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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Old Spanish Inn: 1937

Old Spanish Inn: 1937

Circa 1937. "Spanish Inn, 43 George Street, St. Augustine, Florida. Dr. Chatelain's photographs. P.A. Wolfe, photographer." Also known as the De Mesa-Sanchez House. Safety negative, collection of Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

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When my wife and I quit work in the early 1980s and returned to grad school in Pittsburgh we moved into a place a lot like this. She was not a happy camper. We traded home improvement labor for rent and greatly improved the row house which at one time had been a house of ill repute. The things the youthful will do.

Waiting Room

This is a room just waiting to be restored! Love it!!!

Mod Con

Remove the bulb, and 100 years fall away.

Been there

Traveling in remote regions of the Southwest, I rented rooms not much better than this. Now it reminds me of my post-divorce days. Jail might seem more agreeable.

Creepy, in a literal way

This room makes me itch.


The free breakfast included with this suite was one of the first to feature the now microscopic blueberry muffins. But back in the day, when this was shot, you needed two hands to lift them to your face.


dot com complaints department please. Yes, I will hold.

A bit sparse, but

If they have reliable wi-fi I'll take it. I can sleep in the rocker.

Knock knock. HousekeepING!

Yes, please. Do come in. Towels? Si, si.

Hello, Maid Service?

We have a little problem up here in #13.

It may look like a mess now

But we're sending Norman over with a broom, Miss Samuels. Here's the bath if you'd care to freshen up ...

In the latest Mobilguide

This place was rated one Dangling Bulb.

Life certainly was simpler then.

You didn't have to worry about electric irons, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, elaborate ceiling fixtures, or vacuum the floors. I've been cozened so much by modern conveniences that I'd probably get heat rash staying in the Spanish Inn for more than one night.

The photograph is gorgeous, though. What an eye! What an artist! What a woman! How wonderful it would be to have a large-scale retrospective of her work at the National Gallery.


"Old Spanish Inn, 43 St. George Street. One of St. Augustine's oldest surviving buildings, it has been restored to resemble an early 18th-century inn in Spain. Nine rooms are furnished with authentic Spanish pieces brought from Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, and Barcelona."

If this is a place

You pay to stay, I can't like it!

All the amenities

Only the top rated hotel rooms come with an ironing board although they usually also include a bed. Nice antique washstand though.


What a cool, retro-look mount for a Flat-Screen!!
That would be a great way to study all the photos here on Shorpy.

Looks to be

A smoking room.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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