The Pritchard House
The Pritchard House is located on Washington Avenue in the heart of downtown Titusville Florida it is a historic home built in 1891 by contractor Pleasant J. Hall. The home is highlighting the Queen Anne style construction that stayed in the Pritchard family until as recent as 2005. In 2005 the home was purchased by Brevard county who began restoration in 2006 until 2009. The house features a conical corner tower, a wrap-around porch, a veranda, and second-floor balcony. The interior of the house is filled with antique furniture and accessories. In the front of the home, there are gardens that are sponsored by the descendants of the Pritchard family. The inhabitants of the home were James Pritchard, his wife Mary, children, sister, Mary's mother, and maid.
Backstory and Context
The Pritchard family had a huge impact on the city of Titusville considering that they were the first ones to make a bank and electric plant that later became the Florida Power and Light Company.
James Pritchard was born in New York City on October 21, 1839. His family later relocated to Missouri and Pritchard was enlisted into the Confederate army and was a captain of the Missouri infantry. James later met his wife Mary Boyle in Galveston Texas on an expedition to Brazil. Mary Boye was from Key West Florida, daughter of Christian and Frances Delespine. Mary Boyes mother was a well-known merchant in St Augustine who received a land grant from the Spanish government and owned around 200,000 acres in Florida.
Mary Boye’s family had a history
that was deep-rooted in Florida before the Pritchard house was even built.
James and Mary got married on January 17, 1867, and lived in Missouri until
they relocated to an area in Florida in 1876 called “Pritchards Landing” that
is now a highway. That home that they lived in was inherited from Mary’s
grandfather. They lived in that home until an extreme winter froze all their
crops which caused them to relocate to Titusville Florida.
Captain James Pritchard was a civic leader and not shortly after relocating to Titusville he created the first bank in the town that he happened to be the president of for 37 years. According to the Historical society it went out of business in the great depression. The Pritchard's also made the first electrical plant in the city of Titusville in 1890. The plant was owned by the Pritchards until he sold it in 1914 for 35,000 dollars (Indian River Journal). The plant later became the Florida Power and Light Company. The actual building that held the plant's equipment and generators was condemned and taken down in the 1970’s. Up until the time he sold the plant James had control of the whole town's power. It would turn on and off on his terms according to the founder of the North Brevard Heritage Foundation.
In addition to the electrical plant and bank, the Pritchard family also owned a hardware store called Pritchard Hardware that they operated until 1981. The Pritchard family contributed to the development of the city of Titusville since they first moved to the town. Another one of Pritchard's ties to the city is that he helped create the waterworks.
The renovation of the Pritchard
house was an extensive and lengthy process. The home had to undergo some major
structural changes so it would be up to code. As stated in the Indian River
Journal the porch was the second part of the home they brought back to life.
They also replaced the roof with an authentic wood shingle which is something
that would have been used when the house was first built. The second story
porch, wood stairs, and kitchen were also restored to their former glory by a
restoration company that specializes in retaining the historical value of old
The paint was also something that had to be discussed and chosen based on the time period that the home was built. They received the paint colors from documentation of Mary Pritchard's daughter who remembered the home being white and trimmed in green and brown. They also referred to the black and white photos of the home to determine where the paint was lighter and darker. As far as the interior goes they determined the paint colors by the staining on the wood.
“The Historic 1891 Pritchard House.” Historic Pritchard House in Titusville, Florida, 1 May 2012, www.nbbd.com/godo/PritchardHouse/index.html
“Indian River Journal.” Brevard County Historcial Commision , Https://Www.brevardfl.gov//Docs/Files/2009-Fall-Winter.pdf, 2009.