Edward Avery McIlhenny returned to Avery Island in 1898. His widowed mother asked that he take over the family’s Tabasco pepper sauce business. He built his house on the hill above the Willow Pond, married Mary Matthews, had three and began to apply his curious skills to running a small, part-time family business, caring for his mother and other extended family, and gradually learning to harness his boundless curiosity, abilities, and vigor to serve this small, isolated “island.” In 1925 his house burned to the ground. It was swiftly rebuilt though in a more restrained style. The house is not open to the public and the grounds are privately held.