DeLeon Springs State Park located in the town of DeLeon Springs. Before DeLeon Springs became a state park archeologists uncovered mounds dating as far back 6,000 BC. Many Native American tribes inhabited the area.
Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboat and travel along 22,000 acres of lakes, creeks and marshes. Great Herons, Great Egrets and an Anhinga along the water’s edge. Lake Woodruff National Refuge next to DeLeon Springs State Park named after Joseph Woodruff who bought Spring Garden Plantation in the 1820s. Swim in the springs or rent an inner tube.
Ospreys, alligators, otters can be seen on a Fountain of Youth ECO/History boat tour through Lake Woodruff National Refuge. Have a picnic in one of the four pavilions for rent. Walk along a 4-mile Persimmon Trail. You might encounter deer, turkeys, wild hogs or a black bear. A 600-year-old cypress tree, hardwoods and other plants found along a half-mile paved nature trail.
Construction of the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House built around the turn of the century. Make your own pancakes, eggs and meats on the grill. Spring Garden Plantation Ruins located next to the restaurant. After several owners, all that remains of the spring-run sugar mill is the sugar train, sugar mill machinery and Mill Wheel constructed in the early 1830s. Hours of operation and fees are on the website.
The Bradlees greeted friends and family in the Grand Salon. Nathaniel Bradlee an architect from Boston built the 13-room Victorian Queen Anne Cottage in the mid-1880s as a winter home. Located in the historic district in Longwood at 130 W. Warren Avenue The Bradlee-McIntyre House Museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house formerly located in Altamonte Springs moved to its present location in the early 1970s. Mrs. McIntyre’s bed is the only original furniture; people donated the rest. The original floors and woodwork remain.
The house didn’t have a kitchen or indoor plumbing when originally built. The McIntyre family bought the house in the early 20th century and added indoor plumbing. Eight back-to-back fireplaces. Two fireplaces located upstairs in the living quarters. Separate ladies and men’s parlors.
A museum on the second floor shows pictures of the house move, newspaper articles from The Florida Republican published in 1886. Many personal items from that period displayed. Kitchen tools that belonged to Mrs. McIntyre and parts of a spinning wheel. The third floor housed the servants. So much history in Longwood. Hours of operation on the website.
The Mote-Morris House in Leesburg, late Victorian Revival Architecture listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Edward Mote built the house in the early 1890s. He owned a livery business and built the Lake View Hotel in the mid-1880s. He served as mayor of Leesburg for eight terms.
He sold the house to Bishop Morrison in the early part of the 20th century. The Morrisons were the second family to occupy the house. Bishop Morrison and his wife bought the house as a retirement home. In the summer months Bishop Morrison slept in a hammock in a room at the top referred to as the tower. The tower had no mosquitoes and was cooler. Walk the winding staircase to the top and view the hammock. Halfway to the top is a secretary desk and chair. A great place to read in solitude.
The Morris family bought the house in 1918 and several generations lived in the house. A storyboard depicts the many photographs and articles of the Morris family over a period of 70 years. Donated furniture and a fireplace in each room.
Situated on the well-manicured lawn are benches and a gazebo popular in the 1880s and 1890s.
The tour guide acted disinterested and rushed me through the tour. Entrance to the house is free and hours and location are on the website.