The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, restored to its role as a exclusive boarding house during the mid-19th century, is located on Aviles Street in St. Augustine. Aviles Street, just south of the Plaza de la Constitution, is the oldest platted street in the oldest historic district in North America. Just steps from the museum, Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast is the seventh oldest house on this special street. The inn, like the Ximenez-Fatio House, has offered hospitality to visitors throughout its history. Its original owner, Don Manuel Lorenzo Solana, and his wife, Mary Mastres were known to have hosted Native Americans, injured soldiers, and travelers, and the tradition of welcoming visitors continues to this day.
The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, a coquina stone house built in 1798, “later became ‘Miss Fatio’s,’ St. Augustine’s most fashionable boarding house…throughout its Territorial and Early Statehood periods.” Today, just steps away from our bed and breakfast, you can travel back a century in time for a guided tour of this authentically restored boarding house. You will learn about “the intrepid, sophisticated women who owned the property and operated it as an exclusive inn, as well as the visitors who wintered with them from the 1830s through the 1850s.”
The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum recreates rooms in the house as they were when 20 to 30 guests resided there. These guests might be staying there because they were travelers or because they were military officers who preferred these lodgings to their military barracks. Professional guides recount stories about the women entrepreneurs and their residents as they lead visitors on tours through the living quarters, the dining room where three meals were served daily, and the kitchen.
Ongoing archeological digs at the Museum continue to make discoveries about this period of St. Augustine history, as well as earlier eras. For example, shards of antique “Bandana” china found on a dig identified the pattern used by the boarding house owner. Place settings of this china now are displayed in the dining room of the Museum. Many buttons from the era, including a very valuable silver example, were found beneath what probably was a laundry shed. Examples of finds from earlier periods include the intricate Caravaca Cross, dating from 17th century Spain, and many artifacts from a pre-Columbian Timucuan settlement.
The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, listed on The National Register of Historic Places and a Florida Heritage Landmark, is one of the top-rated St. Augustine tourist attractions according to Trip Advisor. Be sure to visit this interesting example of 19th century life in St. Augustine, when you are enjoying our bed and breakfast’s 21st century comfort and luxurious amenities!
Ximenez-Fatio House Museum
Location: 20 Aviles Street, St. Augustine, FL
Days and hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; tours every half hour 11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Summer days and hours (June 1st thru Labor Day): Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; tours every half hour 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
Admission: Adults $10.00, Students/Military/Seniors $8.00, Families $25.00