Key West’s Oldest House

IMG_1720Built by a ship’s carpenter in 1829 this is not only the oldest house in Key West, but also the oldest house in south Florida. Throughout the years this cedar & pine home has weathered countless hurricanes, several fires, and a brutal corrosive coastal environment.

Known as Gulf Coast Cottage style architecture, it stands one-and-a-half stories tall with a pitched roof sporting three uniquely looking dormers. A central hallway divides the first floor into four equally sized rooms. The back door lies directly in line with the front, providing excellent ventilation – an important feature in the steamy tropic Key West summers.

Though not always at this location, it was moved here from one block away in 1834 due to constant low-land flooding by mules pulling the home on rolling logs. Captain William Watlington and his descendants lived here till the 1970’s. It was later purchased and donated to the city of Key West.

You can find Key West’s Oldest House (and South Florida’s) in the heart of town at 322 Duval Street. There’s an entrance fee to tour the inside of the home, the grounds on the other hand are FREE to roam.

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