Then and Now — 1936 & 2023 — 226 18th Ave NE
From 1936: “Truly a modern bungalow and here are some of the features: Beautiful oak floors throughout, Colonial fireplace, French doors, Oil Burning Furnace, all cedar lined closets, mirror doors, beautifully colored full tile bath, compact handy kitchen with metal sink cabinet, tile work table, built in features, refrigerator, 2-car garage with laundry tubs and toilet. All materials of the finest and carefully selected by a particular builder. We recommend it highly at $6,500. Sold by Parsley & Stone, Inc.”
This house was originally built in 1935 for a cost of $3,000 and purchased by Basil and Mary Martin in 1936.
Basil Ferguson Martin was born in Bellefonte, Pa. on March 4, 1901, his father was a wall-paper hanger/painter. Basil received his schooling in Bellefonte, but for some reason, which I couldn’t discern, didn’t graduate from Bellefonte High School until 1925, when he was 24 years old. He was active in High School in sports, having played basketball and baseball.
After graduating High School, Basil entered Susquehanna University, a liberal arts college in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Basil continued his athletic activities with the baseball and football teams. While attending school there,
Basil met Ms. Mary Elizabeth Woodruff, a local girl from Selinsgrove, whose father was the town doctor and herself a student at Susquehanna University. Basil and Mary began dating and it wasn’t long before he decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor. Basil made his major pre-med. The 1929 Susquehanna University yearbook had this to say about Basil – “An athlete, scholar, and true friend – are noble characteristics of Basil, who live in Bellefonte, or rather, he used to live there, but since a “certain one” has entered so deeply into his life, the greater part of his time is spent in Selinsgrove.”
After graduating from Susquehanna University in 1929 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Med, Basil entered the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy, where he earned his doctorate degree in June of 1933. Mary had earned her degree in Education and began teaching English and Latin at Susquehanna University. On August 20, 1933 (while Mary was on summer break) she and Basil were married while on vacation in Quebec, Ontario, they were both 32 years old. After honeymooning in Quebec, they immediately took the train to St. Pete where they had decided he would set up his medical practice. Upon arrival in the Sunshine city Basil and Mary rented a room at 417 3rd St. No. and Basil partnered with Dr. Hunter R. Smith who had office space in the Florida Theater Building. The following year they moved to a new location taking up the entire 7th floor of the Snell Building.
Mary and Basil had two children, Patricia Ann (1935) and John Woodruff (1944), both attended local schools in St. Pete and were SPHS graduates.
Basil and Mary found St. Pete to be just to their liking and in 1936 purchased this featured house, which they owned until 1998, when Basil died at age 96.
Basil was active in social, civic, and fraternal activities in St. Pete. He was a life member of Nitram Masonic Lodge No. 188 and the Civitan Club. He helped open the first bowling lanes in St. Pete in 1937 and was a lifelong bowler, winning many trophies and awards. He was a coin collector, who was quoted in the Times in 1955 as saying ‘Hobbies relax a fellow’. He was also a member of the Franklin and Suncoast gem and mineral society. His family attended First Presbyterian Church.
Mary passed away on May 17, 1968, at age 68 and was buried in Woodlawn Memory Gardens in St. Pete. On June 18, 1969, Basil married Loretta Woodruff, the widow of Mary’s late brother. The couple were married for 28 years, until Basil died at age 96, on January 20, 1998. Basil was buried next to
In all the Martin family lived in this “modern bungalow” for 62 years.
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