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!