THE HOUSEHOLD OF CHARLES AND MARY JANE LORING
Charles Loring was born 1812-13. His first wife, Mary Jane
Campbell's birthdate is reasonably placed 1810-1815.1 Charles
family moved to St. Augustine in 1823, two years after the
departure of the Spanish government and its officials. He was
related to many old New England families, including that of
Priscilla and John Alden. His mother, Hannah Kenan, was from a
prominent North Carolina family.',
Both Charles and Mary Jane were young when they married each
other on November 20, 1830. It appears that by 1835, there had
been at least three children, all girls, born to the Lorings:
Elizabeth Catherine, Emma who died in 1834, and another
In 1832 Charles' parents, Reuben and Hannah Loring, opened
the new "hotel" that they had just built. "The Mansion House"
was on the northwest corner of St. George and Treasury Streets.
It appears that Mary Jane and Charles spent time in the
country as well in town, as was common for the more monied
members of St. Augustine's society. Charles and his father
purchased U. S. government lots on the south bank of Julington
Creek on the St. Johns River. In 1833 the Lorings sold
Charleston- and Savannah-made brick at his landing there." The
couple was at Julington Creek, when little- Emma died in May 1834.
.The next year, Loring served as an election inspector for the New
' Switzerland polling place at George Colt's house. (Colt's house
was on land granted to his prominent forebear, Francis Fatio, in
The furnishings in the house are mostly antique and from the
1830's time period. Most are from the north and would have been
shipped via water to the St. John's River. There are a few
reproductions. They did not belong to the Loring family, but are
typical of what would have been In the house. Please note: The
painted canvas floor coverings, quilting frame (a group of
volunteers work on the quilt on Thursday mornings in 19th century
clothing), Inverted tray ceiling in the living room, in the
master bedroom, the commode and the hand loomed rug, also the
trundle bed and hand loomed rug In the children's room. There
are three windows inside the house, easy to explain when you talk
on how the house grew, also the stairway once out now In. The
kitchen Is the last room on the tour and the bathtub the latest
acquisition. Bathing in the early 19th century was considered
very avant garde. Further information and inventory is In the De
Mesa House notebook.
Present interpretation deals with the American Territorial Period
around 1837. Women of this time, if they had money, were 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 races at the Plaza. By
1840 the indians had become the "enemy". The 1830's was the
decade of the Seminole War. Destruction, abduction and killing
had been going on since the beginning of the 19th century.
Residents' anger was also directed at the American military who
had come to fight the indians. Indian threats kept the residents
and development confined to the town.
Charles Loring moved to St. Augustine with his family in 1823 two
years after the Spanish left. He was a decendent of John and
Priscilla Alden. He married Mary Jane Campbell In 1830 and had 3
children all girls, one of whom died in 1934 at the age of 9
months. Charles owned land on Julington Creek on the St. John's
River and sold Charleston-Savannah made brick. Indian threats
forced them to spend much time in St. Augustine. Charles was a
captain in the St. Augustine Guards a local militia unit. They
had 2 women house slaves and three slave children under ten.
Mary Jane died in Georgia in 1840.
De Mesa Sanchez House
The original two rooms date to the First Spanish Period when the
owner was a shore guard named Antonio De Mesa The room now
furnished as an office was a one room spanish house with a
detached kitchen. Durlng: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 Second Spanish Period, the owner was a Don Juan Sanchez from
Audalusia, 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.