Who Built the former Gilchrist Bed & Breakfast (aka the Price House) now located in History Park?

Max and Mary Price, first cousins, married in 1946 when Max was 73 and Mary was 79. Max has been credited with many accomplishments in Punta Gorda, including the design of the brown u-shaped House in History Park, but the research concludes it was actually Mary who owned the property and reconfigured the two homes into one home.

Who were the Prices?

The Price family consisting of father, Benjamin and mother Mary, brought along their son Max and niece Mary, when they moved from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey to Punta Gorda in 1918. Benjamin had advanced Parkinson’s and they hoped the climate would benefit him.

Where did the Prices live?

The primary Price house was located on the corner of Marion Avenue and Calais Street (later renamed Gilchrist Street) and is there today! The home eventually moved to History Park was originally two side-by-side cottages, and they were located behind the two-story Price home, virtually in the back yard! Perhaps they were built to accommodate workers in the early years of Punta Gorda’s history, and later used as vacation rentals. We really don’t have any information prior to the homes becoming the property of Mary Jackson Price, niece of Benjamin and Mary, and cousin to Max.

The two blue homes with stars on them were remodeled into one home where Max, Mary and Max’s mother moved into in their senior years. The reconfigured home was later Gilchrist Bed and Breakfast, and is now in History Park.

What was the family history?

Here’s the Price family timeline:

  • Father: Benjamin 1845-1922
  • Mother: Mary 1849-1946
  • Son: Max 1875-1948
  • Niece: Mary 1868-1948

Niece Mary Jackson Price from Kansas moved to New Jersey to live with the Prices sometime before 1910. The family moved to Punta Gorda in 1918. Max and Mary died in 1948, three-months apart and two years after marrying.

We knew Benjamin and his son Max were architects, but we also learned from Census Reports that Mary was an architectural draftsman, and in 1935 her occupation was house designer. In the 1940 Census we see she is the owner of the house on Gilchrist and the head of household.

Were cousins Max and Mary in love?

Why did Max and Mary marry after the death of Max’s mother? Were they in love for decades and kept it secret? Did Max’s mother know they were in love and forbade them from marrying? Did they live with Max’s mom to hide their love affair from the townsfolk?

We’ll probably never know the answers but we have the facts and can conjecture from there!

Learn about Punta Gorda’s history!

Hear true stories about Punta Gorda’s history and tragic deaths occurring here on our Haunted History of Punta Gorda Walking Tour.


Sources: Ancestry.comHistoric Map Works; Charlotte County History Collections Online; Newspapers.com; Google Maps


Simona Molino

The playful scene of Mary and Max was created by Simona Molino of Janas Studio Artistico in Italy. Janas is a fairy whose magic flights take her to starry skies and silvery seas. She inspires Simona’s fantasy artwork of memorable characters illustrated in rich colors and scrupulous detail.

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