Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Gomez House
Title: Furnishing Plan for the Casa de Gomez
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 Material Information
Title: Furnishing Plan for the Casa de Gomez
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Gomez House
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Publication Date: 1976
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: Interpretive Plans
Folder: Gomez House
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
48 King Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Government House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 48 King Street
Coordinates: 29.892465 x -81.313142
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095544
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Furnishing Plan for the Casa de Gomez

The Casa de Gomez will be the site of a craft demonstration illus-

trating colonial Spanish blacksmithing. While our efforts will be concen-

trated on the craft areas and the production of eighteenth-century Spanish

ironwork, it is necessary to provide the visitor an image of the craftsman

away from his work. The present structure will serve as the domestic

aspect of interpretation and the following description will outline the criteria

and material culture necessary for the successful portrayal of domestic life.

We will assume that the blacksmith is one of the many single males in

St. Augustine during the First Spanish Period. From a practical standpoint,

this interpretation will explain the absence of a female interpreter, which we

are unable to provide in the immediate future. The time span should coincide

with the Casa de Gallegos, ca. 1750, as they are compounded together for the

visitor. The structure itself is small and limits the area available for domes-

tic interpretation, therefore a single male fits properly in this format.

Using the criteria--single male craftsman ca. 1750, and a small

dwelling--we evolve a very simplified set of material culture to interpret

this situation. Since no staff member will occupy the space we are interpre-

ting or maintain any effective visual control over the contents of the Casa de

Gomez, security will present a problem. It will be an unmanned interpretive

station. Therefore many small domestic items which would ordinarily be left

out or visible by a historic occupant will be deleted or considered expendable

out of necessity. This will preclude the use of any historical artifact being

displayed in this structure.

The general character of the building interior should reflect its occupant,

a single male craftsman. There will be no female to keep it part icularly tidy

or lend a gentle touch to the scene. There will be no evidence of any domestic

elaboration associated with females such as sewing, embroidery or the many

types of special food preparation. The room will portray the area where the

blacksmith eats, sleeps and keeps company with his friends.

A small shelf with a religious picture and a candle will be fixed to the

east wall. The wall should be whitewashed along with the other interior walls

and the ceiling.

The north wall will have several shelves set on pegs over a wooden

table. Several eating vessels and bottles will be fixed to the shelves as well

as a rag or two. A rush lamp, made by the blacksmith can be fixed to the

table as well as a checker board and pottery disc checkers. As viewed from

t he door, a bedding roll will be stacked to the right of the table in the corner

and clothing pegs on the wall above it for a coat and tricorne felt hat, both

plain. There should be two simple stools at the table, one for the smith and

one for a guest. To the left of the table there is a peg and broom hanging from

it with a split oak basket of charcoal on the floor beneath it.

The west wall has a flush mounted reja in the window for privacy and

a mosquito netting curtain to cover the window. In the southwest corner are

several tools including a hoe, axe and fish net, all secured. The south wall will

have a small wooden chest on a low stand for the smith's personal effects which

will be kept locked. Above this will be two clothing hooks with a blanket

hanging from them. A betty lamp suspended from a chain, made by the black-

smith, will hang from the ceiling near the chest.

Out on the floor will be a straw mat and a sto\e brasero for heat and

cooking. A volcanic stone tripod vessel or ceramic vessel will serve. A

sack of grain and a large demijohn stand against a wall and herbs or peppers

are suspended from the ceiling.

By arranging smaller items in a very casual manner and weathering

the interior slightly the visitors should come away convinced that they have

seen the smith's quarters as he left them to go into his shop. There will be

no effort to use this interior for living history so routine cleaning should

be carried out on a weekly basis to maintain a live d-in appearance.


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