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Orren & Allie M. Wells House

Buildings: Sarasota History

Source: City of Sarasota public records
Credit: Sarasota History Alive
Location: 1743 Bay Street, Sarasota, FL

Sarasota History - Orren & Allie M. Wells House photo

The ORREN AND ALLIE WELLS HOUSE, 1743 Bay Street represents an early Frame Vernacular residence. This home provides an obvious visual contrast in its scale and design and construction to virtually all the other homes in this street and neighborhood of the Hudson Bayou Addition.

The house was built in 1916 (This 1916 date is based on the oldest recorded fire insurance maps which are dated 1916. In addition, however, based on information for Mr. Orren Wells, it seems that the house may have been built prior to 1916, as his obituary shows Mr. Wells living in "his house on Hudson Bayou" for 4 years before his death and since he died in 1917 it stands to reason that the home was constructed in 1913) for Mr. and Mrs. Orren Wells in the Hudson Bayou addition platted on April 13th, 1912 and was developed by A.B Edwards.

In 1913 Alice and Orren wells came from Chicago where Orren was a contractor for many years. Alice, known as 'Allie' (and possibly her son Orren Wells Jr., again based on the time of death of Mr. Orren Wells) sold the property on September of 1917 to a lieutenant in the US Army Tank Corps C.R Doddridge. The description of the sale was as follows "All the furniture now in the house situated on said property mentioned above, and all the farming tools and one hundred and forty chickens for the sum of $2,900.00." He was to pay $58.16 a month till the debt was paid in full according to the contract. It appears that he defaulted the contract (due to death or some other unknown circumstance) as after Orren died suddenly on August 2, 1917, Allie is shown as living there (then known as 107 Bay St, then 345 Bay St, finally to the present address of 1743 Bay Street) for the next twenty five years or so. They had a son, Orren Jr.

Allie then sold 1743 Bay Street to Marie and Arthur Graves in 1938 (for reasons unknown). Arthur Graves was Marie's second husband as her first husband had killed himself leaving Marie with a small child to raise. Marie owned the house by herself before marrying Arthur. Marie was a music teacher and a musician for many years to Sarasota residents. Arthur lived in Sarasota twenty five years and was a cashier at Ringling bank Of Sarasota, and then at the Palmer First National Bank And Trust Company Of Sarasota for twenty years.. Marie went on to live in the residence until the early 1990's. They had a daughter named Sylvia. Marie's grandaughter lived in it until the late 1990's when Marie's daughter Sylvia sold it. One of the past owners of the house recalled that Mable Ringling used to play bridge with Marie and other ladies in a club at the house.

There is also some circus history connected to Bay Street. Charles Picket owned the historically designated house @ 1731 Bay Street, and it was attached to his brother Leon's house next store. Leon Picket was the advance agent for Ringling circus for years.

The Orren & Allie Wells House was locally designated by the City of Sarasota in 2003.

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