Discover the Legacy
Constructed in 1890, the Avera-Clarke House was the creation of Judge Thomas Clarke, a Civil War veteran who valiantly fought in the Battle for Atlanta. Following the war, he pursued a legal education in Georgia and eventually established a law practice in Monticello in the late 1800s. Judge Clarke played a significant role in Florida's history, being a signor on the Second Florida Constitution and establishing the renowned Farmers and Merchants Bank (FMB), which was among the oldest independent banks in the state. His son, S.D. Clarke, also followed in his father's footsteps and became a judge, ultimately becoming the last Clarke to reside in the house. During the mid-1900s, S.D. Clarke held a prominent position as the President of the Florida Senate and led the well-known "Pork Chop" Gang in Florida politics.
The Cottage, believed to be the oldest building in Jefferson County dating back to approximately 1825, was relocated to its current property in January 2006 and underwent a complete restoration by the Avera family. Originally named "The Old Robert's House," it once stood one block southeast of the Courthouse and served as the residence of one of the area's first postmasters. Despite being slated for demolition, the Avera's stepped in and saved this 900 sq. ft. freestanding structure, which now boasts a sitting room, queen size bed, full kitchen, full bath, and two half bathrooms. The original hand-hewn lumber ceiling has been preserved, adding to its historical charm.