It was also known as La Campaneta (Little Bell), since there was a bell there that rang to mark the labourers’ turns to rest or labour. The farm housed a vast extension of land for farming and ranching. Far from the house there was a greenhouse, the dairy, corrals and the orchard with fruit trees. Orange, mandarin and plum trees were irrigated with water brought from the ditches.
The type of housing is Swiss style, which is how those dwellings in Alacant’s Horta (Cropland) reminiscent of Swiss houses are designated. It is distributed on two floors, the ground floor and the first floor plus the cruciform roof. Wooden eaves stand out on the roof, which were originally green. On the west side of the house there was a recreational garden where palm trees, pine trees and bougainvillea that are more than 130 years old are still preserved. The garden had some benches covered with blue and white floral tiles and the names of the grandparents of the last owner Carmen Ivorra Piñol printed in green.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Finca Pedro José like many other farms in the Alacant’s Horta (Cropland) was seized and became a military residence, becoming the headquarters and family home of Lieutenant Colonel José Muñoz Vizcaino. During this period the new tenants ordered to build a brick-lined tunnel-type bomb shelter, with two entrances from the outside of the property.
In April 1939, Sant Joan d’Alacant witnessed a crucial episode that allowed the end of the war. In the last days of the Civil War, Pedro José was the scene of the change of powers in Alicante, a diplomatic surrender, without bloodshed. The protagonists of this historic event were the pharmacist from Mutxamel José Mallol Alberola who was in contact with the military junta of Franco and negotiated with Lieutenant Colonel Jose Muñoz Vizcaíno, deputy chief of the Military Command of Alicante, a bloodless end of the war. The relevance of the fact is accentuated by the fact that Alicante was the last Republican capital that surrendered to the national faction.
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Originally the owners of the farm were also owners of La Concepció, another important property of the town. They sold it in 1890 to Pedro Piñol Queraltó of Catalan origin and Elvira Escolano Cortés born in Onil.
This house was occupied by three generations of the family called “els piñolets”, whose name was given by its founder Mr. Pedro Piñol Queraltó. The couple had two children, José and Carmen Piñol Escolano (1904-1985). The house was inherited by the daughter Carmen who was married to the famous doctor of the Tabacalera factory of Alacant, José María Ivorra Gosálvez (1899-1960). They had three children, Carmen, José María and Amparo. The eldest daughter inherited the farm after her mother’s death.
María del Carmen Ivorra Piñol, known as Carmen, and her husband Miguel Martínez-Mena Rodriguez born in Murcia, were the last couple that lived in Pedro José. They had alternating residences. They lived in their dwelling in the old town of Alicante in the winter months and occupied the house of Sant Joan during the summer months until the end of the Feast of Christ. Miguel died in 2008 and she sold Pedro José after vacating it and keeping her grandmother’s furniture. After her death in 2015, all her possessions and fortune were inherited by the children of her sister Amparo.
The bond of this family with the town of Sant Joan is unquestionable and can be traced back at least until the mid-nineteenth century. The protagonist is the paternal great-grandmother of Carmen Ivorra Piñol, Leonor Ferrandiz, married to the doctor and Mayor of Sant Joan d’Alacant, Pedro Ivorra. The historical anecdote took place in the times of Queen Elizabeth II when the new retinue went to the couple’s home on Carrer (street) Sant Antoni after winning the Glorious Revolution in 1868, where they demanded the surrender of the town’s stick. Leonor, leaning at the window of her house, was responsible for returning the stick and avoiding the public humiliation of her husband, the relegated Mayor. Another fact about Leonor is the coat of arms that remains on the altar of the chapel of Sant Pere at the Sant Joan Baptista’s parish, linked to the construction or restoration of the chapel in 1897.
Regarding the paternal family of Carmen, both her father José María Ivorra Ferrándiz, married to Vicenta Gosálvez, and her uncles, Francisco and Pedro inherited her grandfather’s profession, the famous doctor Francisco de Paula Ivorra Ferrandiz ( 1862-1932) and her great-grandfather’s profession, the Mayor of Sant Joan, Pedro Ivorra. A quarter of a year after the death of Francisco de Paula in 1958, the town of Sant Joan named a street after him for his admirable career as an attending physician in San Juan since 1901. He was in charge of attending the nuns of Santa Faç and the Salesians of El Campello, especially during the last flu epidemic of 1918.
During the Spanish Civil War, the house was seized by the military command, so its rightful owners, the family of Carmen Piñol and José María Ivorra were taken in by their friend Vicente Rocamora and relocated in the farm El Jabalí.
After the war, the family recovered their farm and decided to hide the entries to the bomb shelter that was built during the war. The daughter of the estate manager, Rafaela Baeza Seva, and the eldest daughter of the owners of the property, Carmen, got to know the shelter. The blockage of the shelter coincided with several renovations that transformed Pedro José into a classic bourgeois mansion. The dwelling of the estate managers and a new garage were built attached to the property. But the most striking work that was done was the construction of a tower above the staff rooms, trying to recall the sixteenth-century defence towers of the Horta (Cropland) and recovering the interior spaces of the house for the family. With the latest restoration completed in 2011, the tower was dismantled, along with the library and the wine cellar.