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 by the Ais Indians in 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.
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-style 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 found The Garden Club, also donated the funds necessary to build the original building for the well-known Bascomb Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.
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 St. 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.
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 the facility now hosts numerous 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 Mansion at Tuckahoe is currently operated by the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department. It is available to be privately rented for weddings, parties, fundraisers, birthday parties and more, during the week and on weekends.
If you are interested in holding your event at The Mansion at Tuckahoe, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (772) 463-3201.
Historic, docent-led tours of The Mansion at Tuckahoe run at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. every first and third Wednesday of the month from September through May. Tours are free.
For more information, please call the park office at (772) 463-3201.
The Mansion at Tuckahoe
1707 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, Florida, 34957