Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 12 – Lot 20
Title: Physical History
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Physical History
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 12 – Lot 20
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Copyright Date: Public Domain
Physical Location:
Box: 4
Divider: Block 12 Lot 20
Folder: Rodriguez-Avero-Sanchez (Toy Museum) Blk 12-Lot 20
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
52 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Rodriguez-Avero-Sanchez House
Toy Museum
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 52 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896151 x -81.313211
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094128
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B12-L20

Full Text
- 4


'SyEa- F:eHM4
While the historical site of the lEue__sau house can be successfully

located from approximately 1813-52 to the present time it is exceedingly

difficult to locate it accurately before 1813. Since most of the property

transfers fail to describe the properties that changed ownership, and since

the Spanish, British, and American occupants of St. Augustine employed dif-

ferent measuring systems in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,

properties and land sites cannot usually be clearly delineated. Archeology

should eventually accurately locate these historic land plots.

It is even more arduous to trace historically the houses that presently

exist in St. Augustine. In fact it is possible that this particular dwelling,

which has been called the A~ogn Louse, may not even resemble the histori-

cal'lRWigesVuhouse that originally existed on the Toy Museum's present site.

The Juan Elixio de la Puente Map of 176h indicates that a house was

located on the what is believed to be present site of the Museum of Yester-

day's Toys. This house, situated on lot 68, square D (according to the

description of the Juan Elixio de la Puente Map), was described as being a

house of stone owned by Antonia de Avero. Antonia de Avero inherited the

house from Sgt. Fernando Rodriguez in 1762. The Rodriguez will, however,

stated that the house was constructed of wood. The John de Solis and Moncrief

maps of 1765 indicate a house on the site, but the house varies considerably

in size and position on each map. The Mariano de la Rocque Map of 1788-89

and Don Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada's Property Assessment of 1790 refer to

the structure as a house of stone, mortar, and rubble-work masonry. Then,

the Escrituras of 1813-l1 mention the sale of Maria Castaneda's ~waFpshouse

to Pedro Fucha. In that period the Escrituras discuss a aee home on the

northern portion of the lot and a coquina house on the southern portion of

the lot. Modern archeological information indicates that these two houses

share a common wall, which stands in an east-west position; an 1803 property

appraisal likewise mentions the common wall. Archeology also suggests that

the second floor of the house on the southern portion of the lot was constructed

prior to the second floor of the house on the northern portion of the lot. -4

r6 (7 3-2-, T^ySl17
yoSyssestone houses existed on both portions of the original plot; these houses

even shared a common stone wall. The stone house that now is situated on lot
1^ ,-3o 1-e, 9 r UPIL(L u I %-1 -S5--
20, block 12, may not have been constructed =ugM 4-L1 Of course, there

itmsahems een ,older foundations or other building sections which coBy

hasbe.en incorporated into the present structure at that time. Archeology has
--ed l OSN ^ -2 -iE-- -- ---_. ol=G t_ 1I- .'-I--II-:E ;" -" l 3 'C '" '
revealed __ -- I - -o 4s

l iO fj' _" ~'- The St. Johns County Deed Books seem to indicate that the -~ ~'

present Toy Museum has substantially the same form and composition as the stone 7-rNT AdOi-o
HoU-e L4AS
house of the Fucha-Arnau era Penc i-vT;..,- p A 3 Lt /
cause f the varie descriptions and alteration t the so-c led -r4s I

Rodri ez-Ave o house has een recorded his cal it i not possi e to o1 T- oet
7!" i + .- 0
awar the pr ent building such an antiqua ed t' Wh' e it is lik ly that E, -co
CJAs s$
the "Museum f Yesterday's Toys" is situa ed on th f the Rodri ez house, Tre reo A
it appears storically hat the present dwe3. s no the old Ro iguez '

hose. Of course, today 's museum could contain w ls foundations or other

structural remains of he old Rodriguez Av ho es. Since the use in .eme--.


1762 and for an unknown time prior to 1762--Sergeant Fernando Rodriguez.

"Dona Antonia de Avero sobre reasumir sus casas y posesiones, con
lo demas que de los autos consta. Florida, Ano de 1793."

86 Folios No. 19, Bundle No. 320; City Lots: St. Augustine; Field
Note Division, Department of Agriculture (Tallahassee), State of
Florida. And Charles W. Arnade, "The Avero Story: An Early St.
Augustine Family with Many Daughters and Many Homes1*, Florida
Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, July, 1961.

1764........Antonia de Avero

(Juan Elixio de la Puente Map and Index of St. Augustine, Florida,
in--Si---- '

1765-88 ?........Kipp

(As listed on the 1765 Moncrief Map)

1788........Don Antonio Fernandez was in charge of the property.

(Mariano de la Rocque Map and Index of St. Augustine, Florida,
in ) ....

1791........the King of Spain

(Don Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada Land Inventory & Assessment of

1791........Juan Sanchez

(Escrituras, January, 1791, 20 December 1792, pp. 30 v., 31 v.)
(East Florida Papers, Library of Congress)

This chronological listing of owners concerns the owners who lived
on the probable site of the present Toy Museum. According to the con-
clusions of this research it is doubtful that all these owners lived
in the house that currently exists. Also, it is essential to mention
that this list is not necessarily complete. In the British Period
(1763-84), for example, the owners of this location remain unknown
except for the Kipp listing on the Moncrief map of 1765.

1803........Maria Castaneda (Sanchez' widow)
(Escrituras, 3 February 1803, 29December 1804, p. 332 V.)
(East Florida Papers, Library of Congress)

1813.......Pedro Fucha
(Escrituras, 4 March, 1813)
(St. Johns County Deed Book (0), p. 172, 1820)

1834L....... ohn Sanchez and Stephen Arnau

(Benjamin Clement & J. B. Clements Map and Index of St.
Augustine, Florida, in 1834-35.)

1852........Ann Arnau Hurlbert
(St. Johns County Deed Book (R),

1867........Margaret E. Perry

(St. Johns County Deed Book (0),

1869........Mary Strischka

(St. Johns County Deed Book

1870........Lizzie Smith

(St. Johns County Deed Book

1874.........Tucker Watkins

(St. Johns County Deed Book

pp. 30-41, June 1, 1852)

p. h63, July 18, 1867)

(0), p. 486, Jan. 4, 1869)

(R), p. U86, Jan. 4, 1869)

(0), p. 463, May 25, 1874)

1876........William S. Watkins, Mildred C. Watkins, Elizabeth T.
Watkins and Margaret Watkins

(St. Johns County Deed Book (W), p. 21, April 20, 1876)

1883........Mildred Watkins
(St. Johns County Deed Book (BB), p. 187 and 190, June 9, 1883)

1926.........All the heirs of Mildred Watkins owned the property
since Mildred Watkins died intestate.

(St. Johns County Deed Book (115), pp. 431-52, August 10, 1937)

1937........The heirs of Mildred Watkins made George W. Thames trustee
of the property.

(St. Johns County Deed Book (f5), pp. 431-52, August 10, 1937)

190..........arguerita Phillips

(St. Johns County Deed Book (142), p. 505, Jan. 14, 1944)

1954........ Walter B. Fraser

(St. Johns County Deed Book (212), p. 382, August 6, 1954)

1958.......Crawbuck Homes, Inc.

(St. Johns County Deed Book (242), p. 399-401, June 3, 1958)

Bibliographical notation:

The historical research in this report dealing with events after 1820

was compiled primarily from Kenneth H. Beeson's Documentary Report on House #52

St. George Street, St. Augustine, Fla., and the land and property transfer records

of the St. Johns County Record Archives. Information prior to 1820 was extracted

from Carnegie Record files and other library sources of the St. Augustine Historical

Society and the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission.

Date of erection:

The exact date of erection is unknown but the house in its present form

was probably erected in the period 1813-52, possibly incorporating at the north

end an earlier masonry structure. Arhheological investigation indicates that

late eighteenth century floor artifacts exist in that north portion of the building.

Architect and builder:

The architect and/or builder of the house remains unknown.

Original plans:

The original plans of the house are not available.

Notes on alterations and additions:

As this report's text indicates almost the entire history of this

building reveals renovations, alterations and probably even reconstruction. The

historical documents mention a wooden house existing on the present site in 1762 ,

aE' E 3-14. These documents also refer to a stone and masonry house on that
same site in 1764, 1788, 1791, and 1852. The house, therefore, appears to have

suffered numerous alterations and reconstructions although the historical chronology

of these processes remains obscure. As late as 1958 a stairway and porch were

added to the rear of the building. In that year structural braces were also erected,

Old views:

There are some late nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs of

this building.

Sources of information:

Most of this research was drawn from the Land and Deed Records of St. Johns

County Archives, the maps and Carnegie File house documents of the St. Augustine

Historical Society and St. Augustine Historical Preservation and Restoration Com-

mission, and the recent historical house reports written by Charles W. Arnade and

Kenneth H. Beeson:

Charles Arnade's "The Avero Story: An Early St. Augustine Family With

Many Daughters and Many Homes" and Kenneth Beeson's "Documentary Report on

House #52, St. George Street, St. Augustine, Florida".

Likely sources not yet investigated:

The University of Florida's P. K. Yonge Library's Lockey Collections,

Stetson Collections, and British Colonial Records may offer more information per-

taining to the history of this house and other St. Augustine historic houses. It

appears also that the British collections in the William L. Clements Library

(Ann Arbor, Michigan), the East Florida Papers collection in the Library of Con-

gress (Washington, D. C.) and the Bahama Islands Colonial records might all possess

relevant material concerning St. Augustine historic houses and sites.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs