For the last several years from mid-November to early January the Stetson House in Deland, Florida, is recreated into a Christmas wonderland. Tickets for the visit go quickly however you can try to obtain them at http://www.stetsonmansion.com. Rated by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 10 Things To Do In Florida the mansion is open year round. I have visited with and without decorations and found both tours fascinating.
Stetson was one of the original snowbirds who for 20 years brought his family from Pennsylvania to Florida for the winter. A millionaire in the hat industry he also was involved in citrus and sugar cane growing in Florida. A close friend of Thomas Edison his home was the first in Florida to be electrified with DC current.
History relayed let’s talk of the tour… While pictures are not allowed on the tour here are some of the sights which will enchant the eye. Opening the door to the gilded era home there was a peacock theme to the first room. Since this years theme is, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” this song plays upon entering the room. Here is a vision of peacocks, (not live ones), and lights abound. In the following room silver accents are found with a bear and forest theme. The following red room is laced with singing cardinals. This description is only a sampling of J.T.’s creations and hopefully if you can snag a ticket you’ll capture it all. And if unable to get a ticket a book is available.
J.T. and Michael are the owners of Stetson with J.T., a New Jersey native, being the creator of the masterpiece, and Michael the business manager. On a former visit J.T. stopped by the tour and discussed how he creates the home. Always fascinating to meet the artist and learn of how they receive inspiration.
The Stetson House is also available for weddings and Michael has a mailing list for events and updates. It is a wonderful visit and good to see a valuable historic landmark in the hands of caring custodians.