Well, it’s that time of year when we get a chance to feed the voyeur that lurks within us all.
The Holiday Tour of Homes will take us inside some of the interesting dwellings we have longed to get a peek into. The tour is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.
For me, tops on this year’s list is the strange house at 95 Oceanshore Blvd. I know most of you have noticed the oddly-shaped, multi-colored house that has the three-story watchtower just north of the junction of Granada and A1A. That unique home was built for Chapman Root II, the great grandson of the man who designed the contoured bottle that remains the symbol of the Coca Cola Co. until this day.
The house has too many interesting features to list here, but on the tour you will see the coral staircase, the guitar-shaped swimming pool and the chimney that is shaped to resemble a Coke bottle. This will be your only chance to satisfy your curiosity. Don’t miss it!
Another great stop on the tour is Riverway on Riverside Drive. This house was built in 1904 and used by oil millionaire John D. Rockefeller as a guest home for some very famous visitors. Mr. Rockefeller purchased Riverway in 1918, the same year he bought his own winter home, The Casements.
If you have never visited The Casements, take this opportunity for a guided tour. You will come away wondering how the Rockefeller family could ever knock the mansion as being beneath them. John D. loved the place and entertained captains of industry, famed race car drivers and entertainment types there. It is a truly elegant structure and is the pride of Ormond Beach.
Just across the Halifax River is The Ormond Yacht Club. That is the solitary two-story place you see jutting out into the river as you cross the big bridge nearby. Built in 1910, it was always more of a men’s meeting place than a boat mooring. Once inside you will be amazed at the old-world craftsmanship of the woodwork. The fact the building has managed to survive the storms for over 100 years is a lasting testament to that skill.
Just across the street from the Yacht Club sits the stately Anderson-Price Memorial Building. You will know it by the large columns that face the river. Built in 1917, it has served the community in several ways and is now home to the Ormond Beach Historical Society. This great old building is available for weddings, meetings and parties for a nominal fee.
Also on the tour is the MacDonald House at 38 E. Granada Blvd. This beautiful old structure was built in 1903, the same year the first races took place on Ormond’s beach. It is one of only a few remaining Queen Anne-style houses in the area. It now serves as the city’s official welcome center and the office and museum of the Ormond Beach Historical Society.
The elegant old house is filled will vintage photos and video chronicling the history of the area. It was built for Margaret Stout, who sold it to Billy MacDonald in 1933. He was the owner and founder of Billy’s Tap Room that still operates just down the street. The structure is owned by the city and is undergoing a long-awaited restoration that will not interfere with your visit. Much to see at the Mac House as it is called.
These are a few of the places you will visit on the tour and tickets are going fast. Call Elysha at (386) 677-7005 to reserve your place. It will be a fun day to be sure!
Dan Smith is on the board of directors for the Ormond Beach Historical Society and The Motor Racing Heritage Association and is the author of two books, “The World’s Greatest Beach” and “I Swear the Snook Drowned.” Email questions and comments to email@example.com or call (386) 441-7793.