Special to Seniors Today
Did you know that Florida’s first snowbird was famed hatmaker John B. Stetson? Stetson commissioned the largest, grandest, and most modern home ever seen in Florida before 1900. It predates all the other Gilded Age mansions in Florida and it’s in Volusia County!
In addition to 16 intricate original parquet wood floor patterns, carved Moorish details, and 10,000 panes of antique glass, the ultra modern home was built in 1886 with mixed architectural styles called High Victorian, electricity courtesy of his friend Thomas Edison, steam heat, hot and cold running water up three stories, and an electric call bell system.
The Stetson Mansion, in DeLand, fell into obscurity after 1906 when John B. Stetson died in the house. It took until 2005-8 to be discovered, restored, and stunningly renovated to be appreciated once again.
Although still a private residence, historic tours were offered for many years culminating with Tripadvisor’s Top 10 Attractions In The USA award in 2022 and 2023. The home is also the popular Christmas Mansion, named 10 Best Historic Holiday Home Tours In The USA by USA Today for 5 years running.
This coming holiday season there will be 10 new designer room themes that will display endless elaborate and elegant decorations and vignettes like you might see in New York City luxury store windows. All designed and installed by one artist, taking four months to build. There are decorated homes you can view, but none have such lavish themed rooms that relay the meaning of the season like The Christmas Mansion.
The 12th annual “Christmas Spectacular!” Holiday Home Tour is now open. Guided and self-guided tours are offered. Reservations are required at Stetson Mansion.com through January 20th.