This house, which sits today at 414 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, is called “The Gardner House” because it was generously donated by the Maurice Gardner Family. The house had been owned by the family for sixty years, 1925-1985. The house originally sat on Magnolia Avenue (present day U.S. Highway 1) at Moore’s Creek.
The house has been restored with furnishings that were typical of a lower-middle class family of south Florida in the early 1900’s. None of the furnishings are original to the house. All pieces have been donated by area residents. The acquisition of furniture is a continuing project.
Almand Augustus Register came to Fort Pierce from White Oak, North Carolina in 1902. With his young wife, Ida Cain he moved for a time to Lemon City, a pioneer community on the shores of Biscayne Bay. In 1906 he purchased land from the McCarty family, lots 4,5,&6 of Block N. He secured a loan for $200.00 from the Bank of Fort Pierce, to purchase lumber. Construction began in 1907, using 17,178 board feet of lumber for a cost of $254.07.
Mr. Register was a cooper. Along with a partner A.P. Edge, they produced barrels for fish, shrimp and potatoes. At the time, barrels wholesaled at 10¢ and brought 69¢ in the retail market. Their factory was located near the present day site of the St. Lucie County Public Library on Indian River Drive. A series of hurricanes, a fire and the Great Depression destroyed the business.
The Registers had five children. Rossie Lee, Alton A., Annie Breen, Robert M. “Push”, and Edgar C. Annie Breen Register was the only child born in the Gardner House.