ST. ANDREWS, Fla. (WMBB) — A local couple is doing their part to keep a piece of Bay County history alive.
They’re restoring a historical St. Andrews home, built in 1910.
15 years ago, Margaret Gamble stepped into what is now called the ‘Fortuna Cottage.’
She was on a house tour and immediately fell in love with the century-old home on West 9th Street.
“We walked this area almost every night and talked about this house and we were just so worried someone would buy it and tear it down,” Margaret Gamble said. “So finally we approached the owners again and said we figured out how we can make this work. We really want to save this house.”
Gamble and her husband Michael Higdon are soon going to be in the Airbnb business.
They said their intent is to save a valuable piece of St. Andrews history for the community to enjoy just as much as them.
“Before St. Andrews became the community that it is, it was actually called ‘Ware Town’ which was based off of that pioneer family that moved here in the late 1800’s,” Higdon said.
He said Otwe Ware was well-known in the area as the harbor master.
Ware built the folk victorian home in 1910 and lived there the rest of his life.
The history-loving couple is trying to preserve as much of the historical home as possible. They’re keeping many of the imperfections that make it so unique.
But new wiring, plumbing, and insulation are priorities.
The three-bedroom Airbnb will sleep 8-10 people comfortably.
Michael and Margaret hope to have the Fortuna Cottage ready for rental by January 2023.
The couple said when they retire, they might move into the cottage permanently.