Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The Ely-Crigler House - Marianna, Florida
In my last post I discussed the history of the "1840 House" at the intersection of Lafayette and Russ Streets in Marianna. This beautiful old structure was originally a wing of the elegant home shown here.
This is the Ely-Crigler House, which faces Lafayette Street (U.S. 90) in Marianna and is one of the city's most stunning landmarks. An architectural treasure, it is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the national listing of architectural landmarks.
Built in around 1840, the home is unique in that its brick walls run all the way to the ground and are of massive thickness. Likely this is because the house was constructed during the Second Seminole War and was designed to serve as a fortress in the event of an attack. With its original east and west wings, it was one of the largest homes on the entire Gulf Coast. The east wing has since been demolished and the west wing has been disconnected and moved to face Russ Street, where it is now the "1840 House."
Note that I call the home a "house" and not a "mansion," despite the fact that it was definitely of mansion size. This is because I remember well that the last descendents of the Crigler family to occupy the home became quite irate when it was called a "mansion." They considered it a "house."
A portion of the Battle of Marianna was fought in the street in front of the house and a Native American mound once stood on the grounds.