Monday, March 6, 2017

Historic Apalachicola #2

Continuing with our midwinter tour of Historic Apalachicola…

This is the Marks/Clark House.  This home was originally built in the early 1800s about 33 miles west of Apalachicola in the town of Port St. Joe Florida.  It was moved/relocated to Apalachicola in 1854.  It is one of only a few homes that survived a disastrous fire in town that occurred at the beginning of the 20th Century.


·       The ‘great fire’ in Apalachicola took place on May 25, 1900 and it destroyed 8 city blocks in the center of town.   A total of 71 buildings, including almost all of the business section of Apalachicola, were destroyed.

This is the First United Methodist Church in Apalachicola.  Apalachicola’s great fire started in the kitchen of a nearby house and it destroyed the original 1846 church.  The current Gothic and Renaissance style structure was built in 1901.  It was constructed with locally sourced black cypress ceilings and wainscoting with yellow pine tongue-and-groove floors and walls.

The First United Methodist of Apalachicola was established in 1839, making it one of the oldest churches in the state.  It began as the Methodist Episcopal Church South.   The congregation met for a time at a local hotel, then at the newly constructed Trinity Episcopal Church.  They also met for several years at the homes of various members. 

This impressive structure is the Flatauer House.  It was built for Adolph Flatauer in 1908 – 1909.  This historic home was occupied by an insurance company for a while.  It is now one of the most unusual and attractive branch banks I’ve seen in a long time.  It is a branch office for Gulf State Community Bank…complete with an ATM.

This is the Marks House.  It was built in 1903 and it’s now called the Coombs Inn Annex.  As such it’s part of the Coombs House Inn Bed and Breakfast complex.  The Marks house had many of the same Victorian architectural features that had attracted the owners of the Coombs House to that home.  Bathrooms have been added (maintaining the Victorian charm), and a carriage house named Camellia Hall was redesigned to serve as an elegant hall for weddings and other special events.


·       The Marks House and the Coombs House have both been investigated for paranormal activity.  To quote one of the researchers, “Our Team has had the pleasure of investigating this location many times. Without a doubt it is active in both the Coombs and the Marks House. We have captured EVPs and have had objects tossed across the room check out our web site for audio and video of what we have captured. A very difficult location to get in to investigate due to the volume of rentals.”  To learn more about this paranormal investigative group, go to

The Coombs Inn and Suites operates a 3-home bed and breakfast group.  This is the original building in the group.  The Coombs House Inn was considered the most elegant residence in Apalachicola when a local lumber magnate built it in 1905. 

This is a classic Queen Anne style home.  The home features black cypress wall paneling, nine fireplaces, a twelve foot high entrance hall, ornate light fixtures, and a carved oak staircase leading up to the second floor past leaded glass windows.  Indoor plumbing featuring a claw-footed bathtub may not have been considered part of the home’s elegance, but was still a rare and convenient luxury for that time and place.

James N. Coombs was a very successful businessman and he was recognized as the wealthiest man in town.  He owned 3 sawmills, the First National Bank of Apalachicola, and the Coombs Company, an exporter of pine and cypress lumber.  In 1905 Apalachicola was a busy port of 3,000 citizens from which much of north Florida’s lumber was shipped.  Learn more about The Coombs Inn and Suites and its history at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for Part II of our tour of Historic Apalachicola.

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Amazing pictures, and you know some of my favorites are the churchs! Im impressed like methodist churchs are like catholic churchs, are beautiful too!

  2. I dont know why but I love all churchs David!. You would like churchs here especially in the south of Chile, are antique about 1800. xo

  3. Such a wonderful post, Dave! Thank you so much for sharing, and the buildings are beautiful and the history is fascinating.

  4. The houses are all beautiful and I esp like the first one with the nice front porch. There's just something about a front porch like that, cozy and friendly and it reminds me of sitting on my grandparents front porch in the country watching the world go by.
    But I love the church! It's white, pretty and simple. And the palm trees surely don't hurt the looks! The cross on top replaces the usual steeple, very nice! Good post and you have a good day, Dave!

  5. Dear Dave, I love following along with your travels. It is probably the only way I will ever visit these beautiful and very interesting places.