The History of River House

A Tribute To Mary Peck

River House is a little different than most venues in that it is owned by a private non-profit organization, the St. Johns County Council on Aging. On the weekdays, the building operates as an active senior center with all types of classes and programs for residents and visitors alike. On the weekend, it transforms into an event venue, hosting social and corporate events. Proceeds from the venue rentals directly support the non-profit’s mission and day-to-day upkeep of the building, making River House a dual-purpose facility with truly unique functions.

A woman by the name of Mary Peck, a longtime supporter and active participant of COA programming, willed that her home be used for the benefit of community elders when she passed away. Her wish was to provide waterfront dining for seniors, so older adults could enjoy the Bayfront view that she had loved during her lifetime. With her donation, a vision was brought to life. Her home was sold and the profit was used as the seed money to build River House.

Cathy Brown, COA’s Executive Director at the time, is credited with the brilliant idea of constructing a building that could house senior programing during the week, and host special events on the weekends. It became the perfect balance — providing St. Johns County with a state-of-the-art, nationally accredited senior center, as well as a prestigious event venue on the Bayfront overlooking the Matanzas River, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Bridge of Lions.

A.D. Davis Construction broke ground in May 2009, and River House opened its doors in January 2010. The River House Ballroom is named in Ms. Peck’s honor, and a portrait of her created by local artist Jean Troemel is displayed there.

To learn more about COA’s mission and impact on St. Johns County, click here.

Reviews of River House

Jada S.

Wedding Wire

If you a searching for the perfect St. Augustine wedding venue, look no further! The River House is such a magical spot and not only do you get the feel of downtown but you get to be slightly out of the hustle and bustle. Allison and Devan went above and beyond to ensure that the venue was ready for my wedding and guests. Even a few days after Hurricane Ian flooded the streets Allison was on top of communicating with me that the venue survived and was ready for us. The building itself is absolutely stunning, I loved that I could get married outside with the water behind us while still having an indoor reception, and the best part, our guests didn’t have to travel between! They are so accommodating and I couldn’t be happier with my choice to be at the River House on my best day! If you’re considering this venue, you have truly found a hidden gem!

Catie M.

The Knot

An Unforgettable Wedding Experience at The River House! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I cannot express enough how thrilled we were with The River House as the venue for my daughter's wedding. From the moment we stepped through their doors, we knew we had found something truly special. Allison Wilson, the exceptional venue representative, guided us seamlessly through the entire process. Booking the venue, coordinating follow-ups, and the big day itself was made incredibly easy by Allison's expertise and dedication. One of the standout features of The River House is the breathtaking photo opportunities it offers. The picturesque backdrop of the river, lighthouse, dock, library, and stunning fountain created stunning and timeless memories captured in our wedding album. The versatility of the venue allowed us to create a variety of captivating shots, ensuring every aspect of our special day was beautifully documented. Moreover, we greatly appreciated the flexibility and cost-control options that The River House provided. The ability to bring in our own caterer and bar service was a fantastic opportunity that allowed us to personalize our menu and stay within our budget. This level of flexibility is not often found in other venues, and it made a significant difference for us. Parking is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of wedding planning, especially in a bustling city like St. Augustine. Fortunately, The River House had ample parking available, sparing us from any costly surprises. The venue's thoughtful consideration of this detail demonstrated their commitment to ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience for both the couple and their guests. Every aspect of our wedding at The River House was handled with the utmost professionalism, all while maintaining a personal touch. The team fully understands the significance of this special day, not only for the bride and groom but also for the parents. They treated us with the utmost care and respect, making us feel like valued partners in creating a truly magical event. If you're searching for an extraordinary wedding venue that combines stunning surroundings, exceptional service, and a personal touch, look no further than The River House. Our daughter's wedding was a dream come true, and we owe it all to the incredible team who made it happen. Thank you, Allison Wilson, and The River House, for creating an unforgettable and truly magical wedding day! Sincerely, Terri and Doug McGregor

Emily S.

Wedding Wire

We had our wedding reception May 25th, 2019 and it was perfect! My husband and I live in Jacksonville but all of our guests were coming from Pennsylvania. We picked the River House because if he indoor/outdoor flexibility! We wanted our guests to embrace the Florida lifestyle! We didn’t have to worry about the weather and got to enjoy the beautiful views of the river and lighthouse. There also have their own dock where we took amazing sunset photos. Lastly, Constance and her staff were a joy to work with and always willing to help!

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