When archaeologists dig, they reveal centuries of lives and stories from a piece of land. The layers of history and dirt produce the foundation of the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission’s work. At sites – such as Oliveros House – we can see how stratified history can be in St. Augustine. So today, let us dig into the six buildings revealed in the Commission’s 1963 excavation.
At the lowest level of the excavation, archaeologists discovered post holes and short trenches. Paired with historic documents, these findings revealed that a wooden structure existed at this site sometime between 1650 and 1750.
Evidence of a tabby structure appears in some of the excavated walls – such as Wall K seen above. Archaeologists believed that these complex of walls formed at least one building on the site sometime between 1750 and 1768.
According to historic documents, another wooden structure stood on the site sometime between 1768 and 1788. Archaeologists did not locate evidence of it in this dig.
The Manucy House – a coquina two-story building – occurred on the site between 1798 and 1908. Archaeologists found its foundations – seen above – during the dig. From this revelation, archaeologists determined that the ground floor consisted of three rooms and a loggia area.
Building 5 + 6
A brick structure replaced the Manucy House sometime between 1908 and 1914. A series of three brick stores – known as the Paffe Building – followed until 1963. The Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board acquired the building – seen above – to excavate and reconstruct the 18th century coquina house. The reconstruction – called the Oliveros House – still sits at the northwest corner of Cuna and St. George Streets today.
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