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Restored Eldora State House, 1999
Eldora State House after restoration, September 1999. Photo: Cindy Wilder

Restoration of Eldora House

Eldora House, built in the 19th century, was once the site of a major stop-over point for shippers and travelers in the turn-of-the-century riverboat community of Eldora. Located on a barrier island once occupied by Indians -- as evidenced by numerous oyster and clam-shell mounds still dotting the landscape -- Eldora was known as "Pumpkin Point." During the Reconstruction era, in 1877, Eldora became home to many Civil War veterans and their families, and the land was quickly subdivided and sold. One of the first of several large houses to be built in Eldora was one that came to be known as Eldora House, and later Eldora Hotel, since it later served as an overnight resting place for travelers on steamboat paddle-wheelers.

When the railroad supplanted much of the area's water travel beginning in the 1890s, and when the Federal Government's new navigation channel, the Intracoastal Waterway, moved vessel traffic to the other side of the lagoon, Eldora was struck a crippling blow. During the 1920s it was home to winter duck hunters and fishing camps for those surf fishing, harvesting oysters, digging clams, and trapping crabs. Due to gas rationing and security restrictions, these outdoor recreational activities decreased during WW II; Eldora was adversely affected. Despite a few businesses and restaurants that located there in subsequent years, Eldora never totally recovered.

With the creation of the Canaveral National Seashore in January 1975, Eldora and its properties were acquired by the Federal government. One of the last original homes remaining, known as the "State House" or "Eldora House," was renovated to become the site of the National Park Service's Eldora History Museum, opened to park visitors in May 1999, so visitors can experience some of the history and legacy that was Eldora's.

The project is documented with a 13-page written report, extended local newspaper coverage, including interviews of Eldora-born Floridians, 13 printed digital photographs, a videotape of the "Completion Celebration" of the restoration, copies of archival photographs from the Eldora History Museum, and 13 original color snapshots.

Originally submitted by: John L. Mica, Representative (7th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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