Lilian Place Heritage Center

Lilian Place Heritage Center named after Lilian Thompson who lived in the house all her life located at 111 Silver Beach Avenue in Daytona Beach.

Take a tour throughout the Victorian house with a very knowledgeable guide. Each room including photographs depicts life in the 1880s when people lived a simpler life. Heart-of-pine floors throughout the house. An original fireplace in the living room. Original as well as donated furnishings. A hutch in the dining room given to the Thompson family by the Hotchkiss family. The Hotchkiss family early settlers from Chicago built the Queen Anne House next door to Lilian Place. Their son Eli Hotchkiss and two other men invented the stapler.

Descendants of the family lived in the house for 100 years then sold to people who opened a bed and breakfast inn for thirteen years. The house sold to the Heritage Preservation Trust in 2009 and opened as a museum.

Stephen Crane author of “The Red Badge of Courage” a civil war novel stayed at Lilian Place for 3 days after surviving a shipwreck on his way to Cuba in 1896 to cover the Spanish-American War. He left a copy of “The Red Badge of Courage” as a thank you gift. He wrote “The Open Boat” a short story about his shipwreck experience.

Our guide took us on a tour of the grounds. He pointed out that the Sabal and Date Palms part of the landscape are grass not trees. The Sabal Palm resistant to freeze and the Date Palm has an edible sweet fruit. The Live Oak can live up to four hundred years. The tree provides shade, and Native Americans used all parts of the tree. Stand along the water’s edge and admire the Osprey a raptor as they swoop down and grab their prey. Songbirds and wading birds dwell along the Halifax River.

Before the automobile, the Carriage House the same architectural style as the house used to house horses and carriages. A gift shop in its place sells homemade goods, Christmas items and books by local writers.

Due to security concerns, no indoor photography allowed. I recommend the house its one of the few historical homes in Central Florida. Admission prices and hours of operation on the website.

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Enterprise Heritage Center & Museum

Enterprise Heritage Center & Museum located at 360 Main Street in Enterprise in a former school. Enterprise founded in the early 1840s by Cornelius Taylor from Virginia. Watch a film about the establishment of the town. In 2016, Enterprise celebrated 175 years of its founding. Eleven families of original descendants live in the town.

Steamboat travel the mode of travel in the mid to late nineteenth century. People boarded the Darlington or Hattie Brock in Jacksonville for a two-week trip down the St. Johns River to Enterprise. People stayed at the Brock House for the winter. Hunting and fishing some of the activities offered to guests as well as trips to Sulphur Springs because of the medicinal properties. Famous people that stayed at the hotel included a U.S. President, a former general of the union army, writers and European Aristocrats.

Captain Brock captured during the civil war for being a blockade-runner. His ships seized and he spent time in prison. His ships returned to him after the war, he then went back to Jacksonville and resumed his business ventures.

Our docent a descendant of one of the original families took us on a tour of the museum. Storyboards throughout the museum depict the many accomplishments of the early settlers. Dr. James Glass a judge from New York before he graduated from medical school then moved to Enterprise built The Thornby House and opened a practice. Throughout his career, he never charged a fee. Thayer & Sauls Store on Main Street owned and operated by William S. Thayer and John Sauls.

Paintings by Susan Furrie a local artist on display. Stop by the gift shop and browse the many items for sale. The book “The Story of Thornby” by Susan Walters, a local resident. Books by Marcia Meara and pen and ink drawings.

I recommend a visit to the museum, a lot of history in a small town. Free admission, donations accepted. Hours of operation on the website.