st. augustine, the oldest house, it's formal name is the gonzalez alvarez house it's reached that level of importance under the national park service. it's the oldest house in florida, not the oldest in the united states, but i believe from my research that it probably is oldest spanish-built residence in the u.s. people used it as a residence for 200 years, and about 100 years ago, it became a full time house museum. it was built in the 1720s. there had been residences on this property before but in 1702, there was an invasion by the english from south carolina. they occupied st. augustine for 52 days. everyone went inside the castillo de san marcos -- all the residents went inside the castillo de san marcos for safety, and the english occupied the town. they were not successful however, in taking the town. the spanish reinforcements came from cuba and scared off the english. and before they left they burned just about all the houses in town. so the house that had been here was burned in the early 1700s and this was at least one of replacements. but this was built in about 1725.
named alvarez. the second half of the gonzalez alvarez name. he was from northwest spain, and he was a baker but he did very well. he lived here, became the first elected mayor of st. augustine. and upon his death his son -- or his family continued to live here until after the civil -- they owned it until after the civil war. most florida cities were not like st. augustine. for one thing most of them didn't exist during the time of the spanish, and the british, and the spanish coming back. it's not a typical thing for u.s. cities. so when we talk about spanish, british, spanish, people's eyes kind of cross. it's like what are you talking about? anytime you have a transition really a wholesale transition the first time, everybody left and the british came in to replace them, it's really not good for the growth of the town. it's obviously disruptive. the new group wants to do things their way. so there's always this heavy transitional period. because there were so few spanish here when the british arrived, there wasn't much, you know, interpersonal problems. but when the spanish arrived
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