FEB. 25 MAR. 3, 1978
fin 18th Century Store, Inn, Now Open Free
"'t'' 1 o'. .* ,\ ,"
On March 1 this year The National
Society of Colonial Dames in America will
again open the historic Ximenez-Fatio house free to the
public. This famous house on Aviles Street
(pronounced by the way, Himay-nez Fay-sio), as in
Spanish, was built in 1798 and is listed in The National
Register of Historic Places. It was constructed, and
operated as a store by a wealthy Spanish merchant.
Today's visitors are welcome, free, three days a
week Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 11 a.m. until 4
p.m. There are members of the Colonial Dames on
duty as docents who act as guides and who will happily
answer any questions. The house will be open during
the year from March 1 until September 1 during 1978.
After its ownership by Ximenez, who lived with his
family in the back of the building, it passed to a Mrs.
Margaret Cook. This lady, an astute businesswoman,
turned the property into an inn or boarding house. It
was so operated during the Seminole War which raged
in Florida from 1835 to 1842. The area around St.
Augustine was prominent in the numerous skirmishes
and depredations of that longest of all Indian wars. And
this may have had a bearing on the sale of the inn in
1838 to another woman, a widow, Sarah P. Anderson.
Mrs. Anderson operated her inn or boarding house
for 17 years. It may have been during this time that it
gained a reputation in the burgeoning tourist trade.
Mr. Charles E. Peterson, architectural historian who
came down from Philadelphia in 1972 to advise the
Dames in their efforts to present the house with
historical authenticity, called it a "horse-tel." It was a
"horsey" world in the 1830's apd sportsmen guests of
the hostelry could have horses delivered from nearby
livery stables for their hunting parties after ducks,
turkey, quail, deer and other game which abounded in
the area. There is no doubt that this is early evidence of
the popularity of St. Augustine, and later Florida, with
seekers of sun and recreation from the north.