Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Title: De Mesa house
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 Material Information
Title: De Mesa house
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
43 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
de Mesa-Sanchez House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 43 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896429 x -81.313225
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091263
Volume ID: VID00087
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L6

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De Mesa House

45 St. George Street
1740 1760

Completely restored in 1959 to/present its various aspects.

With a few exceptions, furnished with reproductions of

period antiques made in Spain specifically for this


Originally a small 18th century one story coquina house

its original walls are still visible on part of the front

and north side. The living room with fireplace was added

in the lbth century and second story applied early in

this century.

The kitchen-dinigg room was once separate but it is now

incorporated into the overall structure.

Operated by Historic St. Augustine preservation Board.

Open Mon. through Sat* 9 5 and Sun. 10 5.

Small admission dkhrge.

,This is t"* tonio de Mesa house, % originally a small rectangular

Shouse.pre-dating/176l4first Spanish period)

When-lo6rida became a British colony the Governor granted this property, -

to a Joseph Stout, by then it had acquired an addition on the east side,

and a small separate structure, most likely a kitchen*

e eby Juan Sanchez in 1784, he added the second floor ca. 1791

with an outside stairway. Thatsame year Juan manehhe mortgaged this

house as security for funds of the brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosaryy.:

It remained in the possession of Sanchez, his widow and heirs until 1832' ,

when it is recorded as having been sold to Lewis G. Milizel and John ,


The separate structure was incorporated into the main body in 18P7 by

Mary Stryscka, the new owner. From this time to 1959 ownership changed' ,,

various times. In July of 1959the restored building was opened and

called "The Spanish Inn", The furnishings, with some exceptions, are.

.reproductions made'especially for this building.

In the vesti)Le is an antique oil lamp and a tile reproduction

of a famous Spanish painting showing the Spanish monarchs receiving

Columbus returning from his first voyage.

The guest room on the left is typical of those reserved for
important persons. The canopied bed with carved spiral posts of-walnut-

is very impressive as is the tall handsome wardrobe. Rooms were heated

by means of a "brasero" brazier) in which coals were burned The early

19th century rug has a heaaldic crest in the center. A soilered tin
Pitcher *nd bowl painted red and gold rest on the washstand,' Hanging
on t:he wa ll i a mlirr framed with ths d- qpl1 symb-l. of the

H 1pnburgt, ruling 'ranish dynasty fr't 1516 to 1700. P, =u.- ~ e-r~ -m

^tfs51xaifp P'xyfi iPers ,,Ir rt -into of* -*trna coatmrpq rrl .^ -*.*:


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regions in Spain are part of the room's decor as the antique ,:
k uTI fUAv
copper bed warmer, candelabra, inlaid arcade chair and "prayer lamp"
with parchment shade.

To the right of the vestibule is a spacious room with fireplace :j,.
Sand a conversation alcove beyond it. A betrothal rug dated 1800, the i .
candelabrui and fireplace tools are antique items, the remainder are
reproductions. This double area served as the reception room or lounge
for male guests. Over the mantle is a portrait of St. Augustine's
founder, Don Pedro Menendez de Avilesa, copied on tile from the famous '.: :
Sorigipal by the Italian master Titian. The small stools are for cock ..'.:-,'::,,
' ' ll alr i '- '*'' ''*"' .", -"'(

fight bettors, who straddled them backwards and rested elbows on the
; horizontal piece. The chest on detached feet serves as\ both storage
center and bench, thexzxakXtxxalxdtazkikxfxtntxaxxraxxaxltkxx The
portraits an in the alcove are those of Phillip II (Spanish monarch'
at the time St. Augustine was founded in 1565), his third wife Elizabeth
and daughter Catherine, all coppd by Prof. Jacinto del Case from originals
-in the Prado Museum in,Madridj so also were the wedding portraits of
Ferdinand and Isabella. The tiny chest on the table is a miniature
nuptial "hope chest" of the time The long benches were always used in
inns to accommodate more people at leL ascot and space than chairs
could have.

Featured in thehhallway is a rare antique Italian relief carved -
oqrp lesl ta bl (nrebably'18th century), an engraving of Menendzde with
name misspelled, another of the Cathedral tower in Seville, and a tall
thin serving chest for silver and linens, '

In the cictsm nf the times the women's sitting room or lounge
is separate andlin the quieter interior of the inni :Antique items here
,, .- i ,- : '..- t K. A';.. '., '... -',:,< .'- / ^ .-'. . "' .. . : "' : ...'

are the flax spinninrwheel, a "bandurria"' (musical instrument similar to':'
the guitar). At the left of the entrance is a typical "varguewo"9r drop :
front portable desk, set atop a storage chest. Opposite stands a,carved:, ,'
cabinet for dishes. Heat for the room is provided by the Moorish style '
"brasero"* A mirror serves the ladies' vanity.

Most noticeable in the center bedroom is the beautifully re-
produced "cathedral" bed, so called for the headboard's resemblance to
. the retable behind Spanish cathedral altars.

The back bedroom is furnished in the 18th century style, garment "
were hung in this bedroom on racks with lathe turned pegs or left in the:
traveler's leather truck. At the,'foot of the bed is a wedding leather ,;;,
chest witk bearing the initials of the bride and groom in nailheads.
SAssessories include costume prints, towel rack and 19th century eauM
crucifix figure on a dern cross.

The large kitchen dining room is at the rear of the first
floor. As was customary, .men's and women's tables are apart, the latter
beside the window for a view of the patio and plants, the former with its
'accompanying bench across the room. A fireplace with crane and kettle kept;''
both food and diners warm, surrounded by the equipment to do it copper '.:
cooking vessels, stirring spoons and skimmer, plus chocolate pots and tin :
spice boxes on the mantle. Beside it are the wine vessels an inverted ,
,pigskin OIR of ordinary'wine and carved wooden casks for better grades.
Onwthe opposite wall are two glass enclosed candle scones. Dominating the
south wall is an 18th century "confessional' style dish cupboard, so call-
ed due to its resemblance to a sgrilld o~V.nseioal Bi n a atheiie .ehurcsh,
filled with colored majolica and Moorish type copper luster glazed pottery
of moderwmak6 but traditional in appearance. Spanish .kitchens contained

'y . ro .t. ar -... '. ., .., p l I -i ts .
large copper vessels and ka havy bras tar nd ,etl n its wooden
rack for grinding spices.

In the small loggia between the kitchen and the patio is a

six wheel calling bell and porous water jars, to keep the contents cool by

evaporation of seepage, standing conveniently in the rack. Water itself

came via the century old wellhead bearing the Aviles coat-of-arms with its

locked cover to prevent contamination, At the end of the courtyard stands

an antique olive oil storage jar. Near by on a bracket is an old carved

wood statue of the city's namesake, Saint Augustine. At the rear of the

patio a stairway rises to a second floor, which in a real Spanish rural

inn would be the innkeeper's quarters at the front and sleeping space for

servants of noble travelers or fodr guests of meager means and low social'



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