DE MESA-SANCHEZ HOUSE
This is the largest and most ambitious of the restoration projects of
our board. It was restored in 1977 after extensive research and
archaeology on the property.
The original two rooms date to the First Spanish Period when the owner
was a Shore Guard named Antonio DeMesa. During the British Period, the
owner was William Walton, head of a major export company which supplied
St. Augustine. He made no changes in the structure. After 1768 the
property reverted to the British crown. In 1771 it was sold to Joseph
Stout, a native of Philadelphia. He probably enlarged the building to
the south but did not add the second floor. During the Spanish Period
the owner was a don Juan Sanches from Andalusia, Spain. He was a Master
Caulker of the Royal Works and owned a schooner for use in coastal trade
and with Havana. He and his heirs owned the building until 1832 and
apparently added a partial second floor on the west wing.
Present interpretation deals with the American Territorial Period around
1837. At this time Florida was experiencing a boom in land sales, and
northern immigrants with money were coming into town. We are
representing a family typical of the period, with a servant and small
children. The home's furnishings reflect the taste of the period and
the lifestyle of a typical family of 1837.
Women of this time, if they had money, WSere usually well-educated and
had leisure time in which to pursue music, civic meetings, fancy hand
work and home-making. Men usually had servants or slaves to do the
grove work and tend the stables so that they, too, had time for
occasional real estate deals or attending the Saturday afternoon horse
race-at the Plaza.
Further reading is available in the DeMesa House notebook, in the house,
or from Visitor Services office.