Pena Peck House | History And Tours
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History And Tours

Historic Peña-Peck House is one of St. Augustine’s great treasures

St. Augustine’s main street for visitors spans most of the city’s 450 years of settlement. A walk along St. George Street, south from the City Gate to Plaza de la Constitucion, takes visitors back to the late 1500s when the city’s residents returned to the mainland from Anastasia Island where they had sought safety from native raids on their original settlement which is north of today’s downtown. Just steps from the Plaza at 143 St. George Street is one of St. Augustine great treasures, the Peña-Peck House, circa 1750. This native coquina stone and frame building with its distinctive green shutters was a home to Spanish and British officials, later other owners and tenants, and finally, a prominent American family who lived there for 94 years, the family of Dr. Seth Peck and his wife, Sarah Lay Peck. Their last direct descendant and granddaughter Miss Anna Gardner Burt, is the reason the public is invited in to experience a rich tapestry of St. Augustine’s past. Miss Anna left it to the city of St. Augustine in 1931 to be “maintained as an example of the old ante-bellum homes of the South.”

Today, docents delight in showing this home and telling the stories of the people who lived here and the times in which they lived. Spanish Royal Treasurer Juan Estevan de Peña and his wife, Maria Antonia, were the first residents of this house built by order of King of Spain for Peña. After the Spanish population left in early 1764, when a Treaty of Paris gave Florida to Great Britain, the next occupants were British governors. Acting Governor John Moultrie and his successor, Governor Patrick Tonyn, lived in this house when they ruled East Florida. Tonyn was the last British governor in North America, south of Canada. After the Spanish rule returned in 1784, he closed out the British affairs from this house, a true Seat of Government, until 1785.
Other tenants and owners preceded the Pecks who bought the house in 1837 and added the second story. Our docents bring its life full circle as they walk you through this home amidst the Peck-Burt families collection of 19th-century art and antique furnishings. We invite you to cross our threshold on St. George Street and step into a history that is unique in all of St. Augustine.