Historic Markers Across Florida

The Oldest Schoolhouse

Marker ID: FLHM F-724
Location: at the corner of Eaton and Duval Streets in Key West, FL
County: Monroe
Coordinates: N 24° 33.417    W 081° 48.224
  24.55695    -81.80373333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMFQCW


Built about 1838 and moved to this location after the hurricane of 1846, the Patterson-Baldwin house is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Key West. The Classical Revival style house is reputed to have been built, but never occupied, by Alexander Patterson, a prominent Key West citizen and mayor. Various sources indicate that the Pinckney family lived in the house and that Mrs. Pinckney's sister, Madame Passaloque, taught classes here until 1860, giving the house the distinction of being the first school in Key West. John Baldwin, who twice served as the mayor of Key West, purchased the house in 1860. The property remained in the Baldwin family for more than 100 years. The house was painstakingly restored by Edward B. Knight in 1962. At first, only the house's front side was restored to provide a "before and after" picture of how it could one day look. This award winning demonstration received national publicity and helped spark the historic preservation movement in Key West.

Edward B Knight and the Florida Department of State