Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Arrivas House Historical Reports
Title: Incomplete Arrivas House (continued) page 5
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096018/00007
 Material Information
Title: Incomplete Arrivas House (continued) page 5
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Arrivas House Historical Reports
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Physical Location:
Box: 5
Divider: Arrivas House Architecture
Folder: Arrivas House Historical Reports
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
46 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Arrivas House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 46 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896311 x -81.313236
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096018
Volume ID: VID00007
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-L21

Full Text



Arrivas House (continued)


plummeted. The Tuckers were forced to mortgage the inherited property and,
unable to make the payments, it was sold at public auction in 1846.(10)

The Arrivas House was bought for $310 by Eliza M. Nunes whose husband,
Albert, was publisher of the St. Augustine News and whose brother, William
Wing Loring was to become a celebrated Confederate general. One Nunes
daughter, born in the Arrivas House, was named William Loring Nunes, after
her uncle who had just lost his arm in the Mexican War. Because he was a major
at the time, his namesake was nicknamed "Major." This daughter, despite her
reverence for her uncle, went on to marry, in 1877, a former Union general,
George E. Spencer, who at that time was serving as United States Senator from
Alabama. Spencer, a native New Yorker, a Republican and-in the language of
the time-a carpetbagger, lost his senate seat when Reconstruction ended and
retired to his ranch in Nevada. In 1919 the widowed Mrs. William Loring
Spencer, after a career that included writing several novels, returned to St.
Augustine and helped to raise money for a memorial to General Loring by giving
"readings of head face and hands" in a tent by the post office. The Daughters
of the Confederacy hastened to deny that this was "fake fortune telling,"
describing it instead as "scientific psychologic readings" by "the gifted
niece of a distinguished uncle." The Loring Memorial was finally erected in
St. Augustine just before Mrs. Spencer's death in 1921.(11)

The Nunes family lived in the Arrivas House until it was sold in 1852 for
$750 to Dr. R. G. Mays, a planter and South Carolina native who became one of
St. Augustine's wealthiest citizens. The 1860 census showed him as owning
$20,000 in real estate and $100,000 in personal property. That year he was
selected as a delegate to the secession convention that removed Florida from
the Union and attended, even though struck blind just before taking his seat.(12)

In 1857 Mays sold the Arrivas House to Romalda Arnau (1832-1911) whose
husband Paul Arnau (1827-86) was Collector of the Port of St. Augustine and one
of the city's political leaders, serving several terms as Mayor over the years
from 1858 to 1877. He resigned that post in 1862 rather than surrender the
city to the Union Navy, and was arrested for a time until he produced the lenses
to the lighthouse beacon which he had hidden earlier to hinder Union navigation.
(13)

Romalda Arnau kept the house after her husband's death, living with her
daughter Antonia and son-in-law Frank Genovar, a cigar maker and, in later
years, a motion picture operator. The ground floor was rented out for stores:
a meat market, a curio shop, a luncheonette, a cobbler. After Mrs. Arnau's
death in 1911, the heirs sold the property for $7,500 to J. C. Libby who already
owned the building north of it where he lived and had a shop for his work as
plumber, 'gas fitter and tinner. Libby also served as a city councilman. But
in 1918 he went bankrupt and lost the Arrivas House, which was taken over by
the Peoples Bank for Savings and sold two years later to Morris Friedman (1870-
1935). After the Arnau's left, the building had been used as rental property,
occupants including the Bludwine Bottling Works and the Casas Brothers cigar
factory. During the early 1920s it became more tourist-oriented, housing the
Original Antique Shop and Crichlow's Museum of Natural History, where birds
were displayed and sold.(14)

In 1925 the Arrivas House was bought by E. E. Boyce and V. J. Chauvan.
Boyce was a former Mayor of St. Augustine and long-time sheriff of St. Johns




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