• New life for a historic building in Palatka that was infested with termites

    By: Alicia Tarancon , Action News Jax


    Drive past the historic Tilghman House near the heart of downtown Palatka and you’ll see  men on the roof and a giant tent over the building.

    "We’re going to free the building from bugs,” said Debra Daniels, the president of the Palatka Art League.

    Florida Pest Control is working to get rid of a termite infestation in the building, which has been overtaken by bugs for the last two years.


    The home now houses the local nonprofit group Palatka Art League, which offers history tours and free art classes to the community.

    But after running the building for 28 years, the group needs to paint it and replace rotting doors that are falling apart.

    Daniels said the biggest challenge  is replacing the termite-damaged wood.

    Built on the St. Johns River in 1884, the Tilghman House was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

    The city of Palatka took it over the buildings in the 1990s and the Palatka Art League began leasing it soon after.

    The pest control company is doing the work for free as a way to give back to the community.

    STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on this breaking story

    Download WJAX Apps

    Danie;s said it would easily cost $5,000 to $6,000 to restore the house "and we could have never done that."

    While the work is a start, Daniels said it’s going to take everyone in the community to  help keep this historic building alive. 

    “It’s quite a building it's beautiful inside. I’m emotional 'cause it’s just fantastic,” said Daniels.

    The Palatka Art League is still looking for donations to help make other repairs to the house. 

    Next Up: