HISTORICAL REPORT OF LOTS 14 & 15, BLOCK 8
What is approximately the northeast quadrant of present-day
Block 8 of the City of St. Augustine was a single lot during the
second Spanish period with small structures of boards. The 1764
map of the town by Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente (Figure 1)
indicated no structures in this area. This part of the block
would have been particularly vulnerable to potential destruction
arising from any military threats to Castillo de San Marcos.
Based on measurements from the Puente key, this northeasterly
part of the block was not in private ownership. The contemporary
map (1763) by the Spanish engineer, Pablo Castell6 (Figure 2),
does, however, show buildings in the area of the northeast
corner. Likewise, the British map made in 1765 by James Moncrief
shows a house made of wood located right on the corner.
The first documented owner of this area is a married couple,
Joseph Ales (also listed as "Eldes" and "Perles") and his wife,
Maria Pons, members of the town's Minorcan group. This property
measured 120'6" on Charlotte Street, 178'6" on the "alley" [Cuna
St.], on the west, 149' and along their common boundary with the
deceased Thomas Clark, 74'6" [sic].
Joseph de Aguirre, owner of the lot in 1785, stated that the
prior owner of the house and lot had been the same Eldes, who
apparently resumed ownership from Aguirre after some financial
"adjustments." Shortly after Eldes' death in 1792, his widow
sold the house and lot to Pedro Rodriguez de Cala for 330 pesos.'
Both the map made by Mariano de la Rocque in 1788 (Figure 3)
and documents relating to the ownership of the property indicate
small buildings of wood. Rocque's map shows three buildings,
while the narrative documents state only "a house of wood with
its lot situated on Charlotte Street purchased from a British
subject." The Eldes family lived in present-day Block 7 along
Charlotte Street in a house measuring 14' on Charlotte St. and
18' deep. Their personal documents do not reveal their use for
the property in Block 8.2
There are no further documents for this parcel during the
colonial period. The absence of transactions is substantiated by
the 1835 Clements map. It lists Jane Rodriguez, probably a
relative of Pedro Rodriguez de Cala, as the owner of the lot.
Susan R. Parker
September 14, 1990
'Will of Jose Ales, 1792 February 11, East Florida Papers
(EFP), Bundle 368, p. 379; Deed From Juan Centas in the absence
of her husband, Peter Nevett, to Pedro Rodriguez de Cala, 1792,
EFP 368, P. 370; deed from Maria Eldes, widow, to Pedro Rodriguez
de Cala, 1792 April 15, EFP 368, p. 406. The measurements for
this transaction are stated in feet and inches, not varas.