The original house that is known today as the Herlong Mansion was originally a simple “cracker style” pine farm home built circa 1845. It was a two-story affair with a detached kitchen built by one of the original settlers of Micanopy. The site of the mansion was along an Indian trading route, now known as Cholokka Boulevard. Zeddy Clarence Herlong came to Micanopy and settled into the farm house with his wife, Natalie Simonton, after his home and business had burned down in Alabama. He became involved with the local lumber industry whose operations generated the wealth necessary to remodel the once humble farm house into the grand style of the mansion today. By 1910, the original farm house structure was “fully encased within a brick classic greek revival imitation of a southern colonial design”. The Herlong’s raised six children in the home but after Natalie passed away Zeddy remarried and moved to Blackrock, South Carolina with his new bride, Marie Rosborough. The building sat vacant until a young couple bought it in the 1980’s and turned it into a Bed and Breakfast.
There are four stately Corinthian columns on the front of the house that evoke a much more elegant time. The interior of the house, much of which is Arts & Crafts style, was fitted with elegant leaded glass windows, fine wood paneling, and intricately laid floors using oak, maple, and mahogany. Today, the Herlong is one of the most popular retreats in the area, and is open year round as an Inn. Still retaining its Victorian beauty and with a unique eclectic style, it has ten beautifully furnished guest rooms and two free standing cottages. The Carriage House which once sheltered the horse and carriages is now a king bedroom and the Pump House that originally housed the pump and generator is now a queen bedroom. The pumphouse was used to pump water from the well up to the water tower (also still standing). The water tower was connected to the mansion by a pipe that gravity fed water to the mansion therefore benefiting from electricity and pressurized indoor plumbing long before “modern” electric service became available to the area in 1938.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Herlong Mansion is set back from the street and is surrounded by a lovely garden with statuesque old oaks, magnolias and palm trees. The Innkeepers meticulously maintain the grounds, filled with azaleas, camellias, roses and a wide variety of flowers and plants which bloom nearly year-round in the warm weather of North Central Florida. The Herlong is rated 3 to 4 Diamond AAA and has been featured in many magazines and newspapers. National Geographic Magazine chose The Herlong for The Must Stay List and Florida Trend Magazine deems the Herlong “Florida’s Most Elegant Bed And Breakfast”. New York Sunday Times Magazine and ABC Good Morning America has also featured The Herlong.
Kim Shore, Owner
I am second generation Florida native born in Hollywood—grew up in Davie, and attended college at the University of South Florida in Tampa. I moved to Southwest Florida in 1990 where I raised my two daughters and enjoyed a successful career in custom estate home construction and real estate.
Once my daughters left the area to begin their adult lives, I felt something was missing. The nature of the area is focused on golf, tennis, beaches, and boating. My heart ached for wide-open spaces and to be in a more rural setting with dreams of having my own horse again as I had years before.
The next step was a visit to the Horse Capital of the World—Ocala of course! I rented a place for a week to get to know the area and absolutely fell in love. I put my house on the market and purchased 10 acres with plans to build a home and a new life in the Micanopy area.
After mowing my new property a few times by myself and pricing construction for a new home I quickly decided that it was just too much work for one person and listed the property for sale. I decided to look at the MLS system to see what businesses were on the market in the area as I had burned out on my residential real estate career.
I saw the Herlong listing for sale and it intrigued me so I took a drive to see what the place was all about. I called the owner a few days later to learn more, and he suggested that I stay one night. I booked the Jasmine room and absolutely fell in love with this amazing house. The rest is history!
I look forward to hosting you.