Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House

Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House is located at 429 Caroline Street in Key West in the state of Florida. It is believed that Judge James Webb built this house in 1837. Webb was the first Federal Judge of the new superior court of Key West and he took up that post in 1828. He purchased the land from one Mr. Green and built this massive and emerald ‘grand dame’, a mixed style mansion but with more emphasis on Virginian style. However, he moved on to Texas in 1838 and sold the house.

However, this Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House is more popularly known as the home and birthplace of Dr. Joseph Yates Porter, II. Dr. Porter was the first native born physician of Key West. He went on to become an outstanding physician in the history of entire Florida. The father of Dr. Porter, Joseph Porter bought this house in 1845, after several families lived in the house in the seven years after the judge sold the house. Joseph Porter was from Charleston, South Carolina and he married Mary Ann Randolph. Dr. Porter was born in this house in 1847 and became one of the most prominent citizens of Key West.

His parents passed away at young ages of 32 and 30 respectively and his grandmother, Susan Brown Randolph brought him up. After serving successfully as a physician in many places including the Army Medical Corps and the Florida State Board of Health, he remained in the house until he passed away in 1927. The son and daughter of Dr. Porter were also prominent citizens in Key West. His son, William Porter amassed large real estates in the island.

His daughter, Jessie Newton was very active in restoration and preservation of several historic homes in Key West. Jessie was the one who painted the Dr. Joseph Y. Porter House in emerald green to reflect the sea surrounding the island. The Porters had several other houses also apart from this house in the same street and Jessie painted all of them with different shades of emerald green. The Federal Government added this building to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1973.