The Barn

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"The Barn" at 105 W. Jackson St.

The Barn is the name given to an historic house at 105 West Jackson Street that was used as a speakeasy during Prohibition.

The Barn had already been built in 1909 when Francis Celestino Brent purchased the half block fronting La Rua Street between Baylen and Spring, planning to build a family home there. He also purchased the home at 200 West La Rua Street, intending to live there temporarily while the new home was under construction, but ultimately decided to renovate the La Rua home for a permanent residence and use the Jackson Street building for his horses, carriages and servants' quarters.

In 1919 a Naval aviator named James Albert Whitted married Brent's youngest daughter Frances. He used the Barn property to build a seaplane of his own design, called the "Falcon."

The property was purchased circa 1924-25 by Will Davis and used as a home for a few years.

From about 1928 to 1933, the Barn was rented as an Officers' Club. Despite the prohibition of alcohol, the Barn was frequently used for parties and dances where alcohol was served. Billy Turtle served as manager of the club, and moonshine (or "shinny") was purchased from bootlegger Sam Clepper. According to J. Brent Watson, the club was led by Charlie Mason, Ralph Woods and Dick Gaines and had about 24 flight instructors and students. "We had some wonderful parties and the Feds never bothered us," he recounted.

After the Officers' Club vacated the premises in 1933, it was rented by the Progress Club for several years.

More recently it has been used as a business office by boxer Roy Jones, Jr. and later attorney Walter Steigleman.


  • "The Barn" by J. Brent Watson. In archives of Pensacola Historical Society.