Howey-In-The-Hills is a quiet town in Lake County that is a testament to old Florida. In between the fields of citrus trees and the amazing Yalaha German Bakery is a beautiful grandiose home that was once abandoned – Howey Mansion.
William J. Howey, a politician, real estate developer and one of the state's greatest citrus growers, had the 20-room mansion built in 1925 on a 15-acre property. Howey died in 1938 and left the home to his much younger widow who lived in it until 1981. In 1984 Chicago heiress Marvel Zona became the Howey Mansion's second owner until she began living in a nursing home. Since 2009 the home was vacant, but in July 2017 brothers Brad and Clay Cowherd purchased the home and have since been reviving it.
To address rumors and what many of you are probably wondering – Howey Mansion is not haunted. None of the wonderful people who work there have reported supernatural activities and ghost hunters who have toured the space have said they sense no ghostly spirits are haunting the home.
The mansion is in the style of Mediterranean Revival with a red Spanish tile roof and makes great use of color from the walkway leading up to the home, to its exterior and flooring inside. Katharine Cotheal Budd, who developed temporary lodgings for women who visited male relatives at military training camps and is the first woman inducted into the American Institute of Architects, designed the place.
The home opens up to a foyer with a pretty blue ceiling and curved walls with Florentine beige marble squares on the lower half. In fact, these walls were created in complete secrecy by an Austrian artisan who banned all other workmen from the home and locked the doors as he compounded and poured the wall mixture in the foyer.
There is so much more to the history and detail our amazing guide Alexis was able to share. Definitely book a tour to check this place out for yourself. Follow them on Facebook for restoration and event updates.
Tours are generally offered Tuesday through Friday at 11am OR 2pm and Saturdays at 10am and 11:30am.
To get an idea of what you'll see and hear on a tour, check out the abbreviated version we got on our weekend show.