Joseph G. Fabregas, a distinguished-looking, older gentleman from a more affluent family, met Regla in the countryside of Camaguey and fell in love. Although family ties took him to Argentina, he returned to marry her and move to Key West. Here they purchased this home in the "wilderness" of the city. She continued to raise her family while he was employed as a selector in the Ruy Lopez Tobacco Factory.
They relished the usual social activities commensurate with the early days of Key West, which were Sunday gatherings and holiday "comelatas" (feasts) with close friends and family. Sharing was the key amenity of those days; sharing food and services in exchange for an unique camaraderie enjoyed only by the settlers of the island circa early 1900's.
The home, built in 1908, was purchased January 4m 190-- from the Thompson family for the sum of $550. There was no indoor plumbing, and the porch and laundry room were later additions to the property. A cistern provided water and later electric lights were made available.
The family raised chickens and eggs with convenience and frugality in mind. When these became plentiful, it increased their bartering power with the neighboring families.
Cooking was done on a kerosene stove, while refrigeration was provided for by an ice box. There were daily deliveries of milk and ice by horse-drawn wagons, and the "Pitoli" (pronounces pee-to-lee) candy man also made his daily trek to the delight of the children of that day.
An unusually cold winter in 1915 forced Joseph to purchase a kerosene heater for the comfort of his daughters and new-born son. Street cars and horse-drawn buggies (or taxis) were the transportation mode for shopping and visiting.
Danny has taken on the restoration of this family homestead with a very special, personal interest and enthusiasm. He studied the plan for three months before driving the first nail. The plan was to salvage what he could of the existing structure and modify the floor plan for space and convenience.
Changes upstairs included making two large bedrooms out of three, an additional bath and two large walk-in closets. The downstairs reflects the entertainment mode of living: spacious living room area displaying a kitchen with wall pantry and large island counter to enjoy Danny's Special Barbecued Chicken.
A donated stained glass window and relocated original door transom lend light to an all-oak staircase, the focal point of the living area.
The patio decking in the rear was designed by Danny, providing bench seating and plants for privacy. For added convenience, a double carport, storage shed and bathroom were included on the decking area.
An excellent host, Danny shares with others his most impressive accomplishment by conducting informal tours, providing information including his 'round-the-world possessions displayed there.
Recalling the "before" and relishing the "after", Danny confessed, "It was the impossibility which made the possibility such a personal victory in the restoration of the 'Corner house'!" [