On July 6 the St. Augustine Historical Society
will begin an excavation project to investigate the construction of the Jose Tovar House at 22 St. Francis St. (just down the street from the St. Francis Inn
). Archaeologist Kathleen Deagan, historic preservation architect Herschel Shepard and historian Susan Parker serve as the principal investigators for this research project. Archaeologist Greg Smith is the site supervisor. The project is funded by a grant from the University of Florida-Flagler College Historic St. Augustine Research Institute.
Parker, also executive director of the Historical Society, notes that “this is a project undertaken for its research potential and the Historical Society is prepared and dedicated to additional field work if needed.”
The Tovar House has already received intensive investigation. In 2012 Shepard spent hundreds of hours examining the building. Shepard believes that the Tovar House is one of the earliest coquina buildings standing today, possibly built about 1730. In 2013 Shepard and Frank Welsh, an expert in historic paint analyst, investigated the wall and wood treatments of the house, supported by a grant from UF-Flagler HSARI..
Excavations will take place Monday through Friday.and will be visible from the sidewalk through the iron grille located between 18 and 22 St. Francis St. The schedule of work is subject to change without notice.