Howey Mansion

Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, 1920s

William John Howey was born on January 19, 1876 in Odin, Illinois. He began selling insurance at 16-years-old and by 1900 began developing land and towns for the railroad in Oklahoma. He opened the Howey Motor Car Company in Kansas City in 1903, and after making seven Howey Cars, closed his business. At age 31, he bought a large tract of land in Mexico and tried his hand at selling pineapple plantations, but the Mexican Revolution forced him out.

It was in 1908 when Howey found himself in Winter Haven, Florida where he perfected his citrus farming and sales program techniques. He believed that if he took raw land and controlled its development into mature citrus groves, he could guarantee investors a successful enterprise while making a profit on each step of citrus cultivation. In 1914, he began buying land for $8 to $10 per acre and later sold them at $800 to $2000 per acre, cleared and planted with 48 citrus trees per acre. Howey also offered a no-risk guarantee: if the buyer signed up for Howey’s company to maintain the land as well but the land didn’t turn a profit with a set amount of time, he would buy back the land for the original cost plus interest.

Buyers flocked to the town, many considering him Florida’s greatest citrus developer. In 1917, he built the “Bougainvillea”, a two-story frame boarding house across from the future site of the Howey Mansion, to house the visiting investors. By 1920, he had amassed nearly 60,000 raw acres for his “City Inevitable,” but the Bougainvillea burned to the ground that year. He set up temporary housing in “Tent City” on the same location and opened the Floridan Hotel at the south end of town in 1924, and it soon became the social hub of the community. The Floridan Hotel would later become a victim to “the bomb”, an economic boom that occurred in parts of Florida where movie production companies would pay cities to blow up buildings for their movies; it was blown up in 1994 for Hulk Hogan’s “Thunder in Paradise”.

Howey Mansion

The two main entrances to the mansion.

The Florida Land Boom tripled Howey’s enterprises and the “Town of Howey” was incorporated on May 8, 1925. In 1927, the name was officially changed to Howey-in-the-Hills to reflect the location of the town in an area of rolling hills which he dubbed “The Florida Alps”. In 1927, construction of his mansion was completed; a 20-room, 7,200 square foot mansion at the cost of $250,000, around $3.2 million after inflation. To celebrate, he hosted the entire New York Civic Opera Company of 100 artists, drawing a crowd of 15,000 arriving in 4,000 automobiles to the free outdoor performance.

Howey died of a heart attack on June 7, 1938 at the age of 62. His wife, Mary Grace Hastings, lived in the Howey mansion until her death on December 18, 1981 and was laid to rest in the family mausoleum on the mansion grounds along with William and their daughter Lois.

Today, the mansion sits vacant and the story of how it came to be is one too common. The current owner, Marvel Zona, purchased the home in 1984 for around $400,000 along with her husband Jack. In 1996, the property was in trust to Marvel’s name. With her husband in failing health, she took a $347,000 reverse mortgage which would pay her a fixed income for life. Her Husband passed away in 2000.

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

The dining hall which makes up a large portion of the house.

Over the years, Zona opened the mansion to public tours with the profits going to charity. In 2003, she approached Lake County officials with the idea of turning the home into a museum, but it was not eligible for state historic preservation grant funds due to the fact that it was privately owned.

In 2005, Zona was approached by would-be buyers who convinced her that the reverse mortgage was a bad deal. If she took a $1.2 million loan, leverage by a mansion she owned in North Carolina, she could pay off the mortgage and would make the mansion easier to sell. In 2006, she agreed to a $1.2 million adjustable rate mortgage with a starting interest rate of 1.25%. The rate would later rise monthly to a rate of 9.95%. Though her income was a mere $1000 per month, her monthly payments were $3,200 for the next 30 years. Within two years, she lost the mansion the North Carolina and the Howey mansion was put into foreclosure.

Many potential buyers have made offers on the home but none can really afford it. Zona’s lawyer suspects the parties who have the house tied up would settle for no less than $2 million. In addition, estimates for the repairs to the house along with the installation of central air conditioning would cost an additional $1.5 million.

Police have been called to the property multiple times whenever residents suspect vandals of entering the home, but so far most of the people caught there have been photographers or history buffs looking to get a glimpse of the mansion.

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Howey Mansion | Photo by Bullet, 2012

Comments
135 Responses to “Howey Mansion”
  1. Mik says:

    well thats what happens when you fail to make money the property is either demolished or destoryed or other people come in and take over

  2. Joel Rothman says:

    Another important historical fact about Howey concerns the famous US Supreme Court case that bears his name, S.E.C. v. W.J. Howey Company, 328 U.S. 293 (1946), which determined that the fractional interests in orange groves Howey was selling were securities.

  3. Nichob says:

    Where exactly is this? Or an address close by? Has anyone been there? Is the property gated?

    • admin says:

      Since there are photos, I would assume yes, someone has been there. The property is gated and watched by county sheriff.

      • Jamie Lynn says:

        Yes, I have been there inside and out. It is gated with a wall and it’s in a very small town with residents surrounding. They call the Howey PD if there are trespassers. Howey is so small the PD will be there in less than a minute. I grew up there and went inside when I was a child while my friends’ mom cleaned it. I was there in May 2010 when there was an estate sale. I do not suggest trying to attempt to make it on the property, it’s not worth it…other have been caught.

    • Jacob says:

      Lake county Florida

    • Dawn Bishop says:

      i was there today. it is gated a monitored by cameras by police. its for sale $2 million. it beautiful to see even through the gate

      • Lois Lane says:

        I was there the same day, might have passed you on the way to the crypt. Such a shame to let this grandure decay. I would pay money to tour this property. Such a possibilities.

      • shellie says:

        Amazing the greed of this state with billions for roads paid to Disney roads and bridges out here ; the Disney tax status of VIP allows no taxation for our over used pathways leading to the Disney Godzillionaire operation; Floridians must take up the issue to create more taxes for the rest of Florida’s people including the Middle Class that is ripped off on a daily, brutally basis! Disney, it’s time to give us our heritage restored and a result would be greater chices for every
        tourist and a better overall quality of life in this god-forsaken wilderness in the Disney aftermath. Try some goodwill for the surrounding suffering citizens of Central Florida alongwith your never-ending REVENUE-SHARING goody two-shoes program out there.

    • Marie Dubois says:

      Yes, the property is gated. It is a very interesting place to take a peak at through the gates. My Grandchildren want us to buy it if we win Lotto !

    • desera says:

      yes its gated I drive by it a lot its amazing!

  4. susan hale says:

    This wrenches my heart. Of course, we have Winter Park,
    Florida, that allows historic homes to be sold and bulldozed so that
    another McMansion can be built on the site.

  5. Carl H. Schafer says:

    This is a fine example of Florida’s rich early history. The house should be preserved so Fla. history can be shown with detail and clarity.

  6. Autumn Jacunski says:

    I am trying to find the person that took these pictures. I am making a huge commitment, more than I may be able to handle, but I am going to attempt to put a page together on Facebook with pictures and a history to try to save this house from complete ruin. I know it is going to be a huge task but as a teacher I am out of work for the summer and I want to get a substantial amount done while I am out. I would even like to eventually get media involvement to bring awareness to the house and history behind it. Anyone that would like to get involved even if it is just to offer pictures or a personal story please contact me at https://www.facebook.com/autumn.jacunski?ref=tn_tnmn which is my home Facebook page. Thank you!

  7. Red Baran says:

    Than you for the info! This was one of the coolest places i have ever been! I really hope this place doesn’t get torn down, that would be a sad day!

  8. Jimmie says:

    Does anyone know how you would go about taking a look at this mansion the legal way?

    • admin says:

      Try contacting the local police or the lawyer in charge of the case.

    • Cheryl says:

      I would love to go for a tour… Makes me sad that one of the windows is open.. with the weather and all???? Any info would help me… It’s on my bucket list to go for a tour in there. Cheryl

      • Bullet says:

        well, considering that her son went apeshit on a youtube user and threatened him with theft and trespassing, I doubt there will be any tours.

    • Dawn Bishop says:

      the phone number to the real estate company showing it is on the signs around the property

  9. Faye Kane says:

    ==–
    I was thinking about to take a look. From Google Earth, there don’t seem to be fences, just gates. And I could park the car far and walk through the oranges, past the mausoleum in the woods.

    I don’t know if that’s legal, but neither are most fun things that don’t hurt anyone these days. I just want to peek in the windows, and I’ll risk it. At worst, it would just be trespassing, not vandalism or burglary.

    But noooo WAY! One of the tags on this article is: “HAUNTED!!” ☠

    — faye kane ♀ smartypants scaredypants

    • admin says:

      why would there only be gates but no fence? think about it.

      • Faye Kane says:

        You never said that there were anti-pedestrian fences. I assume there are now since you’re the admin and therefore, the expert. But you asked why I thought there might not be. Okay!

        — To keep trucks out that could haul away stuff

        — To force trespassers to leave their cars on the street so the sheriff knows someone’s skulking around

        — Trespassers on foot could easily push down, put a ladder against, or cut through a fence located near the mausoleum and would never, ever be seen doing it. Stuff could be taken out out the same way and hauled through the orange orchard. Thus, a fence to keep out thieves on foot is a waste of money, and a fence to keep out people who merely want to take pictures is a waste of it, too.

        — The large, fancy gates were from Mr. Howie and are mainly a formality; and the state never had anything to do with it. That’s my theory. My beloved University had huge, ornate brick gates just like Howie’s, but the brick fence around the campus was about a foot tall. All of it was symbolic, to mark the perimeter.

        — I didn’t see any fences in Google street view. Only gates. That required an explanation. Yes, “the fences are wire too thin to see” is an acceptable one, but I didn’t want to assume so in my comment, because the whole point of my post was the punch line about the “haunted” tag. I’m actually homeless and live in a cave in the woods in Virginia. I steal electricity.

        In retrospect, I’m sorry I missed the mausoleum/zombies angle.

        PS:
        Never ask an autistic person a rhetorical question! Even “Hi, how are you?” will get a long answer.

        faye kane ♀ idiot savant
        http://tinyurl.com/kanescave

        • admin says:

          Theories and assumptions are easy to come up with, actually being there is a different story. Fence or no fence, orchard or no orchard, car or no car, it all depends on luck; if the police are patrolling around the house at the time you visit.

      • Debbie says:

        There is a stone fence and gates around this property. The pictures were probably taken a few years ago when the house had an estate sale. I was thru it at that time. Access to the kitchen and upper rooms were not permitted that weekend. I suspect that the photograper had permission to go and take pictures.
        The possibilities are certainly there with this property. It will need at least 3-5 million in work.

      • Angie says:

        It’s completely fenced it!! With security cameras.

    • Jamie Lynn says:

      There is a wall. I grew up in Howey and have been in the mansion many time…gates and a wall.

  10. CE Smith says:

    It’s a shame that this place became a victim of the “bubble”. I would estimate, if you bought it for 2 mil, 1.5 for AC, you would still spend another 2-3 mil to renovate it. It would make a great club hose on a golf ourselves though. That guy that bought the Greenbrier in White Sulfer Springs WV should look into it.

    • Mosurf says:

      I ve known marval since 1982 , very inspirational person , know her whole story and of her demise , she is from winter park , used to own the abbey and many other properties , as far as saving stuff like this , go ahead
      It’s a free country
      As far as the winter park coment earlier , rubbish
      Is marval still living ?
      Truly a remarkable person learned so much from her ,
      My last conversation with her was in 2008 ??! When all this was going down , she was in her 90s living off oranges from her back yard , she told me ” michael , poverty is only a state of mind ”
      Mosurf@mindspring.com

      • Nicholas Gow says:

        She is still alive. I had the privilege of meeting her today.

        • Jamie Lynn says:

          Wow, that’s cool. Is she still local? I haven’t spoken to her since probably 1995ish….I was just a kid then but she let us tour the house. Sweet lady.

  11. FloridaGirl says:

    I’ve been in the mansion twice. Those first photos must have been taken long before I went because those rugs were no longer there. Possibly sold at the estate sale. The mansion is beautiful, I spent hours there taking photos. It’s like a dream.

  12. Traci says:

    What an interesting and tragic tale. I enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing it.
    Traci

  13. Ginny says:

    What an interesting story and like the lady above said very tragic. It is such a shame for history such as that to be forgotten or tied up the way it is.

  14. Kenny Hanlon says:

    URGENTLY trying to contact the owner of this amazing property, or a relative, lawyer, caretaker, etc in the hope of legally gaining access in the very near future. We have a full crew and are hoping to film there for a day, but it has to be totally legit and above board. Any help in pointing me in the right direction is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    • Michael Evans says:

      People who say “legit” are not legitimate. I could renovate the entire property for under $800,000. Would someone tell barney to take his one bullet, and go over there and close the windows. For crying out loud, the bank has ans asset manager, who owes us that much. Come on people lets organize some action on this thing this year.

  15. Kenny Hanlon says:

    Meant to add a contact email: kennyhanlon@outlook.com

  16. Glenda Shambo says:

    Thank you for all the history and pictures of this beautiful mansion. I have been so fascinated and intrigued by this beautiful “spooky” house and was dying to be able to get inside. I had so many questions and you answered them all with amazing details about Mr. Howey and on top of that you gave me an inside tour with the pictures.

  17. Kayla says:

    is there anyone you can call to maybe perhaps get permission to be on the property to take pcitures?

    • Bullet says:

      According to Marvel Zona’s son, at the moment, no. The mansion is no longer for sale, the mortgage issues are currently being taken to court and will be resolved soon.

  18. Glenda Shambo says:

    How were you able to get on the property to the crypt? I would love to do that.

  19. Ashlee says:

    This would make the perfect setting for the story I am writing. I don’t like that no one is doing anything to keep it up and show it to people.

  20. Niki says:

    THE HOWEY- IN-THE-HILLS MANSION:
    I do. It was truly a beautiful place! I so enjoyed our visit there. Especially the visit in the summer of 1981 when my 89 year old grandmother, mother, and sister in law, visiting from Texas, were with us. My teenaged daughter was spending some of the summer at the mansion with Aunt Bessie, her first grade teacher. Who was now care taker of Mrs. Howie. Mommie, my 88 year old grandmother and Mrs. Howey had a great time talking history of their times. Mrs. Howey gave us a grand tour with wonderful history and funny happenings. She was a gracious hostess. It was truly a highlight from those days. So sorry to hear that gorgeous mansion and grounds are abandoned! How could that be?

  21. chloe says:

    I actually went there yesterday and explored the grounds with my family. We know the current owner, and I must say the inside view is extraordinary. I was completely in awe.

  22. Jim says:

    I have left repeated messages with the “realtor.” They don’t even call back. I with a local history / heritage foundation and would love to explore the grounds, at least. I hate when these beautiful places end up mired in stupid litigation and architectural malaise…

    • Tery Bell says:

      I agree so much should be documented & photographed for history, I am at least 5th maybe 6th generation Florida Cracker w/ 2 more generation behind me! Keep trying Jim! See if I can get info from historical friends to help you!

      • Ofc. Hamelink says:

        Mansion is under control of a new Real Estate Company. Trespasser will issued tickets or taken to jail.

  23. Darin surr says:

    Jan 4 2014, had a tour of mansion today. It was a private showing with realitor. Amazing to say the least. The home was in great shape . I could not believe how untouched by time . There really wasn’t any rot or decay. It needs some roof tiles and interior paint. The kitchen needs total remodel. I think the grounds would cost more to renovate than house.( not counting new air) house truly solid , level floors ,solid walls. The walls are all block and stucco inside and out. The sub floors are concrete with wood overlay. There just is nothing to rot. It was beautiful!

    • Joel Rothman says:

      Asking price? MLS number?

      • Darin surr says:

        No price asked. Odd , it’s like its a mistery. We only found out because we are visiting family in howey and a friend mentioned the house would be shown tomorrow. We met at gate sat at 11:30 and walked right in. Not rushed. Spent as much time as wanted. Some we’re saying it would be around 500,000 or more to get it. I think the bank wants to unload and you could get it cheaper. Just my opinion. It is a white elephant ,just like all mansions in the country. The cost of upkeep would be brutal . Not bad if you wanted to live in it like marvel , in one room off of main door. People want luxury these days and what was luxury back in the day wont cut it by today’s standards. I would love to buy and renovate.

    • Regina Abraham says:

      Darin, I would love to find a way to get a tour of this beautiful place. Is there a way you could help me? I am going to be visiting from Michigan next week and will do whatever I need through the proper channels to get a once in a lifetime chance at looking at this place. Thank you for any help you can provide. Regina rkabraham@comcast.net

  24. Jim says:

    Who is the realtor? I think I have been dealing with the wrong person :)

    • Darin surr says:

      I’ll have to look at sign again on gate. She lives in howey. We saw her on walk and got to ya king about the hoses for sale and one thing led to another and I mentioned the mansion. That’s when she said she had a showing. We were invited. I’ll ask mother in law when she gets back ( it’s her neighbor) the gal that was being shown property was from Utah.

      • Katie Corley says:

        I would love a recent update on this estate. I understand it is not for sale, is the son keeping it? Also curious about the incident with the son and the YouTube guru, (adamthewoo by any chance?). I have much more id love to chat about and a lot id love to share. Please feel free to email me at katiecorley17@gmail.com you should receive a response within 24 hours.

  25. Jim says:

    Darin, thank you- please do. I will contact her then. :)

    • Carol Grassano says:

      Jim, have you received the information needed to tour the mansion (from Darin Surr)? I an also local and would love to tour it with you if you and/or the realtor would allow.. Please contact me if able.

  26. Jim says:

    No info yet, unless I missed something… ?

  27. I have a friend in her 70’s that visits from Michigan every year and is fascinated with the mansion. If there are any public tours, please pass it along.

  28. Duh says:

    1.5 mil for repairs? does that include Wi-Fi?

  29. Hunter says:

    hi if anyone could get back to me on this that would be great! Who is the owner of the house now? I would like to make a visit and make sure it is okay with them first as well, I would pay millions for this house I want to buy it and save it- from the instant I saw a video of someone exploring this house I knew I had to have it no matter the cost, this house is a castle and is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and with such history!

    • Marilyn says:

      We are winter residents at Mission Inn across the road from the mansion. I walk by it every morning. I hope you are serious about purchasing it and restoring it. So many people would rejoice!

  30. jameswparker says:

    We stopped by today. There is a restoration project going on, with some local folks working on the grounds. There will be a photo walkabout on May 4. They now have a fledgling Facebook page, just started. Look for HoweyMansion on FB.

    The woman in charge would not let us walk inside, but did let us take pictures from outside and wander around the grounds. Her name is Jackquelyn … I believe she is associated with the real estate company listed on the signs on the front gates. I’d call first.

  31. jameswparker says:

    It’s William J. Howey Mansion Community Restoration Project on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HoweyMansion)

  32. I am a real estate broker with an interested buyer. Reading these posts, there are many conflicting reports. Is this house indeed for sale and if so how much? Can someone please contact me 407-745-9408 Mindy Serratore, Lic. Real Estate Broker

  33. Rosie Zummo says:

    I live in Tampa, Florida, I would love to go on a tour to see that Beautiful Mansion too.

  34. Jennifer B. says:

    Update on Howey Mansion: posted in the last 30 days (May-2014) on Orlando’s Craigslist. Thought those truly interested in restoring or volunteering their talents could benefit from this information:

    Need volunteers for the Restore the Historic Howey Mansion (1001 Citrus Avenue Howey-The-Hills, Flor)

    Historic Howey Mansion Restoration. We need volunteers to help with this project, for physical work and volunteers to help raise the donations. We desperately need an attorney as well, a volunteer attorney, no pay. If you want to help, please contact us. Also, if you know an attorney that can volunteer a few hours each week please let us know.

    Thank you.
    Joseph Nemchik
    Historic Howey Mansion, Inc.
    a non-profit corporation
    1001 Citrus Avenue
    Howey-The-Hills, Florida 34737
    407-462-1708

    • Eileen Klosterman says:

      My Bucket List (I’m 77) top priority is touring this beautiful home and property while I still can. Would be willing to volunteer whatever I can do to make that happen. Have looked at it thru closed gates many many times and love it more each time. Please preserve this priceless property.

  35. KrisH says:

    Skeptical on the reverse mortgage part of the story. As I understand, one of the requirements of a reverse mortgage is that 1.) You have to be living on the property and 2.) it’s the only property you own. The story reveals that she owned another “home” in NC…This would be a breach enabling foreclosure of the reverse mortgage property long before the scammers even got involved in the first place.

  36. Breahnna P says:

    Would it be possible to speak yo someone about having my wedding here?

  37. kurt says:

    nice home any body got anyole shacks i can salvage im remodeling my house love that old dry wood straight and true

  38. Jeane Shaw says:

    I also would love to see this mansion, I love historic homes and I love photography so would love to photograph this place. I am a senior citizen and would never do damage to a beautiful historic place like this. Is there anyway to be notified about when it might be open for photographers? I am coming from Sarasota so would need a few days notice but I would do anything to see this place. jeaneshaw225@hotmail.com

  39. Angela Stonebraker says:

    A DEBUTANTE AT THE HOWEY BALL
    In 1964 I attended Howey Academy for a few months (August to December) until I returned to my old boarding school in Boston, an all girls school, because I did not care for the academics being taught at Howey Academy. While there, I was invited to attend a ball at the Howey Mansion by Mrs, Howey, addressing it as a Debutante Ball. It was an evening to remember, with the mansion all lit up in its glory and the property was full of cars that came from all over the state of Florida and beyond. There were many politicians and dignitaries there. The ballroom was truly beautiful as the stairway going upstairs to the restroom that we were told to use. A service maid handed us towels after we washed our hands. It was all very grand, just beautiful….and I will always remember it. History should be preserved.
    Some years ago, not quite sure how many, but my husband and I decided to take a ride to Howey in the Hills to see the old school, Howey Academy, but to my great disappointment, it had changed hands and was no longer the school that I went to, but we did manage to drive right onto the Howey Estate (the gate was wide open) and while walking around we met the grounds keeper, who took us on a tour of the property and allowed me to take a bunch of pictures. In the meantime, a very elderly woman opened the front door to ask us what we were doing there and I explained to her that I once went to a ball in that house when I attended Howey Academy. She was very afraid of us and asked us to leave. This must have been Marvel. All a very nice memory.

  40. It sounds like a VERY NICE FIXER-UPPER!!! Sound’s like just the kind of place for a gentlemen like myself!!

  41. History is one of the most important keys into the present, This piece of florida history should be PRESERVED!!!!!!!! March 2015 saw the outside I love how the past shapes the future in so many ways???? Think about it.

  42. Stephanie Belford says:

    Sat in my car, outside the gates and looked at the mansion, this past weekend. Two people inside the house ran by the lower windows, probably teens, but freaked me out nonetheless.

    • Jamie Hane says:

      Stephanie, please report this to the Howey in the Hills police dept at 352-324-2101. Thank you :)

    • John says:

      Stephanie, Which day did you see the people inside the mansion?
      Thank you, HHPD

    • JOHN IRELAND says:

      STEPHANIE- MY WIFE AND I ARE SPENDING THE WEEKEND IN ORLANDO THIS COMING FRI-SAT. COULD YOU ASSIST US WITH THE ADDRESS FOR THE MANSION? WE ARE BIG HISTORY BUFF’S AND WOULD LOVE TO VIEW THE MANSION. PLEASE EMAIL ME @ johneyi@cox.net

  43. Jamie Hane says:

    Correction- dispatch is 343 not 324 so its 352-343-2101 or call the office at 352-324-2030

  44. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    Any person(s) caught on the private property of the Howey Mansion will be arrested and taken to jail. The property and mansion have been getting damaged by trespassing persons. The bank in charge of the property is tired of the damage and wants to press charges.

  45. autumn says:

    it is not a bank that is in charge of that property. private owners bought it at an auction. we had a brand new surveillance system put it while we were. they should use it. they arent doing anything with the property. its boarded up. so sad. we had such high hopes with our non-profit but It all came down to money and we didn’t have enough. sad it is back to what it was 3 years ago. the house really was different when there were people. for a while it didnt seem sad anymore.

  46. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    Its not a private owner. It is a bank and I am in contact with bank. No one is allowed on the property with out written permission by the bank. The bank wants all person (s) arrested that are found on the property.

    • autumn says:

      are you with HHPD? is Curtis still in touch?

    • autumn says:

      oh and fyi i haven’t been on the property since the auction so no worries. i will hold my memories in my heart and all my pictures. but i am sure those ‘urban explorers’ keep HHPD busy.

  47. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    Chief Robbins has retired. Yes am the code enforcement officer for the department. The bank has given us written authorization to arrest any and all person found on the mansion property.

    • autumn says:

      i know he retired i was just wondering if he has kept in touch. he was very kind to me when he found out i was working on a non-profit. he knew me when i was a teenager so he was always there to help with any questions.

  48. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    I wish people could have respect for other peoples property. If it doesn’t belong to you dont trespass. You would not like it if people were coming onto your property.

  49. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    House is boarded up by the bank in charge of the property, because people keep breaking in to it instead of respecting other peoples property.

  50. Jamie Jenkins says:

    I would love to go inside the house to take pictures. Places like this need to be preserved before they are ruined or gone forever.

  51. Ofc. Hamelink says:

    James,
    The bank that is currently in control of the property and has given the Howey police department written permission to arrest all person (s) that are trespassing on the property.
    The banks wish is that the general public would stop trespassing and causing damage to the property.

  52. Dominic Clay says:

    So is there a way to go to and or inside this house to take pictures?

  53. Officer J. Hamelink says:

    Dominic,
    No there is no way to go on or into the property to take pictures. Per the bank they want all trespassers arrested.

  54. Dominic Clay says:

    Okay thank you officer

  55. BjIsbellJones says:

    Where might someone find a contact or get the name of current bank in possession of the property ?

  56. Jessi Erin says:

    Where can we get info on the bank in charge of the home?

  57. Officer J. Hamelink says:

    Property is not for sale

  58. jane says:

    of course it isnt… its better left boarded up and rotting. maybe mission inn knows more.

  59. Officer J. Hamelink says:

    They don’t know anything. They aren’t involved.
    But per the bank. They don’t want anyone one on their property.

  60. jane says:

    we already know… since you have said it, i dont know, 10 or so times. but that one extra time, i am sure, will really bring your point home. so, once more? is there anyway anyone can get onto the mansion property? its okay. we already know the answer from the greedy corporate suits that nailed boards into a historical 90 year old homes walls.

  61. Officer J. Hamelink says:

    Maybe if people would respect other people’s property there won’t have been a need to board up the residents, but because people continue to break in and do damage, because they feel they have the right to do.
    The answer is still no. U can’t go into or on the property.

  62. jane says:

    Haha… I knew that would get a rise out if you Mr. Hamelink. I have no intention to access the property illegally, so don’t get all worried about me. I will only be there legally and when I do finally get back out there it would be an honour if you were my guest. My children and husband have seen the place so many times that it does not captivate them as much any longer. Then I can finally shake the hand of the ever-so law abiding man that has made it clear that NO ONE can go out there without being arrested. Oh, and I do agree about people illegally going out there but if you even cared an ounce for that house you would feel the pain I feel knowing that nails have been plunged into its outer walls. Luckily for you, it’s just a house and it’s just a job. I very much look forward to meeting you one day. Curtis told me you were a nice person, and although I argued that it couldn’t be the same person that was very brash and uncaring, he insisted you were just misunderstood. I hope you sleep well tonight.

  63. jane says:

    And just a side note… banks are not people. They are a group of money hungry, inconsiderate conglomerates who focus on one thing… MONEY. They have no regard for history or the significant impact that was made by the man who built this house unless they can put a dollar sign on it. What’s right ks right but they aren’t paying my bills. They are a business card hiding behind their desks like little trolls under a bridge waiting to jump out and steal something else important from the regular working people.

  64. jane says:

    I found a picture of you… now I will know who to look for when I am in the area or at council meetings.

  65. Les smith says:

    What would Mr. Howey say?

  66. Jamie Hane says:

    Jane,

    Officer Hamelink is just trying to do his job in protecting the mansion. Sometimes people need to be told again and again or they don’t read all the comments. This post started back in April 2013 and there were comments with people asking about gates/walls and the surroundings because they were planning to trespass. Those same people get emails updates on this post just as I do, so reiterating is a necessity.

    They have dealt with a number of trespassers and they’re probably quite tired of dealing with the issue of people damaging the mansion. I’m not sure how you think its okay to say that he doesn’t care about the walls of the mansion being damaged by being boarded up. As he said it only has been boarded up because people aren’t respecting the property and that was the bank’s doing. His job in the code enforcement division is to keep the city looking beautiful so you can imagine that he doesn’t love the fact that the mansion has had to be boarded up because its anything but beautiful. The officers there have a job to protect the city, they don’t go to school for this career because they could care less and certainly aren’t getting rich.

    I grew up in Howey and spent time in the mansion as a child and then again during the estate sale. There is something about that small town that most everyone in it has a sense of pride for the town and the mansion!

    It kills me to see the mansion boarded and vacant. There was a Facebook group and a lady that was trying to save the mansion but things didn’t work out as everyone had hoped. If you are interested to see pictures or drone videos from when the group had access to the mansion you can search Facebook for William J. Howey Mansion Community Restoration Project or Hoping for Help at the Howey Mansion.

    Have a great day :)

  67. jane says:

    My sweet lady,
    Yes, I do understand everything you said, quite a bit more than you could imagine. I have spent hundreds of hours in that mansion over the last 2 years. I am very well aware of Jackie and keep in very close contact with her. It is very nice of you to defend Hamelink but it is not necessary seeing that I am only being sarcastic and apparently terrible at it. I do hold some ill feelings towards him because he has no idea who I am or how much I have actually done to try to save that place, but that is my fault, not his, due to the fact that I have never prpoerly introduced myself. As for seeing pictures, I have thousands of my own and plenty of memories that are still very fresh in my mind. I am sure Hamelink appreciates you defending his professional position but I come from a much more emotional standpoint on this mansion. Good day.

  68. Jamie Hane says:

    Sarcasm is easier in to understand in person rather than typed so there tends to be misunderstandings in online text. Glad to know how much you have cared for the mansion. You are lucky to have the pictures and the memories. I feel lucky to have spent so much time exploring the house as a child. My babysitter/best friend’s mom cleaned to mansion for Mrs. Zona so we went with her and spent hours there.. This was in the early to mid 90’s when the house was in well kept condition and filled with antique furniture. I drove by to see the boards for myself after taking my daughters to the town Christmas Parade. I still have hopes for the mansion…for now the situation just sucks. Best wishes!

  69. jane says:

    I am not sure if you are aware but Marvel has passed. It was a very sad time and she will be missed. I posted it on the Hoping For Help at the Howey Mansion page.

  70. Permission Denied says:

    TLDR of previous post: The openings to the gate (look) wide enough for even a mildly obese man to fit through. The owner of the property is: NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC; Their contact info is easy enough to get.

  71. Permission Denied says:

    Ohh, and “Officer Hamelick”, why don’t you and Cpl. Brown send more citations out to Nationstar? Surely they are in violation of some codes. Furthermore, I am sure that they are the focus of far too many man hour spent hunting down evil photographers and history buffs.

  72. Permission Denied says:

    I am a Howey resident. I think the property is overgrown and exhibits excessive vegetation. Would you suggest that I file a complaint?

  73. jane says:

    Permission Denied please contact me at ladyangleraut@yahoo.com I would like to speak with you privately. I will gibe you better contact information though my private email. Thank you!

  74. Mark says:

    I am proud to see the surrounding wall cleared of over growth and debris. The city is doing a great job in trying to protect the property. I pray a solution is found before the home deteriorates anymore.

  75. jimmyboi2 says:

    The obliteration of the past in lake County is NOT a good thing.

  76. Kaylee says:

    Does anyone know how to access the home legally? A few photographers and I would just like to take pictures.

  77. kneverett says:

    Is the current title holder willing to grant permission in exchange for a modest access fee? Seems like some revenue generation is better than none. A one page form to hold the title holder harmless and identify specific dates and purpose of access should cover legal aspects.

  78. Ofc. Hamelink Howey in the Hills Police Dept says:

    My last communication with the bank. They do not want anyone on their property. They want all trespassers arrested or issued a ticket.
    There has been quite a bit of damage done to the inside from people breaking in and not respect their privacy.
    I think you could agree if this property belong to you and you have posted the property. You want people to respect your wishes and stay off the property.

    • barbarakay23 says:

      Yes I sure would
      Even if your curious, it does not give you the right to go on someone’s property.
      It could be very dangerous like the man who fell through a elevator shaft at the abandon Sanland hospital. He was in a coma for two months.
      Be safe and courteous

  79. kneverett says:

    Officer Hamelink, I understand they don’t want folks on their property without their permission. I’m not proposing to trespass. I also am willing to sign a document that I’ll do no harm to the property during a photo shoot, and might even effect a minor repair at my own expense. Rather than copy and paste your previous responses, could you bother to speak to someone at the bank about allowing a responsible party making a reasonable request for access. Monitored if they desire.

  80. Penelope says:

    is it possible to host my wedding here? Ive seen lots of professional photo shoots inside the mansion.

    • Ofc. Hamelink Howey in the Hills Police says:

      Penelope,
      No. The current owner of the property does not any one on the property.

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