Peek Under the Hat of Florida’s Fabulous Stetson Mansion

The name Stetson conjures up more images of wide-open prairies and rugged cowboys than it does of luxury living, but this Gilded Age mansion proves that it might be able to go both ways.

The Stetson Mansion in Deland, FL—the winter home of John B. Stetson of cowboy hat fame—is now on the market for $2.55 million. The listing includes the three-story Victorian as well as a separate schoolhouse-turned-guesthouse and a garage with a carriage house. In total, there are nine bedrooms, 10 baths, and three half-baths.

All three buildings sit on a 2.3-acre lot, which is a bit of a comedown from the property’s original 300-acre orange grove, but it’s certainly nothing to scoff at. On the manicured acreage, you’ll find a putting green, meditation garden, greenhouse, and gazebo. And you can gaze over all of it from the 10,000 panes of leaded glass—one whole wall of which was imported from a 1700s French chateau.

“It’s considered a High Victorian mansion, but it has influences from all around the globe,” says listing agent Lisa Scott. She cites Moorish, Gothic, and South Pacific influences ranging from the arches and intricate detailing to the 16 different styles of original wood parquet flooring that vary from room to room.

The current owners converted all six fireplaces to gas, added bathrooms, and replaced the potbellied stove in the kitchen with professional appliances. Both the carriage house and guesthouse have full kitchens and laundry as well.

They “updated it to today’s standards but in a very tasteful way that doesn’t take away from any of the historical value,” says Scott.

Stetson had no shortage of famous friends to help enhance his home. George T. Pearson designed the house, while Thomas Edison did all the electrical wiring, and Henry Flagler added a railroad spur near the original property boundaries.


Guests included President Grover Cleveland and Louis Comfort Tiffany, who may or may not have designed any of the home’s many windows (they have never been tested), but certainly seems to at least have inspired them.

The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered TripAdvisor’s top attraction spot in DeLand. It’s currently being used as a residence, historic attraction with guided tours, and event venue, including an annual Christmas Spectacular, so there’s plenty of room for innovation on the part of its next owners.

“The home is just phenomenal,” says Scott. “It’s got so much potential.”

SOURCE: www.realtor.com