History of The Mansion at Tuckahoe

  • The Racey Home circa 1892

Mt. Elizabeth, Ais Indians and Racey Family Plantation

According to archaeologists, Mt. Elizabeth is a 4,000 year-old Indian mound created by the Ais Indians. The mound, which was originally 60-feet high, contains broken pottery, tools, fish bone and shell ornaments and other discarded items used their daily lives.

Mt. Elizabeth and the surrounding property were purchased by explorer William Henry Racey in the late 1850’s. In 1891, his son, Charles Racey, built a three-story wood-frame house on the mound for his family and started a pineapple and citrus plantation on the property. The Racey family sold the property to a New York Judge after the home burned to the ground in 1921.

  • An aerial of the Leach Family home

The Leach Family and Tuckahoe

In 1936, Atlanta businessman Willaford Leach and his wife Anne Bates Leach, a Coca Cola heiress, purchased Mt. Elizabeth and the surrounding property and built the Mediterranean Revival home that exists today. Named “Tuckahoe” (thought to be a Native American term for “Welcome”), the estate was completed in 1939 with the latest in architectural design for that time.

Sitting on approximately 54 acres of riverfront woodland and rolling lawns, Tuckahoe was the hub of social life in Martin County and the setting for countless parties attended by the local social set and WWII soldiers from Camp Murphy. Mrs. Leach, who helped to start The Garden Club, also donated the funds necessary to build the original building for the well-known Bascomb Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.

  • The Mansion after Florida Institute of Technology closed its doors

Catholic Church – Florida Institute of Technology

The Leach family moved to Palm Beach in 1950 and sold The Mansion and surrounding property to the Catholic Church and the Sisters of St. Joseph based in St. Augustine. The Sisters of St. Joseph added two dormitory wings to the building and moved their novitiate and Saint Joseph College of Florida, which was then a sisters' formation college to the property. 

The Sisters operated Florida’s only 2-year liberal arts college until 1972 when the entire property was purchased by Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), a 4-year college offering degrees in marine science. FIT used the Leach Mansion as its administration building. 

  • State of the mansion when purchased by the County 1997

Indian RiverSide Park

After closing FIT in 1986, The Mansion and surrounding property stood vacant for more than a decade until local community leaders led a referendum drive to encourage Martin County to purchase the property.

Purchased by the County in 1997, the property became the site of Indian RiverSide Park with the first phase opening to the public in 2001.

Phase two included the restoration of The Mansion at Tuckahoe for public use and now hosts many events every year. Since completion of the renovations in 2009, the site has become one of the premier locations for weddings in Martin County.

  • The present-day Mansion at Tuckahoe

Present

The Mansion at Tuckahoe is currently operated by the Martin County Parks & Recreation Department of Martin County. It is available to be privately rented for weddings, parties, fundraisers, birthday parties and more, during the week and and on weekends. If interested in holding your event here, please contact us. 

Guided historic tours of the Mansion occur between mid September and May on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

The Mansion at Tuckahoe
1707 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, Florida, 34957
772-463-3201

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