Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/USACH00009/00007
 Material Information
Title: The Room in the Courtyard of Government House
Series Title: Government House Archaeological Excavation Documents
Physical Description: Unknown
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: West Plaza Lot
System ID: USACH00009:00007

Full Text


The accounts of repairs or modifications to Government House

usually described work to the main building with little

information about the courtyard area, where this year's

excavation has focused. In the late 18th century a series of

annual engineer's reports, however, recounted work to a structure

situated in courtyard space--a larger open area at that time than


Engineer Mariano de la Rocque reported that between 1785 and

1790 work to the building "to the left of the principal entrance"

was limited to upgrading or adding wooden features: windows,

doors, ceilings. Some new windows boasted glass panes while

others were merely apertures with two-leaved wooden shutters. A

window with glass panes was installed in the east-facing wall,

directly on St. George Street. Windows were opened on the

opposite wall to face west toward the courtyard and a fence of

small, finished boards and posts was erected in front of those

windows. Inside, workmen added in 1787 a wooden partition and

new wood floors, apparently in both the upper and lower stories.

The newly floored area in the upstairs bedroom measured 6h varas

square (vara = 32.9 inches), using boards two inches thick. In

1790 a tabby floor was laid. The report suggests that the tabby

floor might covered only a portion of the lower story; it might

have replaced part of a wooden floor.

De la Rocque's 1788 map depicted a "Floor Plan" of

Government House. The south wall of the main building of

Government House corresponded to today's south wall, adjoining a

-0 A,

loggia 3 varas (about 8 feet) wide. The loggia opened onto the

courtyard space, 8 varas wide (north to south) and 17 varas in

length, between the main building and the auxilliary structure

discussed here. The north wall of the building in the courtyard

sat about 11 varas (approx. 30 feet) south of the southern

exterior wall of the main building. The tabby floor uncovered

during the recent excavation might weel be the floor of the

building shown in de la Rocque's map. The building persisted on

an 1833 map. The- ingdid not appear in the photograph taken

of Government House during the Civil-War occupation of St.

Augustine 6ind Govrr mntr-TMuIJrby Union troops.