Oldest House

Oldest House | Key West 1900The Oldest House in South Florida was built about 1829 and incorporates the influences of colonial architecture found in the Caribbean and New England. For decades, it was the home of Capt. Francis Watlington, his wife, and nine daughters. Watlington was a Customs Inspector, Lightship Captain, harbor pilot, and “wrecker” – one of the Key West salvagers who raced to ships run aground on the reefs, rescued their crew, and benefited from the cargo aboard. The building is now operated by the Old Island Restoration Foundation as a nonprofit museum featuring many original furnishings, ship models, maritime artifacts, documents relating to the activities of wreckers, and items recovered from Keys waters. Oldest House | GardenYou will see many fine pieces of furniture and carpets, old paintings with nautical themes, and a unique miniature 1850-style dollhouse fashioned after the “conch” style houses of Key West and furnished in colonial and mid-Victorian styles. There is also an interactive map showing the locations of shipwrecks along the Keys.