1860's Boarding House Visitors

Centuries of Endurance

The Ximenez-Fatio House has seen her fair share of trying times. Through war and disease to financial strife and family heartbreak, she has always endured. For 222 years this grand lady has stood the test of time and the tests of the many who have sought the safety and warmth of her hearths.

As we travel through this most recent struggle, we, her caretakers, would like to share her with those of you who are acclimating to this new normal of ‘virtual tourism’.

Please check back often as we update this page and add more info about this magnificent home, those who have crossed her thresholds and beautiful historic St. Augustine.

The Human Spirit

The human spirit is an unwavering thing. By nature, we are curious and optimistic even in the most uncertain times. Grounded in family, community, and shared experience there is a constant that can be found across time and miles. When faced with the worst and the unimaginable is often when we find the best in ourselves. Our ability to band together in the worst of times is perhaps our greatest gift.  In the early 18th century, St. Augustine was often cut off from a friendlier outside world. Decades of destruction in Florida’s interior efforts, continuous English raids, European wars, and…

Read more

The “New” Museum World of 2020

The world has been changed by the outbreak of COVID-19, not only on a personal level but also professionally for museums of all sizes and styles. Virtually overnight, museums were tasked with determining how to keep their audience engaged while both the museum staff and their followers were sheltered at home. We at the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum have worked hard to bring our social media audience a variety of content during this time. In addition to pretty photos to distract, we have created activities which can be completed from home with family members. Now, as the world begins to reopen,…

Read more

What’s Normal?

Working in an historic home, one gets a daily dose of how simple life used to be, yet continually amazed at how “modern” some of the items we have in the museum were to the 19th century lifestyle. If these folks only knew how much their lives and expectations from society were about to change. “How,” they might ask, “could life get any more convenient…more amazing?!” We demonstrate in every room how much the 19th-century “normal” was changing, which brings many smiles and giggles as to how archaic and old-fashioned these items seem to us today. Historic home museums not…

Read more

The Essential Service of Storytelling

At the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum we interpret 19th-century historic living, as seen in the lives of three single women who owned, consecutively, this grand old house and operated a very respected boarding house within its walls. Here we offer a glimpse at the simplicity of the 19th century, as we display its most fashionable designs and daily comforts that couldn’t possibly, ever be improved upon! It truly was a simpler time back then. Yet, if you think about it, 19th-century America was bigger than it is today. It was more spread out, with more distance between cities and towns, and…

Read more

The Asiatic Cholera Pandemic

April 13, 2020 This latest pandemic is not the first time that St. Augustine has experienced a quarantine. On October 1834, when Dr. Seth Peck, his wife Sarah, and their children Mary, Rebecca, John, Lucy, and baby Sarah arrived in St. Augustine, they were not allowed to disembark. The schooner Topic, which brought them from New York, was ordered to quarantine everyone and everything onboard. The quarantine was imposed by the St. Augustine city council due to the threat of yellow fever and the Asiatic Cholera reported in nearby states. There was reason to be fearful! Cholera, an infection of…

Read more
Caravaca Cross

History Repeats in St. Augustine

March 31, 2020  Human history is rife with plagues and pandemics. Just say the word “plague” and most people will conjure images of the Bubonic Plague (1347-1351) and Monty Python characters calling “Bring outcha dead!” That was a hilarious scene until you are reminded that over 200 million people lost their lives to this disease. Most recently, the Spanish Flu (1918-1919), with a death toll somewhere between 40-50 million people brought the world to its knees. COVID-19 is the new, unimaginable micro-biotic enemy in our midst. The Ximenez-Fatio House has a unique history with pandemics and infectious disease outbreaks. In…

Read more