Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Plans
Title: The household of Charles and Mary Jane Loring
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 Material Information
Title: The household of Charles and Mary Jane Loring
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Plans
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
43 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
de Mesa-Sanchez House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 43 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896429 x -81.313225
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091264
Volume ID: VID00018
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L6

Full Text


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

daughter .-

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 House

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.

The Family

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.

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