Stetson Legacy Week Back in DeLand
Old Family Movies Among New, Never-Before-Seen Items at Stetson Mansion
DeLand, FL – Stetson Legacy Week, the celebration honoring John B. Stetson, is back for a second straight year in DeLand after its hugely successful debut last year. The week-long event this year is set July 14-21, with special events scheduled in tribute to John B. Stetson – Florida’s first “snowbird” – who left an amazing cultural legacy beyond the world’s most famous hat.
Hundreds took part in the inaugural celebration and more are expected this year, as additional Stetson items never before seen by the public will again be unveiled at the Stetson Mansion. New items for 2018 include old Stetson family movies and an early Stetson Hat company film. The West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority and Stetson Mansion are partnering for this exceptional week and encouraging everyone to see these historical items and attend the special events around DeLand.
Stetson was known as a progressive employer who paid decent wages, gave back to the community and donated generously to charities. He had a specific affinity for DeLand and chose the city as the winter home for his family. He became the main benefactor for the state’s first private university (named Stetson University in 1889); and brought electricity to DeLand, which became the first place in Florida with electric streetlights.
Legacy Week centers on the award-winning guided tours at the Stetson Mansion, the home John B. Stetson built in 1886 – and the place where he died in 1906. The Stetson Mansion, the first and only “Gilded Age” mansion in Florida, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Special “Stetson Legacy Week” tours are available twice daily at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm (price: $25 – reservations required), during Legacy Week July 14-21, at the Stetson Mansion, located at 1031 Camphor Lane in DeLand. Listed as Florida’s “Most Popular Tourist Attraction” by TripAdvisor, the Stetson Mansion will be filled with nostalgic items. These include the diary of his wife, Elizabeth, which details her journey to be with her second husband (a Count in Portugal), who died before she could return to his castle; son John Stetson Jr.’s sterling silver baby cup; and Benjamin Stetson’s sterling silver and ivory baby rattle and the only known photo of him (he died at age two from a childhood illness). Guests will also discover a collection of hundreds of John B. Stetson’s obituary notices from papers around the county – some detailing his last will and testament.
In addition to the activities at the Mansion, guests 21 and older showing their Mansion tour ticket can enjoy free wine and beer tastings at Abbey Bar, Byte Bistro, and The Half Wall (Restaurant and Craft Beer Bar) in downtown DeLand.