Historic Markers Across Florida

Bronson-Mulholland House

Marker ID: FLHM F-828
Location: 100 Madison St, Palatka, Fl.
County: Putnam
Coordinates: N 29° 38.974    W 081° 37.705
  29.64956666    -81.62841666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNTMX


Side 1
The Bronson-Mulholland house was constructed for Isaac H. Bronson around 1853. A lawyer and United States congressman from New York, Bronson served as a member of the Committee on Territories in the late 1830s. He proposed the act for Florida statehood. After Florida attained statehood in 1845, Bronson was appointed to the US District Court for Florida by President James Polk. He lived in St. Augustine with his wife Sophronia and two daughters, Gertrude and Emma. Through a settlement in a land transaction, he acquired ten acres of land along the St. Johns River in Palatka and began construction of his estate, calling it “Sunny Point." This Greek-Revival Style mansion was surrounded by groves of orange trees. Bronson prepared and sponsored the charter for the City of Palatka and petitioned for it to become the Putnam County seat. He donated the land both for the Putnam County courthouse and St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Judge Bronson died in 1855 and was buried on the property as was customary at that time. His widow lived in the house until 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War prompted her return to New York.

Side 2
During the Civil War, Union and Confederate troops separately occupied the house. A friend of Sophronia Bronson, Charlotte Henry, established a school for freed slave children in the house from 1866 to 1868. Henry purchased the property and married Nathaniel P. White in 1873. In the 1890s, Mary Mulholland, a nurse from Boston, provided care for an ailing Mr. White. She inherited the estate when Charlotte White died in 1904, and subdivided the land. Mulholland employed a housekeeper, Taurina Rivero, who lived at Sunny Point with her sister Edelmira. In 1935, Edelmira Rivero inherited the property from Mulholland, which she sold in 1945. The house eventually was divided into apartments. In 1965 the city of Palatka acquired the property with intent to demolish the house. Prompted by the Putnam County Historical Society and concerned citizens, the house was saved. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and in 1975 a grant was obtained to restore the house. The Putnam County Historical Society provided period furnishings while the City of Palatka owns and maintains the property.

The Putnam County Historical Society, Palatka North Historic District
Neighborhood Association, Palatka Community Redevelopment Agency,
and the Florida Department of State