This house has been witness of the lives from several people that occupied it, with the years they are part of the walls that we want to share with our guests as another testimony of the exciting history of this city.
The first record
In the late eighteenth century the house was owned by a French citizen and merchant named Jean D'Anglade, married with Rosa Guerra. There are numerous references in the archives that shows the richness of this family. They owned several houses in the city in addition to the hacienda San José de Cospique. Apparently engaged in buying and selling properties we found his name on various documents that show a feverish commercial activity but also slave trade and smuggling.
The Consul's house
In January 1824 reached Cartagena the British Consul Mr. Edward Watts with the purpose of promoting trade relations between UK and this port, after the weakness of the Spanish administration.
He settled down in two houses on Cochera del Gobernador street turning to Candilejo street.
The Consul supports the independence process led by Bolivar, who visited him during his last stay in the city, offering a miniaturist portrait painted by the Italian artist Meucci as a gift. This portrait was used in 1831 as ornament during the funeral that the city made in honor of Bolivar´s memory.
Consul Watts was an outstanding member of the city' s aristocracy, proof of it are the numerous references made by English chroniclers and officers in their travel diaries of the years 1820 to 1830 in which they emphasize the friendly and hospitable attitude of Mr. Watts. He was forced to leave the city in 1833 as it was accused to intervene in the internal affairs of Colombia.
When he leaved the country his son George Burghalt Watts assumed as Vice Consul and took over the house. He married in 1838 with Juliana de Porras.
The next generation
In the census of 1851 from the Cathedral quarter on page 13 we can read: " family of George B Watts that includes among its children a boy named Tomas, son, single, age 6, free".
Thomas B. Watts and Porras was born in Cartagena in 1845 and according to a deed of 1883 stored in the historical records of the city bought "for himself and his family two tall houses adjacent to the accessory one side ruined stone tile wood .. . located on Cochera del Gobernador street ... from his mother by an amount of six thousand pesos."
The scenes described in García Márquez book "Love in the Time of Cholera" are not immune to the tragedy that is unveiled from the death certificate of the wife of Mr. Tomas who died in 1892 leaving five minor children "after an illness that deprived her of life ".
The hardware store
In 1912 Tomas B. Watts dies and the house goes to auction on August 22, 1913.
Two years before the trading company Franco Covo & Co.. bought the adjoining house to move its hardware store and who finally round off the house that went for 7.800 "american gold pesos at 4.30 pm."
Since the end of 1800 in the houses had been established different kinds of shops like the pharmacy of Mr. Dionisio Araujo, a bar and the renowned FrancoCovo & Co hardware store that permanently announced new arrivals of imported products in the local newspapers .
At the same time the building of the Andean Corporation is built in the neighborhood that required the demolition of a house called "the island", because it was the largest that existed in the old city.