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-p05HOTEL of 1890's NOW HOUSES ANTIQUES By HAMPTON DUNN HERNANDO --A half block off U.S. 41 in this lakeside community north of Inverness is an interesting old house that now serves as an antique shop. But it was originally built during the phosphate boom and provided hotel accommodations. The two-story frame structure was built by James Ernest Westbrook as a homestead and hotel, in 1891. Among its features was an upstairs ballroom, space now filled with artifacts of yesteryear. The Westbrooks had six children, all born in this house. In the early years there wasn't must activity around Hernando, but in 1900 the phosphate discovery set off a boom, and the first railroad was built. The Westbrooks soon sold the property to the Wilkerson family and they moved to Texas. The new owners continued to run a boarding house and hotel, and then in 1906 the Westbrooks returned to town and bought back their old place. They resumed operation of the hotel and this continued until Westbrook's death is 1920. Other owners came along, including a Mr. Hooper who rented rooms and established a well-known dining zoom. People came from miles around to enjoy the delicious meals, especially Sunday dinners. Finally, Harold Fowler purchased the home place, closed the hotel and used it as a dwelling. It is now owned by Mrs. Evelyn Ferguson, formerly of St. Petersburg, and is used as a museum and antique shop. Some of the information for this sketch was furnished to researcher, Mrs. H. W. Roland, of Dunnellon by Mrs. Josie Westbrook Newton, daughter of the original owner who was born in the house in 1897, and lived there until the Westbrooks sold the building in 1920. The landmark is usually referred to as "the old house," as good identity as there is.
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Hotel of 1890's now houses antiques
h [electronic resource] /
by Hampton Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed Sept. 7, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes the James Ernest Westbrook house, which was later turned into an antique shop, in Hernando County.
Hernando County (Fla.)
x Description and travel.
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.