I just discovered one of the many gems in Eustis, Florida: the Clifford House. Located at 536 North Bay Street, the Clifford House is home to the Eustis Historical Museum and Preservation Society. Construction on the home began in 1910 and was completed in 1911. Guilford Davis Clifford, a native of New York, planned to build his home years earlier but postponed his plans due to devastating freezes in 1894 and 1895. I was impressed with the sturdiness of the home. The original, copper window screens are still intact. The home is made of hardy Florida Cypress, while the floors were constructed with double layers of 3/4 inch heart of pine. After my children have poked their fingers through numerous window screens, this home would be a dream come true.
As we toured the two story mansion, I was awed by the collection of period antiques. Each of the eighteen rooms has a theme centered around the life and times of the Clifford family and local Florida history. My younger son enjoyed the World War I display on the second floor, while my oldest enjoyed the informative guided tour by the curator. We learned many new facts throughout the tour, such as who David Walker was, the history of the local hospital, and who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
Open from 1-5 pm every Friday and Saturday (excluding holidays), the Clifford House is a great place to visit or take out of town guests. I thought the only thing missing was me enjoying an iced coffee on the porch while watching the sun set over Lake Eustis. For more information or to plan your own trip, visit their website: http://www.eustishistoricalmuseum.org/index.asp