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The Safford House, in Tarpon Springs, is an example of late 19th century Florida vernacular architecture. An element of this style, also known as Florida cracker, is the use of porches or verandas to cover a large portion of the exterior of the house. This helped keep the interior of the residence cool in the days before air conditioning.

TARPON SPRINGS – A relic of the city’s early days is once again open to the public after some restoration work.

The Safford House Museum, completed in 1883 by the family of Anson P.K. Safford, has been restored to its “Victorian splendor,” according to the Tarpon Arts website. The Safford House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned and operated by the city.

Safford House was the home of Anson P.K. Safford, one of Tarpon Springs’ original developers, and his family. Safford, a onetime banker, lawyer and governor of the Arizona territory, came to Tarpon Springs in the early 1880s. His sister, Mary Jane Safford-Blake, a Union Civil War nurse who became the first woman gynecologist in U.S. history, moved to Tarpon Springs after her retirement in 1886.

The house Anson Safford built here is described as an example of late 19th century Florida vernacular architecture. It is filled with period furnishings and original family possessions.

The Safford House Museum was donated to the Tarpon Springs in 1994 and this summer’s restoration was funded by the state’s Division of Historical Resources and the city. Furnishings were provided in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant and donations by residents.

The museum, 23 Parkin Court, resumed normal operating hours Aug. 1 and is open weekly, except for all observed holidays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Admission costs $5 per person and is free for Tarpon Arts members.

In addition to guided tours of the home, the Safford House Museum also hosts period events. The next of these events are the Haunted Halloween on Oct. 27 and the Victorian Christmas on Dec. 8.

For more information about the Safford House Museum and what upcoming events it will host, go to www.tarponarts.org or call 727-942-5605.