the parlor 42

$8 of the chimney of the parlor 45
84 of tabby of the floors of the parlor 42
82 of tabby of the flat roof of the parlor 31 4
130 of the wall of the gallery with the kitchen 325
120 of the wall of the gallery of the south part 305
299 of walls of the five partitions with the
protecting wall (testero) of the
kitchen 603

12 of masonry of the chimney of the room
(bedroom ?) 30
20 n n a of the kitchen 40

For the oven and pot holes of the kitchen 35
255 varas of tabby floors of the gallery, kitchen,
dining room and entry 106 2
120 varas of tabby of the flat roofs of the gallery
and kitchen h5

80 varas of masonry of the two partitions of tl
173 varas of the foundations of all of the house

1732 sq. varas of house and lot

31 August 1816 Francisco Jose Gonzale:

This house remained in the ownership of the
larch 10, 1837, when Bibiana Romero, by her atto:

tomero, sold to Juan Carreras for V1,020 a dwell
)n ~t. George bt, which was the west boundary, sa
Lot lately of Melezit, deceased, but now of seth
iad purchased the Juan ianchez property from the

)y vacant lands and North by John Triay, decease,

12 varas, Sast-West 91 varas; the said house and
thich was purchased by Josefa Montes de Oca from
Lugust 21, 1815, and sold by the said Montes de

gues, August 16, 1816. (6t. Johns County Archiv

). 454).
Bibiana Hoaero was one of the minor children:
and Manuel nomero, having been 8 years old when
falentin was her brother, four years old in 1816

Thirty years later, in 1867.(eed Book "N".

in 1869, in which the heirs of John Carreras ai
estate to Mary Garreras and William J. eyes; 1
states the division made in 1857, withthe
the deed of 1867. (Mary Carreras was/the daugl
she married William J. eyes in 1852). The st<

from this point is a record of a unti2
B. Frazer purchased from Charles Cohen, Gertrut
Max D. Baer, property on the east side of at. (

at a point 165 feet 1 inch north of the northei
and Cuna streets, measuring 43 feet 3 inches N.
(at. Johns County Archives, Deed Book #158, p.
Mr. Frazer, joined by his wife Adelene, t:
on November 17, 1952, to "Colonial bt. Augustil
to the description the phrase "known as Govern4
(at, Johns County Archives, Deed Book *202, p.
SThe following is the bilingual text of an4

which appears on the north facade of the build:

Palacio del Governador y Ci
de Florida y sus Provinciai
Hita y balazar

y historical evidence TI Maz A0t ih while D
alazar did build a house for himself in St. Augu
f his term of office as governor in 1680, the lo
house is still unknown.
Even if it were a admitted that the ex-governo
house on the Lot at 39 at. George street, the bui
an not be the balazar house. During the early p
iege of ot. Augustine in 1702, the Qpanish Gover
he destruction of all the houses existing withi

f the Uastillo de ban Marcos, to prevent the ene
s cover to fire upon the fort. (~an~a:, The-i
T"~ P 1- *j The area "within a musket shot

eaches in a semi-circle some distance west of St
orth of Cuna street, and the site of 39 at. Geor
within this razed area. (Ant, iege. A

pr-pr-p31T If there was a structure on the sai
p in flames set by the apaniards themselves, and
recently on said lot is post-1702.

In the final phase of the siege, %e English
he rest of the city. Only a few buildings of ve
are saved, in the extreme south end of town. (

on the claims list is identified as "That of kei
appraised at 200 pesos '. (Jusndr as n

After the first 31 houses, the list of cla
the rest of the houses destroyed during the siei
later by the Anglish. On this portion of the 1L
to the heirs of Don Pablo de itita aalazar appoi
the balazar house was located outside the muskel

Additi nal evidence points out the -alasar
located well-oS h o lara, probably on toc
t. In the first place, a document dated 1(

aouse of Francisco Gonzales was located south oi
5-12/117, June 12, 1690). The Gonzales house al
the claims list of 1702. That subsequent claim
to be south of the Ylaza and of the Gonzalez hoi
other statementsin the June 12, 1690 document.
Secondly, the Oalazar house (No. 89), faced
Jan. 28, 1682) which the list says belonged to t
Major zalvador de Cigarroa.
Thirdly, both No. 85 and No. 89 were near a


__ _

Inventory of possessions of Don Pedro Ruitiner)

To sum up, the house at 39 *t, George Stre
House. The location of the latter is not exact
probable that it was in south Charlotte street.

evidence indicates that the site here being cons
Dona Antonia de Avero, her ancestors and her de
year 1712 until 1804 when the "lot and walls" a
to her heirs on June 2, 1802 were sold to Blas

the placquo mentioned above and the coat of Arm
front or west facade of the house Jm d a

evidence indicates no proof of ownership by the
There is reason to believe that the "coqul

Castilla and the ot or heirs in 5 to Jos
a new construct ,9 or a best he old 1a'

Doubtless, i ex atioe y quall &d arq
could throw furt r llt on e age 0 fh p
the documents present at h d, howev it
ion date would !all d ing t latter f 1
period, i.e. be seenjfld 181 .


M* Aveighto gratios An lary h hrt i utlxs Fam

Doai Aatonl do ~v~xo Vol. 402, July 111.619, pi

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