Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mount Dora/Zellwood mansion Part 3

Ahhh, the front porch.
A little history, best I can remember. The home was built by James Laughlin as a hunting lodge, in the late 1800, completed in 1904. He was one of the original owners of "Jones & Laughlin Steel Company", out of Pennsylvania. There was transportation by train (the old Flagler tracks) and once arriving into Zellwood, you would take a carriage to get to the home.

The home is listed as one of 'Florida's Historic Homes'.
While part of the school, it was the dormitory for many, including Billy Graham's and Robert Schuler's children. The children were PK's (pastor's kids) MK's (minister's kids) and OK's (ordinary kids).

The above garden area has an actual "Whispering Wall" (the curved wall) seen here in the background. An amazing trick of sound, where the person on one side of the wall can hear the slightest whisper of the person on the opposite wall.

After the school, the home sat vacant for 20 years. It had some tenants over the years that did quite a bit of damage and pilfering of the wonderful old relics and hardware, not to mention the hoarding of garbage.
The above picture is of part of the back of the home.

It's taken over 8 years for Dick, Carla, Vicki and Rhonda (and many friends) to get the home back to it's original glory.
I hope I get invited back to take more photos and sip some mint julep on that front porch!
Huge 'Thank you's' to the family, for letting us stay.


  1. Karen,
    This is beautiful! The pictures are wonderful. I will let my parents see this. You guys are welcome any time!!!!

  2. I was lucky enough to stay in this beautiful mansion. I will always remember! Thanks for the photos, they give the right feeling of the house!