Paul C. Smith House, 425 Central Ave.

c. 1894, Frame Vernacular style

The house which formerly occupied the land at 425 Central Avenue was probably constructed as a cottage by Milo M. Potter in the late 1880s. Potter, a partner in the real estate firm of Patchin & Potter, was a prominent early landowner and developer in Crescent City. The house was purchased by Paul C. Smith, a prominent Crescent City businessman and civic leader, in the early 1890s. Smith was born in New Albany, Indiana in 1859. His parents moved to Louisville, Kentucky when he was a small boy. He came to Florida in 1883 and married Katie L. McGrady in 1886. He established a successful hardware business, which he ultimately housed next door at 429 Central Avenue. Smith also was actively involved in civic affairs. He served as City Clerk and Treasurer from 1898 to 1914 and was City Collector from 1911 to 1914. He also was elected mayor from 1919 to 1920 and served as justice of the peace. He died in 1930. In 1929 the house was purchased by Eaton D. Sargent who later, in 1940, converted it into two apartments. More recently, the house was renovated in 1994 into an interior design shop and the Tea Cozy Cottage. The building burned to the ground in 2000 due to an apparent electrical short.

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