Casa de la Paz- St. Augustine, Florida
-Article by: Norm Goldman
-Painting by: Lily Azerad-Goldman
The heart or "main drag" of St. Augustine Florida is Avenida Menendez curving around the Bayfront as it cradles this historic town.
Not far from the City Gates and the old Castillos de San Marcos and overlooking Matanzas Bay is an elegant and homey inn, Casa De La Paz, an inn that is very close to all of the wonderful and interesting attractions of the oldest city in America; only a stone's throw away from shopping, restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, museums, and the many historical "must see" venues.
The first owners of the property were the Pullers, who in 1915 made it their private home. J. Duncan Puller was a prominent banker and a member of the upper echelons of St. Augustine society.
During the grandeur of the Flagler era
it was not uncommon to build opulent homes, and the Puller's residence did not disappoint St. Augustine sophisticated
society with the building's arched doorways and windows, mirrored fireplaces, leaded glass bookcases, red tiled
roof, and hand carved moldings.
Moving to St. Augustine from Jacksonville, Sherri and Marshall purchased the Casa De La Paz in 2000. Sherri regards the inn as her "baby." Although her husband Marshall still maintains his regular job for insurance and retirement funding purposes, he nevertheless collaborates with Sherri as web-master and chief accountant.
As she is extremely talented, Sherri has contributed her amazing talents to gradually changing the inn's appearance and recapturing its original personality.
When they first became owners of the property, Sherri and Marshall found the house too Victorian with its
Be sure to ask Sherri for a personal tour of the inn. You will be amazed at the many surprises that await you from the antique furnishings, heart-of-pine floors, and richly upholstered sofas to the armchairs and rockers.
If you should be seeking that extraordinary romantic delight, request a room with a Jacuzzi tub and a decorative fireplace, or a room with a breathtaking panoramic view of St. Augustine's Matanazas Bay.
It is little wonder that the inn has been listed as a top 5 Inn in Kiplingers Retirement Report.
While visiting the inn, Lily and I had the good fortune of witnessing an intimate brunch reception for a party of twelve. Prior to the couple tying the knot on a nearby beach, the guests were treated to an elegant sit down brunch in the dining room around the 10 foot mahogany table. Sherri and her competent staff did a masterful job of setting out the most beautiful plates and cutlery.
THE SPIRIT THAT LIVES ON IN THE INN-DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS?
Oops, one last feature of the inn I forgot to tell you about -Sherri informed me that the inn is haunted; initially she found the idea of the house being haunted absurd. Since then she has become a believer. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, Lily and I did not have the pleasure of meeting the ghost in residence when we lasted visited the inn. Perhaps, its is because we don't believe in ghosts.
We were informed that when the Pullers owned the house, a young honeymoon couple had stayed with them. On the last day of their visit, the young groom had decided to go fishing and told his wife to wait at the house until he returned. Unfortunately, there was a terrible storm that day and the young man's boat capsized. He never did return to pick up his young bride.
The young woman was so sad that she remained in St. Augustine for several years and eventually died of a broken
heart. However, apparently, her spirit never left the Casa De La Paz awaiting the return of her husband.
Did we encounter any sightings? Perhaps!
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