16 th Annual Apalachicola
May 3, 2008
9:30am-3pm Registration, Information & Ticket
Sales, Trinity Episcopal Church
9:30am -2pm Silent Auction, Trinity Church
10am-4pm Tour: Historic Homes, Businesses,
11am-1pm Lunch Served, Trinity Parish Hall
Noon-3pm Tour: Witherspoon Inn, Coombs
Inn & Apalachicola Historical Inn
Noon-4pm Tour: Knight/Wefing House
Lunch $10 - Tour Tickets: $18
Info/Tickets: Trinity Church (850) 653-9550
Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce (850) 653-9419
Apalachicola Ace Hardware
Riverside Construction, Inc.
Downtownn Books, LLC
Bobby James Roofing, Inc.
The Gibson Inn
Lulu’s Sweet Expectations
Prudential Resort Realty
Dr. & Mrs. Willis Kennedy
The Tin Shed
Shaun Donahoe Real Estate
Barry and Virginia Lawson
Coastal Community Bank
Gulf State Bank
W.K. Sanders Construction,
St. George Island Vacation
Alice Jean Gallery
Apalachicola Historical Inn
Bay City Lodge
Seahorse Gifts & Florist
Forgotten Coast Lighting
Charley and Carrie Kienzle
George & Bella Rudo
Trinity Pillar Program
PILLAR: a strong vertical support.
It is from this definition that we drew the inspiration for
our “Pillar Program”. Our church, Trinity, relies on
community Businesses, as well as individuals, to provide
the support needed to preserve our historic buildings.
Due to your generous support, future generations will
enjoy these historic Apalachicola treasures. Thank you
2008 Pillar Members
The Trinity Episcopal Church family greatly appreciates the
generosity of the 2008 “Pillar Members”. The “Pillars”
continued civic enthusiasm and support help make this annual
tour a successful community event.
Bay Media Services
Apalachicola Bay Chamber
Franklin County Tourist
Don & Lari Murry
Bill Spohrer and Lynn Wilson
Coombs House Inn
Debbie Hooper Photography
Dr. Helen Tudor
Collins Vacation Rentals,
Bluewater Realty of Gulf
Gary Ulrich Construction,
Fickling & Company
Jim & Geri Anderson
The Frame Shop
Jeff Galloway Real Estate
Leavins Seafood, Inc.
Betty & Ron Bence
To Historic Tour Visitors
Welcome to Apalachicola
and the 16th Annual Historic Home Tour.
Please extend every courtesy to the home owners
who generously opened their private homes for
• The featured home, “Knight/Wefing House”, will be
opened for touring from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Guests are
not admitted before or after these hours.
• The additional private historic homes are open for touring
between 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Guests are not admitted
before or after these hours.
• Please refrain from touching walls, art and furnishings.
Please supervise children at all times. Please do not open
closet doors, drawers, sit on sofas or use restrooms. Restroom
facilities are available at Trinity Church.
The “Historic Home Tour” volunteers are here to assist you.
Enjoy your visit!
The Tour of Homes, “Silent Auction”, will be held Saturday,
May 3rd from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The auction items
will be on display at the tour registration area. The registration
area will be under a tent on the church grounds. All
bids will be kept in sealed envelopes throughout the
auction. The winners will be announced at 2:00 p.m.
A few of the auction items are as follows:
*1930s Burled Mahogany Zenith Radio
*1900s Chippendale Chair
*Signed Apalachicola Photographs, by Debbie Hooper
*Large Pottery Sealife Motif Tray, by Geri Anderson
*Antique Japanese “China Tea Service”
*Antique Organ Pipes
*Artist Painted, Paned Windows from Benedict Hall
Trinity Episcopal Church
79 Sixth Street
The history of Apalachicola and Trinity Church are closely interwoven.
First incorporated in 1829 as West Point, the young seaport
became Apalachicola in 1831 and the seat of Franklin County
in 1832. In 1838, the white pine church building, cut to measure and
assembled in sections in White Plains, New York, traveled by schooner
to Apalachicola. Trinity Church, believed to be the sixth oldest
in Florida, is the second oldest still holding services—169 years. The
church building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The ornately hand stenciled ceiling is original.
The Henry Erben tracker organ, an extraordinary instrument, was
installed in the 1840s. In the 1920s Trinity purchased the Pilcher
organ. In 2000, the Ruhland organ replaced the Pilcher; however,
the Erben organ is still in use frequently. Reverend Martha Harris
is the Vicar.
First United Methodist Church
75 Fifth Street
Before 1846, the congregation shared Trinity Episcopal Church or
met in members’ homes. In 1900, the original 1846 building caught
fire from flames that started next door in the manse and destroyed the
church building and over 70 other structures in downtown Apalachicola.
In 1901, the congregation built the distinctive building in use
today. The Pastor is the Reverend Themo Patriotis.
First Baptist Church
46 Ninth Street
On December 18, 1848, ten members gathered with “Brothers” from
Gadsden and Jackson counties and constituted a church in Apalachicola.
In 1850, the new members built the First Baptist Church on the
corner of Sixth Street and Avenue H. The congregation reorganized
in 1885 and made extensive repairs to the original building. In 1902,
under the name Calvary Baptist Church, the congregation built the
building at the present location. In 1910, they installed electric lights
at a cost of $20. In 1912, they built the first “pastorium”. In 1934,
church members voted to change the name back to the First Baptist
Church. Members established the First Baptist Christian School in
1984 and completed the new school building in 1997. Reverend Bill
Plazarin is the Pastor.
St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church
27 Sixth Street
In 1845, Father Timothy Birmingham organized the congregation.
The original church, which served a number of Irish, Italian and other
families, was an ornate wooden structure with elaborate interior stencil
work. The present Romanesque building dates from 1929. Members
appreciate that the architecture is a “successful attempt at relating to
the Mediterranean origin of many of the parishioners when the church
was built and to the Spanish origin of Christianity in this state and
county.” Members also see this architecture as tying back to the Roman
Basilicas and Roman Halls of Justice used by early Christians. Father
Roger Latosynski is the pastor.
84 Avenue D
A millwright at the Apalachicola Lumber Co., G. A. Campbell
had this house built about 1888. This Five Bay Classic
Revival Cottage is a much more sophisticated version of this
city’s vernacular architecture. Legend says there was a wing,
since removed, that served as a marine hospital. However,
the second floor bedroom and bathroom plans of the house
suggests this was used as a hospital and not an addition. By
the mid 1850s, newer homes were being designed with separate
bathrooms. Current owners, Linda and Charles Bianco
are delighted the former owners did most of the restorations.
THE RECYCLED HOUSE
104 Avenue C
Built from recycled material in 1996, 90% of this house dates
from the 1800s. Bead board walls, heart pine floors, wood
ceilings, most windows and even the 12 x 12 sill boards were
hand carried to their new site. New materials include fireplace
surrounds, several windows, and brick piers. Furnished
with collected antiques and family heirlooms, it is an excellent
example of “living small” .
54 Fifteenth Street
This typical 1½ story Gothic Revival house has been lovingly restored
and reflects the owners’ touches; truly an artists’ cottage.
Beaded wood ceilings, beaded wood walls and wood floors are typical
of the era and have seen extensive renovations. Some of the
wood in the house is said to have been from the old high school.
Besides lots of sanding, caulking, and painting, the current owners
Amy and Andrew Friedman, have installed new plumbing, electrical
and heating systems. A standard staircase now leads to the
second floor, instead of a rope ladder. George Marshall, the most
prominent contractor in Apalachicola, built this double-cross-gable
house as his own residence in 1887. It was later owned by the Richard
B. Porter family.
163 Avenue B
This home is typical of the late Victorian “Queen Anne” style. It is massively
framed from heart pine and cypress and the interior is noteworthy for its
craftsmanship. It has quarter-sawn heart pine floors, burl pine door casings
and beaded tongue-in-groove paneling, which was recently exposed from
beneath many layers of old paint and wallpaper. The deep ceiling moldings
and alternating cypress and oak wainscot panels continue from the first floor
up the central staircase. It is believed the house was built in 1895 and altered
by George F. Wefing when he acquired the house at auction in 1902. Wefing
added the two story bathroom extension and changed the layout of the staircase,
which originally went straight up to the second floor. The original floor
plan was identical on both levels, with central and side hallways separating
the rooms. Present owners, John and Christine Knight, have recently completed
a lengthy renovation of the house, restoring much of its architectural
integrity, while adding modern amenities.
LEACH/KEY/MOHR HOUSE aka Villa Rosa
15 Thirteenth Street
Construction of this Queen Anne style home was started in
1893 by builders George and John Marshall for August Mohr.
The house features a wrap around porch on three sides with
a curved Roof and balustrade. Constructed of heart pine and
black cypress the dramatic cypress circular staircase and tower
were designed by Mrs. Alice Mohr. Anna Riscilli purchased
the home in the 1920s and named it Villa Rosa. A small
cigar factory was said to operate in an outbuilding. Noted
noveist, Alexander Key, and his historian wife, Margaret,
became owners in the late 1930s. Gregory & Sally Leach
purchased the house in 1998 and have been in the process of
restoring the house to its original beauty.
140 Avenue C
Believed to have been built in 1935 by Herbert Marshall,
this one story bungalow has known many renters and owners
over the years. The bungalow style building is unpretentious
having been primarily designed for simplicity in living. The
current owners purchased the house in 1995 and have made
32 Avenue D
According to the 1860 census, Thomas Orman (1799-1880),
a prominent merchant, owned lots in 22 downtown blocks,
including extensive wharf space. This building is among the
“contributing” structures of downtown, meaning those built
between the 1830s and the early 1900s, (the city’s two
prosperous economic periods.) Constructed of hand-fired
brick and tabby mortar (lime, sand, oyster shell and water);
exterior stucco probably applied in 1920-1930. It has an
irregular perimeter in front designed to match the 135-degree
angle created by the meeting of Market St. and Ave. D
intersection, creating a unique physical appearance with
eastside measuring 95 feet and west at 80. The upstairs
residence may be reached at the entrance on Avenue D.
2 Twelfth Street at Bay Avenue
Constructed between 1884-1887, the Rice house is a typical example
of the Three Bay Classic Revival Cottage architecture. This
was the most common type of dwelling built in Apalachicola during
the 19th century. Records fail to show whether the house was built
on the current site. Some say the cottage was moved from another
location in Apalachicola while others maintain this is the original
site. Regardless of the debate, during 1910, S.E. Rice purchased
the property on which the cottage currently stands and it remained
in the Rice family until 1942. Over the next 60 years, the Rice
house changed hands eleven times. The most recent owner Edith
Edwards, sold the house to Gregory and Sally Leach in 2003.
161 Avenue C
Probably better known as the house with the gigantic live
oak, this two story Colonial Revival house was built in 1910.
This was a return to classical architectural styles and became
a standard type in the 20th century. The current owners have
put their stamp on this lovely Florida home which is filled
with family antiques and 30 years of collecting. Previous
owners had refinished the wood walls, ceilings and floors, but
there are still details that will keep the owners occupied for
some time. This challenge will be ably met by Martha Elliott,
an interior designer and her husband, Bob Roylance, a building
29 Myrtle Avenue
In the 1930s, Alfonzo Felder, superintendent of Sheip Lumber
Mill, hand picked the tongue and groove cypress and heart pine
and built this charming cottage. In the 1960s, Shirley and Don
Lanier purchased the two-acre property and built a brick house
closer to the bay. When the larger house was complete, the Laniers
sold the Felder cottage to Ben and Faye Sharit who moved
the cottage to its present location. In 2002, Vicki and Bob Sayle
purchased the cottage and have been carefully restoring the
beautiful wood ceilings, walls, and flooring in the house, they are
beginning work on the gardens.
115 Avenue B
Built in the mid to late 1800s this house has been altered
from a 1½ story Georgian Plan with an iron gable roof to hip
roof. Original parts include heart pine floors, wood ceilings
and walls, plus four fireplaces. Typical of the era, the original
house had a wide central hall with two rooms on each side.
Current owners, Julie and “Skip” Shiver have spent considerable
time and energy in paint removal, caulking, plus painstaking
attention to maintaining and enhancing the architectural
details. Additions include a balcony (overlooking the
Bay), completing a wrap-around porch, leaded glass doors,
fencing, extensive landscaping, and much more.
The Travelin’ House
110 Dr. Frederick Humphries Street
This building has certainly earned the name of “Travelin’ House”.
Probably built at the turn of the century, the first known house site
was at the corner of Avenue C and Fourth Street, now home of
Dodd Title. It was moved to its current location from West Highway
98. Now almost completely reconstructed, it sports twin gables for
the upstairs master bedroom and bath plus four walk-in closets and
two linen closets. Exterior siding was removed, insulation added,
and finished with Hardie Board. Heart pine floors, wood ceilings
and beaded wainscot have been refinished and a completely new
kitchen with granite countertops brings a complete blend of old and
Apalachicola Historical Inn
145 Avenue E
Built in the 1890s, this inn has long been known as the Floyd
House. This structure combines the Queen Anne and Free
Classic styles of architecture. It is constructed of cypress and
is reflective of the style built during Apalachicola’s cypress
boom days. First converted to a bed and breakfast in the late
1980s, it was named the Oleander House and later the Camellia
Inn. In the 1990s, the building was used for business
offices and is now again an inn.
Coombs House Inn at 80 Sixth Street
Coombs House Inn East on Fifth Street
Built in 1905 by Maine native, James N. Coombs, it was
considered the most elegant residence in Apalachicola. Mr.
Coombs was a partner in several lumber companies before
setting up his own firm. He turned down his party’s nomination
for Governor in 1900 and was briefly promoted as candidate
for the U.S. vice-presidency in 1908.
The Inn East is known locally as the Marks House, built in
1903, it was completely renovated by world-renowned commercial
interior designer Lynn Wilson Spohrer and her husband
Bill. Lynn’s works have been featured in Architectural
Digest and many other design publications. She has filled
both inns with period antiques.
The Gibson Inn
57 Market Street
Built in 1907, this downtown landmark was renovated in
1985, and led many new businessmen to make major renovations
to neglected, but profitable older buildings. Formerly
known as the Franklin Hotel, the Gibson was built by James
Fulton “Jeff” Buck, a native of South Carolina. It was built as
a hotel and was never a private residence. This is one of the
few inns on the Federal Register of Historic Places that is still
operating as a full service facility.
92 Fifth Street
This historic restoration was built in 1871 for the Witherspoon
family of Apalachicola. Constructed of heart pine, it
features a central vaulted entrance hall, which also serves as
an art gallery. This property was purchased in 1997 by Ken
and Sandra Kenniston. Sandra decorated the interior to create
a contemporary retreat with casual elegance and comfort.
There are neither TVs nor telephones.
Of Historic Interest
...A Walking Tour
Chestnut Street Cemetery is
a significant cemetery of the Gulf
Coast. The funerary art reflects the
religious beliefs and burial traditions
of those who settled in this port city
and offers information about trade
patterns, the art of stone carving
and the ethnic diversity of the
area. Avenue E between Sixth and
Sponge Exchange, built in
1840, is one of two original sponge
warehouses. By 1895, over 100
men made their living locally in
the sponge trade. Avenue E and
Cotton Exchange. Built in 1837 by the Apalachicola Land
Company, it is one of only two out of 40 of these structures that
once lined the riverfront. All were originally 30 foot wide, three
story buildings of brick and granite. Completely restored by Lynn
Wilson, the Cotton Exchange will be the site of a reception following
the tour at 5 p.m. featuring noted Tallahassee preservationist
The Grady Building, originally built in the 1880’s, was rebuilt
in 1900 after the fire that destroyed most of downtown. The J. E.
Grady & Co served as ship chandlers and merchants especially supplying
the cargo ships and steamboats at the Water Street docks.
Grady family descendants restored the building in 1985 which is
now The Grady Market. The second floor once housed the offices of
the Captain of the Port, U.S. Customs and The French Consulate,
overseer of the interests
citizens who shipped
timber and other
goods. The second
floor is now luxury,
vacation suites. 76
Water Street. Owned
by Lee Willis.
The O.E. Cone Building was also a victim of the turn of the
1900 fire which destroyed over 70 structures. Mr. Cone, rebuilt
the building that same year and reopened his barbershop and laundry.
In the 1930’s, the building housed a restaurant. The building
now houses Downtown Books and Purl. 67 Commerce Street
The Orman House
State Park 177 Fifth
Street. Built in 1838 by
Thomas Orman, a cotton
the wood for this home
was cut to measure in
New York and shipped to
Apalachicola during the
early 1800s where it was
assembled on the high
bluff overlooking the broad estuary and bay of the Apalachicola
River. The house features details of both the Federal and Greek
Revival styles: wide heart pine floorboards, wooded mantelpieces,
and molded plaster cornices. Some of the framework is heavy cypress
tree trunks held together with large maritime hawsers and
wooden pegs. Sparsely furnished for several years, the museum
now contains many lovely antiques and will have Mrs. Thomas
Orman’s Haviland china on public display. Admission is free to
tour participants on Tour Day.
Fort Coombs Armory, constructed between 1901 and 1905,
is said to be the oldest building continuously used by a National
Guard Company in the U.S. The Franklin Guards were the first
to use the structure. The Armory is also the site of community
events--meetings, parties, receptions and proms. Avenue D and
The John Gorrie State Museum, Sixth Street at Gorrie
Square. A replica of the first ice machine is located here. First
patented in 1851, the original machine is located in the Smithsonian.
It would later become the basis for the ice industry and airconditioning.
Dr. Gorrie is one of two Floridians selected to represent
Florida in Statuary Hall of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
A group of local citizens have been working on having the U.S.
Postal Service honor Dr. Gorrie with a commemorative stamp. His
grave is located across the street from the Museum. Admission is
free to tour participants on Tour Day.
Raney House Museum, Market Street at Avenue F.
David Greenway Raney and his wife Harriet, native Virginians,
built this stately Greek Revival house in 1836 (believed until recently
it had been built in 1838). Raney, a successful cotton commission
merchant was one of the city’s earliest leaders and was
instrumental in the founding of Trinity Episcopal church, in starting
a theatre for traveling troupes, and in building a racetrack. The
house was placed on the National Register of Historic Homes in
1972 and was purchased
by the City of Apalachicola
in 1973. Renovations
in 1999 costing over
$300,000 were made possible
by the Florida State
Bureau of Historic Preservation
and the Apalachicola
Society. The museum is
leased to the Society and
Orman House State Park
they have kept the furnishings in close keeping with styles of the
era, many from the 1840s.
THANKS TO PATRONS & GREETERS
The Trinity Church family resoundingly thanks our
gracious neighbors who invite tour participants to enter
and enjoy their carefully restored, historic homes, Inns
and churches. Without their generosity and community
pride there would be no tour.
First, thanks to the many people who have devoted
their efforts through the year. Thanks as well to the home
greeters under the astute guidance of T. McLain.
Thanks to Laura Moody on her researching of the
history of many of the historic homes on the tour and for
helping with the production of the tour guide and map.
Thanks to Debbie Hooper, tour photographer. Debbie
is a creative photographer whose original photo note
cards and custom matted prints are available through the
Panhandle. Thanks to John Hooper for developing the
home tour map.
The silent auction has been a wonderful addition to
the tour. Thanks to Geri Anderson for her inspiration
and hard work in coordinating.
Thanks to Ruth Young for her charming “Did You
Know?” columns in the Bay View, and for her always
gentle giving spirit.
Thanks to Myra Ponder for her diligent work on the
Thanks to the Episcopal Church Women and most
especially George and Bella Rudo for hosting the tour
Thanks to the Tourism Development Council, for
their generous support in providing the grant for 2008.
Thanks to Willoughby Marshall for sharing his
wisdom in the Friday evening lecture “History of Apalachicola
Thank you to Cindy Clark, owner of Bay Media Services,
who designed and produced the poster, rack cards,
booklet and marketing pieces for the tour.
Thank you to Anita Grove and the staff of the
Apalachicola Bay Area Chamber and to Joe Taylor, owner
of Blue and Avenue E for the promotion and ticket sales
of our tour.
Thanks finally to all the committee members for their
tireless efforts in making this event possible and especially
to Rev. Martha Harris for her guidance.
Lynn Wilson and Carrie Kienzle
2008 Tour Co-Chairmen
Trinity Episcopal Church
79 6th Street – P. O. Box 667 Apalachicola, FL 32329-0667
The Reverend Martha Harris, Vicar
The Right Reverend Philip M. Duncan, II, Bishop
Purchaser of ticket agrees to hold harmless Trinity Episcopal Church,
Apalachicola and the owners of all structures on the tour for any bodily
injury. Further, that Trinity Episcopal Church shall be held harmless from
any property damage.