The Historic Peña-Peck House
Twenty-one years of British occupation followed as the house became the home to two governors. Acting governor John Moultrie used it as his “townhouse,” and governor Patrick Tonyn and his family lived there for nine years.
When Spain reacquired Florida in another Treaty of Paris in 1783, the Second Spanish Period began (1763-1821). During this time, Francisco Xavier Sanchez, a St. Augustine native of Spanish descent, an American Patriot during the Revolutionary War, and Florida’s first cattle rancher, bought the house in 1791. His widow Maria del Carmen Hill Sanchez and her heirs owned it until 1821.
Tenants and absentee owners then claimed the site, but it was Dr. Seth Peck and his family who made it the presence it is today in this historic city. The second story wooden addition created more living space for Seth and his family. A new office for Dr. Peck and a general store shared space on the first floor with a formal dining room and a “modern kitchen.”
Peck’s granddaughter, Anna Gardner Burt, the last owner, died in 1931 and left her house, furnishings, priceless antiques and artwork in a trust to the city. She was explicit in her will that it be “maintained as an example of the old ante-bellum homes of the South.” The city almost declined her gift because of the loss of future property taxes. The Woman’s Exchange stepped in, paid annual rent, and agreed to show the home. It opened the house for tours May 1, 1932, the same day the Woman’s Exchange gift shop also began operating in its new home.
Important Dates in History
Nestled in the heart of downtown St. Augustine, the Peña-Peck House offers daily guided tours by donation. Our well-versed docents bring this history full circle amidst the 19th-century art and antique furnishings. We invite you to cross our threshold on St. George Street and step into a history and cultural heritage that is unique in all of St. Augustine.