Linda and I walked over to tour the Burroughs & Langford Kingston homes, they were beautiful. It was like walking back in time and seeing how the wealthy lived. The homes called (Holiday House is the month of December), there are thousands of lights that align the inside and outside of the homes and gardens.
This beautiful riverside home sits on 2.45 acres overlooking the Caloosahatchee River in historic down town Fort Myers. This home is the oldest one still standing in its original location.
John T. Murphy, a cattleman from Montana, visited Fort Myers in 1899 for business purposes and liked it so much that he purchased 450 of waterfront property for $3,500. Murphy built his home on the land in 1901. The architecture is an example of Georgian Colonial Revival. The materials were shipped in 137 crates on 14 boxcars. The railroad didn’t come all the way to Fort Myers it stopped in Punta Gorda, so the materials had to be loaded on barges to get it to Fort Myers. This home was Fort Myers first year round luxury home. The construction of this home kicked off the building Boom of the area. The architect was George Barber of Knoxville, Tennessee, a well-known kit and catalog house designer. John Murphy was able to choose such embellishments as Palladian, bay and stained glass windows, dentils, brackets, balustrades, a widows walk, and a sweeping veranda. The home became one of the jewels of millionaires row on First Street. Some historians attribute the homes classic style and superb workmanship, with transforming the standards of wealth. This mansion was the scene of many social events that played host to the Fort Myers elite, including Edison, Ford, and Firestone.
The elegant two and a half story home features a fabulous covered veranda, Florida pine floors, 11 foot ceilings, burly wainscoting and a winding grand staircase.
The main floor has four main receiving rooms with fireplaces: a parlor, music room dinning room, and library. Unusual for its time, the home included indoor plumbing and electricity. Electric bells throughout the home and an early version of an intercom in the kitchen were used to summon servants.
The second floor has four bedrooms, two with fireplace a study with a Palladian window two full baths, trunk room, and large landing.
The third floor was originally used as servant quarter. Some selective pieces from the Burroughs family including the dining room set, kitchen table, sleigh beds and art work remain in the home.
The Burroughs Home Gardens contain a free-standing fountain, a grotto (the first one built-in Fort Myers) fed by an artesian well, The grounds have a secret garden with reflection pool, gazebo, palm alley and tennis/dancing courts. The garden features many varieties of palm trees, elephant ears, century old oaks, Ficus ,Bougainvillea, bird of paradise, and pathos.
The site also contains a caretaker’s/Carriage house and utility shed that were built to echo the homes’ architecture.
Nelson and Adeline Burroughs purchased the home 1918 they were from Cherokee, Iowa and used it as a winter home. They were well-known for their business acumen’s as they were for their spectacular parties in the moonlit tropical gardens. They were married over 60 years and raised four children. They had two daughters Jettie, and Mona. Jettie the oldest was the responsible one and handled the family business affairs. Mona married three times and was described as fun loving and a vagabond. The two sons Roy and Raynor died tragically at a young age. In 1922 Mr. Burroughs transferred ownership of the home to his daughter. In 1978 when Mona Burroughs died she willed the home to the city to used as a park, library or Museum. The passing of her husband Frank Fischer in 1983 marked the end of its use as a residence.
The home is open to the public for tours, weddings, and special events. You can walk among live oaks and lush gardens relax in a rocking chair on the veranda as you watch the river roll gently by.
The Burroughs Home has come alive once again with historical tours, the home is the perfect waterfront setting for weddings and other social events. You can walk among live oaks and lush gardens relax in a rocking chair on the veranda as you watch the river roll gently by.
The Gale McBride Pavilion on the Caloosahatchee is located behind the home and is a charming enhancement to the estate.
The Burroughs and Langford Kingston homes are decorated for the holidays, by the Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club and open to the public. They pick a different theme for decorating each year. This year was “Let Heaven and nature sing.
The Langford Kingston home was originally constructed in 1919 by Mr Walter Langford a prominent businessman who assisted in bringing the Atlantic coast line railroad to Fort Myers and organized the First Nation bank in 1907. Mr Langford died one year later and the house was sold to inventor of the Kingston carburetor George Kingston. The Kingston carburetor was used on Henry Fords experimental cars and model T’s. The home remand with the family until it was sold to the first united Methodist church in 1953 and was used for services until 1991. The home was them used as a day care until 1996. The church donated the house to Fort Myers in 2001. The house was moved in May of 2003 to a lot across the street from the Burroughs home. This red brick home is a rare form of architecture in Southwest Florida with its large front porch with massive supports, front stoop and grand staircases.
This home is the most elegant example of Paris style architecture in Southwest Florida. The Prairies style was championed by Frank Lloyd Wright. From the outside this outstanding home with its finely detailed eaves and wraparound veranda welcome you into its warm charm. Upon entering the home you are greeted by a stunning grand staircase which set the stage for any event.
I wounded what Linda is asking Santa. Maybe all she wants for Christmas is Paul.