By tradition this house was built for the Friars who came
with Menendez, when they moved into the large Convent it
was turned over to a Spanish deputy and came down in the
same family until sold by them in 1882. St. Elmo Acosta
and his sister Ella were the last of this Alvarez and
Menendez family to own this ancient house. It is shown on
the map of St. Augustine made in 1765 and another of 1778
that gives the ground floor plan of the house and the
description states it is in "mal estado" bad condition.
It is a different plan to every other old house in St.
Augustine. In 1690 the Governor's house was rebuilt with
every other old house in St. Augustine. In 1690 the
Governor's house was rebuilt with Coquina, first floor,
also the other official houses in "the way it is done in
this province". The Governor's house was one of the first
built in this province, but the English found a house
with the date upon it 1571. In Dr. Caceres letter he
speaks of the Governor (Don Pedro with the date upon it
1571. In Dr. Caceres letter he speaks of the Governor
(Don Pedro Menendez, cousin of the Adelantado) as
building a house for himself. Drake's map 1586 plainly
shows the city of that date was near St. Francis street.
Lately the Assessors list 1802-180 ?, (translation) has
been obtained from the Library of Congress that gives
the block number, lot number, material built of, of
every house in St. Augustine, but the materials used in
two or three. Many are built of palm, some of wood and
those of coquina are mainly one story, coquina, second
floor wood or tabique (thin walls) . Large two story
coquina houses were built after that date. Many houses
claiming to be old were not built at that time. This
built after that date. Many houses claiming to be old
were not built at that time. This assessors list can be
seen at the office of the County Clerk. The Historical
Society hopes to find sometime the deed of the Spanish
houses to Fish, and the deeds of the first Spanish
occupation sent to England about 1772. The Historical
Society is continuing its research work, and
discovering valuable data from time to time, which will
be published in future editions of this history.
Tolomato cemetery is the one containing the oldest tombs
with inscriptions. The large brick tombs in the rear of
the lot may have been used as in Cuba as temporary graves.
To the south of this cemetery was Campo Santo (see
assessor's list) . In Tolomato cemetery among others lies
buried Antonio Alvarez (son of Geronomo Alvarez) an early
mayor, treasurer, councilman, keeper of the archives by
appointment of President John Quincy Adams.
church of the Spaniards was on St. George St. where the
Spear Mansion now stands. When the English came they
added a tower and bell and called it St. Peter's, and it
was there that the English dead were buried, tombs are
underground buried by leaves and loam. This was a large
wooden church, called the Parish Church of the Spanish.
Where the Parochial school now stands is the lot called
"Lot of the Souls" de las Animas, possibly an older
burying place. Old records speak of people using their
own lots for internment, this was forbidden by the city
On Ocean Street was the Chapel of Our Lady of the Milk,
on a map of 1757 called Nombre de Dios (the name given
to an Indian chapel on a map before 1600 in the south end
of the city) . In this cemetery on Ocean Street are a
number of graves of soldiers without any dates. The
cemetery called Huguenot was opened in 1821 on account of
an epidemic of yellow fever. Among old deeds one finds that
there were a number of French owning property in St.
Augustine. The English records speak of bringing a French
colony here, how the name Huguenot originated is not on the
records. Early American historians, before they had access
to the Spanish records, describe the French being shot in
front of the Fort by Menendez.