One of the best ways to learn about Florida’s history and culture is to see some of the state’s oldest and most beautiful homes that have stood the test of time. The González–Álvarez House, also called “The Oldest House,” is the oldest and most famous house in the state.
The History of The Oldest House
The Oldest House is at 14 St. Francis Street in St. Augustine, which is the oldest European-founded city in the mainland United States that has still been inhabited. Early records show that the house was built around 1723 by a Spanish soldier and royal accountant named Tomas González y Hernández.
The house used to be made of coquina stone and had a wooden roof and a kitchen that was separate from the main building. Later, different owners added to it and changed it. For example, in the late 18th century, the British trader Joseph Peavett added a second story and a wooden balcony.
In the early 19th century, the Minorcan farmer Juan Genoply added a shingle roof and a coquina kitchen. The St. Augustine Historical Society bought the house in 1918 and has kept it in good shape as a museum ever since. It might be the oldest house still standing in St. Augustine and one of the oldest in the country. One of the National Historic Landmarks in the city, it is also in the Colonial St. Augustine Historic District.
The Features of The Oldest House
The Oldest House is a beautiful example of colonial architecture and craftsmanship. It also shows how Florida’s past has been very varied and complicated. Spanish, British, and American cultures all had an impact on the house. Native Americans and Minorcans, who came from the Mediterranean islands of Minorca, Mallorca, and Ibiza, also made important contributions.
The house has original furniture, objects, paintings, and papers from the time period that show how the people who lived there lived and what they did. A rare 18th-century map of St. Augustine, a 19th-century piano, a collection of old guns, and a picture of Francisco Pellicer, a famous Minorcan leader, are some of the most interesting things in the museum.
There is also a lovely garden around the house with both local and foreign plants, like roses, jasmine, oleander, and palm trees. There is a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the city’s patron saint, in the yard, along with a well and a clay pot.
The Significance of The Oldest House
There is more to The Oldest House than meets the eye. It is a live museum that gives visitors a unique and real look into Florida and the country’s past. People can go there to learn about the history, culture, and traditions of St. Augustine and its people, from the time of the Spanish colonies to the present day.
The oldest and most ancient city in the United States is also there for people to enjoy its beauty and charm. The Oldest House is open to everyone, every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on big holidays.
People over the age of 65 and members of the military get in for $8.50, students pay $5, and kids under 6 get in for free. Every half hour, there are guided trips, and throughout the year, there are special events and programs. You can call (904) 824-2872 or go to The Oldest House Museum Complex to find out more.
There is a mansion in Florida that is more than 100 years old and still looks beautiful. It is the González–Álvarez House, which is also called “The Oldest House.” It is a historic house museum in St. Augustine that shows the history, culture, and traditions of the country’s oldest city. You should go there if you like history, buildings, and a beautiful setting.