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Amelia Islander

Florida House Inn Rich in History

Aug 06, 2014 02:00AM
The Florida House Inn is a vintage 1857 Inn located in the heart of the historic district of Fernandina Beach, Florida. The Inn was originally built as a boarding house by David Yulee, who was attempting to build a railroad from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key. The railroad was almost complete when the Civil War began and unfortunately, Yulee’s dream never came true. The Inn then housed Union soldiers during the war and was purchased by Major Leddy and his wife.

After the Civil War, Fernandina became a bustling and thriving seaport town. It relied on the shipping industry, shrimping, and the tourist trade. Thousands of Northerners voyaged to Fernandina on the Mallory Steamship Line from New York. Fernandina was hailed as “The Queen of Summer Resorts” by an 1896 edition of American Resorts magazine. Golden Age prosperity prompted a building boom. This attracted visitors such as the Vanderbilt’s, DuPont’s and Carnegies who housed their guests traveling from out of town at the Inn and also threw dinner parties in our dining room. Fernandina was home to the First Customs House in the United States. The oldest newspaper in Florida was started in Fernandina.

Over the years, the Inn has withstood many hardships and still stands as the matriarch on the Island. The inn has housed many guests throughout the years including Ulysses S. Grant, Jose Marti, Henry Ford, Laurel and Hardy, Mary Pickford and more. Today the inn is still home to weary travelers from all over the world.