) September 11, 1974
Buchinti House, at 25 Cuna Street, is maintained as a
free point of interest for tourists and townspeople by
Marineiand in observance of the over-all restoration
program of the Nation's Oldest City. The house also
serves as a popular center for community group meetings
parties and receptions.
Buchanti's property was identified, but not appraised
because he held title to it, and it was therefore not subject
to the public sale. Buchanti retained title until June 30,
1798, when he sold to Josef Peso de Burgo. Josef Buchanti
sold the wooden house and a portion of the lot. It appears
that he retained a small Section of the lot and only sold.the
The propertyon which the building was restored, has
a title dating to 1764. The earliest authenticated reference
to the land is contained in the de la Puente map of that
date, made at the time of the Spanish evacuation of St.
Held variously by Spanish, British and Latin owners,
dence from its early history to the most recent past. The
de la Puente map of 1764 shows three houses on the south
side of Cuna Street between St. George and what is now
Charlotte Street. On the St. George Street corner, No. 104
(now the Benet house site) belonged to Pedro Zapata; No.
112 (Buchanti House) belonged to Pedro Felipe Damere
and No. 111 to Maria Rodriquez Jacinto. All three houses
were of tabby construction, and all were sold by Puente to
Jesse Fish. The British (Moncrief) map of 1765 shows
three houses in approximately the same locations, all
belonging to Mr. Fish.
In 1773, Jesse Fish sold to one Pedro Cocifacio land
described as a single lot, but acutally including all three
plots. Cocifacio, in turn, sold the lot to Roque Leonardy on
December 4, 1782.
Three years later to the month, on December 12, 1785,
Leonardi relinquished title to Josef Buchanti a wooden
house and lot on Cuna Street. Josef Buchanti was from
Livorno, Italy and apparently came to St. Augustine with
the refugees from New Smyrna in 1777. Livorno (meaning
leghorn) is on the Ligurian Sea at the west coast of Italy.
The 1783 census, the first taken after the migration,
describes Buchanti as having a wife and two children and
living on one and one half acres given him by Father
Camps "behind the single tower." This probably refers to
the Tolomato tower in the vicinity of the Spanish
cemetery on present Cordova Street.
In the 1787 census he is described as a mariner,
having a shop for drinks and provision, and a house where.
he lives situated on his own lot, "and he has a cabin
without a lot next to the Campo Santo" (Spanish
At the time of the 1793 census he was still residing on
Cuna Street and was described as 44 years old, had a wife
and 2 daughters and a son by another marriage in his
household. (It is not clear whether this was his son, or his
wife's). He is said to have died in 1810.
Buchanti still owned his house and lot in 1790 when
Governor Quesada inventoried the properties that had
reverted to the Crown by the transfer of Florida from
Great Britain to Spain in 1784. On the Quesada inventory,
house and the land it stood on.
Josef Peso de Burgo was a Corsican, bachelor and
dealer in hides in 1783. He originally had a house near the
Minorcan Chapel (north of the present Spanish Inn on St.
George St.), three slaves and two horses, six acres near
the cemetery and owned a half interest in a sloop.
In 1787 it was recorded that he owned four houses,
tilled 12 acres of land, owned seven canoes and four cows.
In 1789 he married, and in 1793 he was listed as being 34
years old, having a wife and two months' old son and 15
slaves. He lived on Charlotte Street.
In 1798 he purchased Buchanti's wooden house. He is
said to have died in 1819, but no record of appraisal of his
estate is available.
The property continued to change hands through the
years. An anonymous updated map of 1845 in the St.
Augustine Historical Society's files indicates that Pedro
Benet had acquired all the lots in this area. The restored
Benet house is located at the corner of St. George and
Cuna Streets. The present title holder, Marineland, Inc.,
parent corporation of the famous marine attraction,
acquired the property in 1965.