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The Andersons were one of St. Augustine's most important families from the 1820s through the 1920s, and the influence of the family continues to the present day. Dr. Andrew Anderson, with his wife Mary and two daughters, arrived in St. Augustine in 1829 and shortly thereafter purchased a large lot just west of the old colonial town of St. Augustine. Dr. Anderson was active in local affairs and successfully operated an orange grove on his property. Mary Anderson died in 1837, and Dr. Anderson married Clarissa Fairbanks in 1838. From this union came Andrew Anderson, II in 1839. Shortly thereafter Dr. Anderson died in a yellow fever epidemic.
Markland house was under construction when Dr. Anderson passed away, but upon completion it became a prominent landmark on King Street, the entry into St. Augustine from the west.
The second Andrew Anderson also became a physician, although his most noted work was in orange culture and civic works of various kinds. Dr. Anderson donated two of St. Augustine's most visible public monuments: the statue of Ponce de Leon that stands in the plaza and the marble lions that stand at the foot of the Bridge of Lions. In 1885 Dr. Anderson became the confidant of Standard Oil magnate Henry M. Flagler and helped Flagler throughout his ventures in Florida hotels and railroads. Flagler's magnificent Hotel Ponce de Leon was built on the eastern portion of the Anderson property.
As Flagler attempted to turn St. Augustine into the "Winter Newport," Dr. Anderson drastically altered Markland house. Its architecture had originally been very simple: a two-story structure with a gabled roof and porches on both levels of the front and east sides. In 1899-1900, a west wing containing a library and dining room was added, along with a rear addition that primarily housed the kitchen. The second floor gained bedrooms.
While the interior of the original house was (and remained) colonial, the west wing was finished in ornate wood paneled Victorian style. The columns in front, which had been square, became ornate Corinthian.
After the death of Dr. Anderson late in 1924, the house passed to his daughter Clarissa.
She and her husband, John Dimick, sold the house to Herbert E. Wolfe in 1939. Mr. Wolfe was a major builder, rancher, and political figure in St. Augustine. In 1968 the Wolfe family sold Markland to Flagler College. It was used briefly as the president's house, and then became a classroom building until the 1980s, when it assumed its present functions.
Akin, Edward N. Flagler: Rockefeller Partner and Florida Baron. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1992.
Graham, Thomas. Flagler's Magnificent Hotel Ponce de Leon. St. Augustine, FL: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1975. Reprint from the Florida Historical Quarterly (July 1975).
Harvey, Karen. America's First City: St. Augustine's Historic Neighborhoods. Lake Buena Vista, FL: Tailored Tours Publications, 1992.
Scardaville, Michael, and Larry Paarlberg. Model Land Company Historic District [Flagler College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1983.