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perry mcintosh house in live oak florida

Live Oak

Perry McIntosh House

Dr. Perry A. McIntosh, long-time Luraville physician, built his home in the late 1800s (some sources say the 1870s or 1880s).  

The two-story residence had an adjoining one-story wing connected by a porch; this wing had offices and examination rooms for Dr. McIntosh’s thriving medical practice.  Dr. McIntosh, originally of Thomasville, Georgia, moved to Luraville in 1875 after completing his studies at the University of Georgia. He shortly thereafter married Ella P. Ivey of the prominent Ivey family from the Branford area.  While continuing his physician’s practice, Dr. McIntosh was also the postmaster of Luraville from 1882 to 1890, at which time his brother Thomas McIntosh took it over. After attending post-graduate courses in New York in 1892, Dr. McIntosh returned to his birthplace of Thomasville to practice medicine.  He was still living there in 1895, when a book published of Georgia notables included him. However, Dr. McIntosh had returned to Luraville by 1898, when he was listed as the owner of the “McIntosh residence lot” in Luraville that included this home and office. Dr. McIntosh apparently loved the good life and would charter a rail coach to take him and his family to places around the United States that interested him.  Dr. McIntosh earned and lost several fortunes over his lifetime, and died destitute in 1936 with nothing but his home. In his final years, due to financial problems, Dr. McIntosh and his wife moved into the one-story wing of their house to save on heating and cooling costs.

While financially stable, Dr. McIntosh was well known throughout the community as a man who provided generously to his family and to the local residents.

He and his wife held parties nearly every night and would regularly take the youth of the area on moonlight picnics. In fact, Dr. McIntosh and his wife were better known as “Doc” and “Money” because of their friendliness and generosity.  As a further example of their generosity, Dr. McIntosh and his wife Ella also became the guardians of Lura V. Irvine after her parents, Washington L. and Lenora (sometimes Laura) Irvine, passed away. Lenora Irvine was Ella’s sister and Washington Irvine was a close cousin of Perry, while Lura was the namesake of the community of Luraville.  Unfortunately, Lura Irvine died because of a dormitory fire on December 26, 1888 at the age of 15. According to one source, she stepped on a lit match in the school dormitory and her dress caught on fire. According to the same source, Lura died of her wounds while recuperating at Dr. McIntosh’s house.

After the death of Dr. and Mrs. McIntosh, their son Paul inherited the home but sold it around 1960.  Among the later owners of the home was James Lancaster, who raised an old locomotive from the Suwannee River in 1979 that now resides in front of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Building in Tallahassee (that’s another story!).  Ironically, another doctor currently owns the Dr. Perry McIntosh House. The home has seen some alterations over the years, such as the removal of the rear double portico that mirrored the one on the front, but overall it remains a shining example of late Nineteenth Century architecture.


Eric Musgrove, Author

About the Author

Eric Musgrove is a seventh-generation native of Suwannee County, Florida. Growing up on the family’s country homestead, he quickly developed a love for history that has remained strong throughout his life.

The 1996 salutatorian of Suwannee High School, Eric was also a December 1997 valedictorian of Montgomery, Alabama’s Faulkner University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in history at the age of nineteen. Returning home to Suwannee County in 1998, Eric began working for the Suwannee County Clerk of the Court. He remains there today as historian and records manager, among many other duties.

Eric has been the youngest member of the Suwannee County Historical Commission since he was appointed to it in 2003. He was treasurer from 2008 to 2014 and since October 2014 has served as its chairman. Eric is a frequent presenter of local history and has been mentioned in the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune, among hundreds of other prominent national and international newspapers. In early 2012, Eric was awarded the 2011 Trailblazer Award by the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his work in preserving and presenting local history. Since 2013, he has also published a weekly historical column for one of Suwannee County’s local newspapers, the Suwannee Democrat.

Eric married his college sweetheart, Sarah, in 1998, and they live near Live Oak on part of the old family homestead with their two children, Alex and Abby. Eric has authored five published books: Reflections of Suwannee County, Suwannee Memories, There Let Me Live and Die, Images of America: Suwannee County, and Lost Suwannee County.

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