Jensen Beach in Martin County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Mansion at Tuckahoe
The Leach Family and Tuckahoe
In 1936, Atlanta businessman Willaford Leach and his wife Anne Bates Leach, a Coca-Cola heiress, purchased Mt. Elizabeth and the surrounding property and built the Mediterranean Revival home that exists today. Named "Tuckahoe," the estate was completed in 1939 with the latest in architectural design for that time. Sitting on approximately 54 acres of riverfront woodland and rolling lawns, Tuckahoe was the hub of social life in Martin Country and the setting for countless parties attended by the local social set and WWII soldiers from Camp Murphy. Mrs. Leach, who helped organize The Garden Club of Stuart, donated funds for The Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital, affiliated with Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.
In the early 1950's, the Leaches decided to move to Palm Beach and sold the property to the Catholic Church. The estate became a novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the mansion was used as a dormitory. In 1966, the admission of lay students began and the school would become Florida's only two-year liberal arts college. Economic difficulties resulted in the closing of the school in 1972.
Florida Institute of Technology (FIT)
FIT purchased the property in 1972 and it became the site of a four-year college offering advanced degrees in marine related subjects. The mansion became the administration building and student center. FIT was an important part of the community for 14 years until operating expenses forced the closing of the school in 1986.
Indian RiverSide Park
Following the FIT closure, Tuckahoe and the surrounding property stood vacant until local community leaders led a successful referendum drive to encourage Martin County to purchase the property. In 1997, the property became the site of this park. Restoration of The Mansion was completed in 2009.
National Historic Registry
The Mansion at Tuckahoe was placed on The National Register of Historic Places in November 2005 with the help of the Friends of Mount Elizabeth.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1939.
Location. 27° 13.687′ N, 80° 12.791′ W. Marker is in Jensen Beach, Florida, in Martin County. Marker can be reached from Northeast Indian River Drive (County Route 707) 0.3 miles north of Northeast Palmer Street, on the right when traveling north. Located in Indian Riverside Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1707 NE Indian River Dr, Jensen Beach FL 34957, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tuckahoe (within shouting distance of this marker); Mount Elizabeth (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Elizabeth Mound (about 400 feet away); All Saints' Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Stuart Welcome Arch (approx. half a mile away); The Bakers of Waveland (approx. 1.7 miles away); Sewall's Point (approx. 2 miles away); Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jensen Beach.
Also see . . . Mansion at Tuckahoe. (Submitted on May 20, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 20, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 20, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.