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about The historic Heirloom estate

the history.......

Like many northerners at the time, Leander L. Farnsworth began vacationing in Mt Dora in 1882, shortly after the town was first settled — one of the first ‘snowbirds' to enjoy central Florida's mild winters. In 1886, Farnsworth purchased the property from Samuel and Lizzie Power for $1,031. Farnsworth and his wife Frances raised three sons at the Farnsworth House. One son, Charles, purchased the house from his father in 1894. 
From 1908 to the present, the house has had different owners. For a short time is was transferred to the city of Mount Dora and became the Mount Dora High School.  You will see the pictures of the children and teachers in front of the high school when you arrive.
In 1944, at the end of World War 2, George Ramsdell purchased the property, added the carriage house and remodeled the main house with huge attention to detail.   It was operated as the "Ramsdell  House" until 1992 when Dick and Sandra Shelton bought the property to make it into a bed and breakfast and guest house.
The current owner Elizabeth A. Downes  purchased the estate property on October 29, 2021, carrying on the name of "Lizzie", the original owner.  The "current" Elizabeth is from Dublin, Ireland, a world away from where Lizzie Power hailed from.  She moved from Ireland at the age of 21 and fell in love with the United States of America, most particularly Florida.  Elizabeth truly loves to please, serve and listen to people and their individual stories which created her dream of running hospitality venues.  As truly  "No Man Is An Island" (Or woman in this case), Elizabeth has a warm, loving and professional team helping her keep her venues beautiful, welcoming, groomed, landscaped and maintained to the highest standards, even down to the beds which are all made with the "Ritz Turn".  The Heirloom Estate, The Heirloom Retreat and The Heirloom Cottage are all meticulously maintained with "white glove" attention to detail.  Elizabeth and the team are truly maintaining the standards of times gone by.  Please consider us your second home.  We are so humbled and grateful to have you stay with us on The Heirloom Estate! 
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The 19th century Heirloom Estate (formerly Farnsworth House)  offers luxurious Mount Dora accommodation  surrounded by almost two acres  of ancient shaded grounds.  One will  find charming areas to relax with a book or beverage both inside and out — on one of our wide screened porches, the gazebo, patio or under the shade of an ancient camphor or  Azalea tree in an enveloping hammock.

Our acres of beautifully maintained property creates a welcoming environment for guests to relax and enjoy some fresh air.  In our getaway just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of the downtown Mount Dora hub of 5 star restaurants, live music, beautiful shops, gorgeous nature trails , birdwatching, board walking,  canal boat tours  and the friendliest people one would ever want to meet of all ages, a person cannot help but find peace and fun alike.   Lake Dora is a few minutes away where one can sail, boat, jet ski, dragon boat, canoe, kayak or swim.  There is so much to enjoy in our beautiful town, but don't  forget to sloooowwww down and enjoy the birds and butterflies who have been living at The Estate for generations.

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Image may be subject to copyright



The Heirloom Estate (formerly the Farnsworth House) is an exclusive property where every guest reservation is both important and special to us. A 50% advance payment is collected upon reservation, the balance will be charged 7 days prior to arrival. If your travel plans change and you must cancel your reservation, please call us at least 14 days* prior to your arrival date to cancel your reservation.

In the unlikely event that you must cancel with less than 14 days* notice, shorten your stay or check out early, please understand that we must ask you to take responsibility for your entire reservation.

Check-in: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Arrival outside of check-in times will require advance permission/arrangement.

Check-out: 11:00 AM.

Absolutely No Smoking inside; however designated outdoor smoking areas are available.

Dogs allowed with advance permission and pre-payment of a $75 pet fee.
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times while outdoors. Pets must be properly picked up after, and waste disposed of in designated recepticles. No pet should be left unattended in guest rooms, or permitted on furniture or beds.

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
If arriving outside of check-in times, please call to make arrangements.

A 50 percent deposit is collected at the time of purchase. Payment for gift certificates is collected at the time of purchase.

A 100 percent deposit of the remaining balance is collected 7 days before arrival.

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