The Crime

The year is 1868. A 17th-century Caravaca Cross was found on this property many years ago and kept in safe storage. It has been stolen! Authorities are certain that the thief is still on the property, but they are not certain who it was. The cross was stashed in a hiding place, but what – and in what room? That is where you come in: help Miss Fatio find her cross and bring the culprit to justice!

There are 8 rooms to choose from, 8 possible hiding places, and as many as 12 potential suspects. Who stole the cross? What did they stash it in? Where – in which room – did they hide it? Pay attention as you tour the potential crime scenes.

And remember, it’s all a crime scene so…TOUCH NOTHING!

Don’t delay – you only have 90 minutes. GOOD LUCK!!

Heist at the Museum

The Game

The Ximenez-Fatio House is offering a special event every Friday, and Saturday night that focuses on a rare 17th-century Caravaca Cross that was produced in the late 1660s to celebrate the end of the Black Plague in Europe. The cross was discovered during an archaeological dig at the Ximenez-Fatio House and (in real life) is currently on display for visitors to see.

The premise of “Heist at the Museum” is that the cross was stolen, and the villain is still on the property and has hidden the cross in one of nine rooms. Like every board game we have ever played, you spin to determine the number of moves you get. There’s one big difference: You Are the Game Piece!! If you spin a 2, then you move 2 rooms in the house; spin a 4 and you move 4 rooms, etc. By process of elimination each team of detectives will have the opportunity to move from room-to-room and solve who stole the cross, what they stashed it in, and which room it may be found. Come play and see if you can figure out whodunnit – Do You Have a Clue?

“Heist at the Museum” takes place every Friday, and Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $20.00 per person and the game will last approximately 90 minutes or longer – depending upon how good of a detective you are!


Game Rules


How to Play Heist at the Museum

You will take a brief tour of the house to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

Remember, this is a crime scene: TOUCH NOTHING!

After the tour, teams will be formed (yes, you may ask to be on the same team as your friends). There doesn’t need to be a team leader unless you find it helpful. Late arrivers will be placed on a team by the Pinkerton Detectives in charge of the case. The order in which each team plays will be determined by the Pinkertons. Each team will be given a map of the property and a suspect sheet.

Each team is a game piece and the house is the game board. Yes, it’s a life-size board game!

There is a total of 21 Heist cards, representing 9 rooms, 6 “stash” places, and 6 suspects to guess from. Three Heist cards have been preselected: a suspect, a “stash” place, and a room. The term “stash” place refers to the object the stolen jewelry may have been hidden in, such as the lampstand or the grandmother clock. The 3 preselected cards were placed in a packet labeled “Guilty!” to be revealed only when a correct accusation is made. The remaining cards have been shuffled and will be dealt out – these are your best clues, as the rooms, suspects, and “stash” places on these cards are obviously not in the “Guilty” packet. Use your suspect sheet to check-off these clues.

A spinning wheel (ala a smaller version of Wheel of Fortune) will be used to advance each team when it is their turn. The number of moves the wheel lands on represents the number of rooms you may move in the house. For example, if your team spins a “3,” you will move three rooms in sequential order according to the map each team has been given.

Some rooms are more difficult to reach than others, so listen closely during the explanation portion of the game to know where you can go. Study the map provided for best routes.

To start the game, the Pinkertons will determine the order and beginning point for each team. Team #1 will then spin the wheel and proceed according to the spin until their number of moves are complete. At that time, this team may make their first guess.

All guesses must include a suspect, “stash” place, and a room (The jewelry was stashed in the beehive oven, in the Lobby, by Dr. Urah Peppah). Important note: to make a guess about a specific room, your team must physically occupy that room at the time of its guess. Any team that holds a Heist card that is called out must reveal that card, but only to the team that made the guess. This keeps the other teams in the dark. Team #2 will spin next, and so forth.

You may only make a guess when it is your turn. By making guesses throughout the game, teams try to determine by process of elimination which 3 cards are in the “Guilty” envelope.

Teams must enter their desired room on the exact number of moves from their spin of the wheel. Teams cannot remain in a room that they currently occupy, forfeit their turn, or re-enter their current room on a single turn (a team may re-enter their current room on a single turn only if they are doing so to proceed to another room – an example will be provided on your tour).

To Win the Game: Making an Accusation

An accusation is not the same as a guess. An accusation may be made when a team is certain that they have discovered the identity of all 3 cards in the “Guilty” envelope.

Very Important: only two accusations may be made per team, per game. ACCUSE WISELY!


Note: We highly recommend that you arrive 15 – 20 minutes early to ensure you find parking and are prepared to start on time.


Good Luck!!!

Welcome! Thank you for visiting the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, we are excited to have you on tour! The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is an historically accurate 18th century home located over two city lots in the heart of the Aviles Street Arts District.



Our main walkways are crushed shell and/or concrete. The Fig Tree Gift Shop is ground level with no step-ups or downs. The ground level of our House Museum is poured concrete and wood flooring. However, due to the historic nature of the building, these can be unlevel in areas and may require step-ups and downs.  The second and third levels of our House Museum are only accessible by wooden stairs with railings. The outdoor kitchen and wash house are ground level and accessible. Designated areas for guest seating are provided, but limited. Historical furniture and accessories may not be sat upon unless advised so by your guide.



Winters may be chilly and summers hot and humid in St. Augustine. Rain, especially in the summer, is frequent. Due to the historic nature of our House Museum, it must be noted there is no air conditioning within the museum itself. The Fig Tree Gift Shop has air conditioning for the comfort of our guests and bottled water is available for purchase.


All tours and events will operate as scheduled unless in the event of lightening or dangerous conditions. Tours and events may, however, have a delayed start time in the instance of inclement weather. We will contact you if there are any changes to your scheduled tour. Should a tour or event be cancelled due to inclement weather, refunds will be offered at 100% of the original purchase price unless otherwise noted. Refunds will be issued in the form of the original payment.



Free parking is available, but limited and on a first come, first served basis in our gravel parking lot. Parking is only for the duration of your tour or event.



Guest restrooms are available on site and are wheelchair and stroller accessible.


Service Animals

All service animals are welcome on our grounds, in the museum and Fig Tree Gift Shop.



We love dogs! Your leashed pooch is welcome on our museum grounds, and we have a water and clean-up station available. We do respectfully ask, however, that dogs are not brought into the Fig Tree Gift Shop or inside the House Museum.


Alcohol, Smoking, and Consumption of Illegal Substances

Alcohol is only allowed when the expressed written permission from the Museum Director is given. No alcohol may be sold on the premises. Museum staff has permission to ask any guest they feel may be intoxicated to leave the property at any time.


Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the grounds of the Ximenez-Fatio House.


The consumption of illegal substances is not permitted on the museum grounds at any time. Museum staff has permission to ask any guest they feel may be under the influence of any illegal substances to leave the property at any time.


Museum staff have permission to contact local authorities if they feel guests pose a risk to themselves, any other guests, or staff.


If there are any questions or concerns about the above practices and policies, please feel free to contact our main office at 904-829-3575 Monday – Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm EST. Thank you.

The Suspects

Dr. Urah Pehpah

Dr. Urah Pehpah claims to have studied medicine in the Indian sub-continent where learned the secrets of certain mysterious herbs and ingredients for his elixirs. His real name is Portentous Snodgrass, a 4th grade dropout from Indiana. A professional con artist, Snodgrass came to St. Augustine 11 months ago and has been in trouble with the law continually for fraud, petty theft, cheating at cards, and picking pockets. His medicinal elixirs have been known to cause severe gastric malfeasance, raging itch, and rapid hair loss – but is a wonderful silver polish!

Bennedette the Suffragette

Known around town as Bennie the ‘Gette, this is one hard working lady. Bennie moved to St. Augustine before the war and has protested for Women’s Rights with both Confederate and Union officials to no avail. But that doesn’t dampen her spirits. Determined to lead the women of Northeast Florida into the dawning of a new era, Bennie the ‘Gette has been seen around town wearing men’s boots and a mohair suit – something she claimed to have seen in a magazine.

Representative Madison Monroe

Madison Monroe was a lumber broker who came to St. Augustine shortly after the war confirmed his freedom. Monroe was befriended by a member of the Florida legislature who taught him that the most powerful business in America was the business of being in power. Politics became his business and St. Augustine his home. Representative Monroe is the only suspect to confess to the robbery, but only after his wife had been falsely accused. Seems Mrs. Monroe and the local constable have a bad history – she’s his ex-wife!

Mr. and Mrs.

“Shaggy” and Polly Esther Rugg

The Rugg’s are carpetbaggers – parasites from up North preying on destitute southern landowners who lost everything in the war and are desperate for money. The Rugg’s have bought up several acreages in St. Johns County for pennies on the dollar, including Miss Fatio’s old homestead on the St. Johns River near New Switzerland. They travel incognito in order to keep locals unaware that they are in the area. Authorities have no real evidence to hold the Ruggs, they just don’t like them!

Captain Horatio Ironside, U.S. Navy

Captain Ironside came to St. Augustine in 1862, when his gunboat landed in the harbor and captured the coquina fort from Confederate troops. The Union officer then set about building quite an empire throughout Northeast Florida, shall we say…trading-in on the spoils of war. He has been known to ask way too many questions about the Caravaca Cross and once attempted to confiscate the priceless artifact as evidence in some trumped-up charge against Miss Fatio at war’s end. He dropped the charges when Mother Kate slapped him silly with a cast iron ladle. It’s been said that he is out for revenge.

Miss Lucille Guicé

Miss Lucille Guicé, a.k.a. Juicy Lucy, a.k.a. Lucy Goosey, doesn’t actually live at the boarding house, but she’s known to be a frequent guest when Miss Fatio is either out of town or already asleep. Miss Goosey is very popular with the Union soldiers, and the cowboys in Hastings…and the teamsters who come down from Jacksonville…and the boys down at the courthouse jail… and the young men over at the Lighthouse. I guess she’s just about the friendliest woman in St. Johns County! But she was found standing in front of the broken case that held the Caravaca Cross – oh well!

Carlton the Doorman

Carlton the doorman is one of the nicest people in St. Augustine. He always greets folks with a huge grin and a simple introduction of “Hello, I’m Carlton the doorman.” No matter how many times he’s met folks already, he always introduces himself like the true gentle giant he is. Unfortunately, he has always been captivated by the beauty of the Caravaca Cross, so he has come under suspicion by authorities. So far, all they have for his statement is that his name is Carlton…and he’s the doorman.

Mother Kate

Mother Kate has been the Fatio family’s cook since the old days at Dunlawton Plantation. Kate came to St. Augustine with Miss Fatio when the plantation was burned to the ground during the most recent Seminole War. No one knows how old Kate is – and no one has the nerve to ask! The old woman is tougher than a boot and when times were tough could make an old boot taste tender and sweet enough to eat like a fine roast beef. Kate doesn’t like anyone, especially carpetbaggers and immediately accused the Ruggs. But Kate has been known to have sticky fingers herself, something she blames on using too much molasses in her recipes.

Major F. Sharpe, U.S. Army

Major Sharp was assigned to the coquina fort in 1864 and rode out the war in St. Augustine after contracting consumption, or what some medical colleges are calling tuberculosis. Whatever it’s called, he coughs up a storm non-stop. Everyone claims to have heard coughing the night the Caravaca Cross was stolen, but then again, they all agree that he coughs day and night so…what’s new. Authorities, however, found traces of saliva and blood spatter on the case where the Cross was taken.

Miss Michelle Angelo

Miss Angelo is the epitome of a starving artist, but Miss Fatio is convinced that she is destined for greatness and her work will be priceless. Meanwhile, Michelle dabbles in her paints and borrows money from basically anyone she talks to. She was overheard at the bank last week asking if anyone there knew the value of the Caravaca Cross. Evidently the word “priceless” isn’t enough to go on.

Senator Manuel de Zespédes, IV

Senator Zespédes isn’t really a senator, he’s more the town character. His great grandfather was the Spanish governor of East Florida from 1784–1790. It seems, however, that no one told his decedents that being governor wasn’t a hereditary position. When Zespédes the IV heard the news, he graciously demoted himself to a senator. That being said, he has been known to “borrow” things around town, if you take my meaning.

Mrs. Zephaniah Wheeler

Mrs. Wheeler and her husband came to St. Augustine for her health. She seems to be getting healthier because she’s in a wheelchair yet has been seen navigating the stairs under the cover of darkness on more than one occasion. Her husband’s health, on the other hand, has gotten worse – they fished him out of the Matanzas River three weeks ago, leaving her short on cash. Hmmm…