Merrick-Simmons House

After the Union occupation of Fernandina in 1862, this c.1860 house was used as a hospital for Union troops. In June 1863, the property passed to the ownership of Chloe Merrick in a tax sale of abandoned Confederate properties and she owned it until 1865. Merrick had arrived in Fernandina from Syracuse, New York in late 1862 as the agent for the National Freedman's Relief Association of New York, and had helped establish a Freedman's School in Fernandina's Episcopal Church, where she taught freed slaves. In 1863, she also established and organized the Fernandina orphanage in the abandoned home of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph Finegan, which was also purchased in a tax sale. After the war, Merrick married Harrison Reed, who was Governor of Florida from 1869 to 1873. A Great Floridian 2000 plaque for Chloe Merrick is located on this house. The house was most recently used for commercial offices and is not open for tours.