Sixty miles north of Orlando is DeLand, another small Florida city enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Famous as the original home campus of beautiful Stetson University and the Winter estate of hat magnate John Stetson for who the university was named. Locally referred to as the Stetson Mansion the house was extensively renovated in 2008 and, although a private residence, it is open for scheduled tours. Of special note is the house tour each year at Christmas.The Stetson Mansion decorated for Christmas usually finds it on most top ten lists of Christmas house tours along with the North Carolina Biltmore Estate Christmas tour. MORE INFORMATION HERE
The John B. Stetson Mansion, built for the hat manufacturer who made his fortune by inventing the cowboy hat, is a historic home located at 1031 Camphor Lane, DeLand, Florida. Built for Stetson and his wife (Sara) Elizabeth, the house was designed by Philadelphia architect George T. Pearson in 1886.
The mansion has attracted a number of famous guests to spend time in DeLand, Florida including the King and Queen of England, President James Garfield and Thomas Edison. In the construction of the house Edison installed the electrical system and Louis Comfort Tiffany designed and created the houses windows of leaded glass.
John Batterson Stetson (May 5, 1830 – February 18, 1906) was an American hatter, hat manufacturer, and, in the 1860s, the inventor of the iconic cowboy hat. He founded the John B. Stetson Company as a manufacturer of headwear with the company’s hats now commonly referred to just as Stetsons.
Stetson was born in New Jersey. His father, Stephen Stetson, was a hat maker and as a youth, John Stetson worked for his father until he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and left the hat-making business to explore the American West before TB took his life. Inhere he met drovers, bullwhackers and cowboys. The former hat-maker turned a critical eye to the flea-infested coonskin caps favored by many of the gold seekers, and wondered whether fur-felt would work for a lightweight, all-weather hat suitable for the West.
On November 21, 1978, the mansion was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Note: While the house is 10,000 square feet and has incredible architectural details along with period furnishings, the taking of interior photographs is not permitted. For a look at the interior of the house visit the official website HERE.