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 Herlongs raised six children in the home but after Natalie passed away ZC remarried and moved to Blackrock SC 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 cottageThe 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 pump was used to pump water from the well up to the water tower (also still standing). The water tower was connectedto 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.
A Sense Of Place With The Cadence Of A Lullaby
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.
Herlong Mansion was featured on October 11 2010
In addition to its popularity as a local inn and bed and breakfast, the Herlong is also a popular venue for weddings, receptions and special events.
Featured in National Geographic Traveler!
Featured on SouthernLiving.com!
Member of Small
The Herlong is part of the small community of Micanopy which houses antique shops, two cafes, a cozy ambiance, and a warm Southern hospitality befitting this stately home away from home.
Carolyn and Stephen have owned the Inn since 2007 and have created a gentle setting in which to unwind and explore this unspoiled area famous for being “The town that time forgot”
Certificate of Excellence
Herlong Mansion Historic Inn
Gazebo At Sunset
10 Minutes from Gainesville
402 N.E. Cholokka Boulevard
Micanopy, Florida 32667
(352) 466-3322 or 1-800-437-5664
Carolyn on Stardust The Bull With His Friend Chicken The Goose
We do not promote the “Ghost Story of Inez” because basically it is Not True. One of the original owners created the story to boost business. The Third floor of the Herlong Mansion was originally an attic space- So while the Herlong’s resided here there were No Rooms on the third floor- the rooms that are currently there were installed back in the ’90’s. The created story has Inez “running up to her Third Floor childhood bedroom and dying of a diabetic coma where her ghost haunts the Mansion ever since”. Inez lived in Gainesville and died peacefully in the hospital. Her childhood room, that she shared with her sisters, is located on the second floor.
The story has a Life Of It’s Own – So, for your entertainment, Here is a Recent Ghost Story Article.
The Herlong Mansion and a serene ghost named Inez
Courtesy Gainesville Guru Blog Page
“The ingredients for a good ghost story are all in place here, a majestic old southern manse with secret rooms and a tragic past, dark nights and huge oaks draped with Spanish Moss that sway in the wind … the ghost here is said to be that of Inez Herlong-Miller…”
The Herlong Mansion Website
Yet another excellent bed and breakfast inn, the Herlong Mansion remains one of the finest in the state of Florida. Voted “Florida’s Most Elegant Bed & Breakfast” by Florida Trend Magazine; the Herlong easily lives up to its reputation as an elegant and restful place with all the necessary accommodations, but without the hustle and bustle of the world around it. Located in peaceful Micanopy Florida, located just between I-75 and US-441 in southeastern Alachua County, and only minutes from downtown Gainesville, it is one of the last outpost-like towns in the state of Florida. Micanopy, pronounced (Mick-can-oh’-pee), is a small, one stoplight town, where the streets are lined with ancient oaks, covered with Spanish moss, and is surrounded with stately homes and small storefronts. This little town reflects the very nature of the word quaint, where time seems to stand still. With small antique stores and old bookshops, and the small family-owned emporiums that offer handmade ceramic, stained glass and jewelry goods, the town is truly a portal to a more civilized time, especially for Florida. The bed and breakfast inns and gourmet restaurants offer small town values and hospitality, which will make anyone’s stay enjoyable. Because Micanopy is so picturesque, it was chosen as the backdrop for such films as Doc Hollywood, with Michael J. Fox, and Cross Creek, with Mary Steenburgen. This was certainly a wise choice, as most of the buildings here are not only listed withThe National Historic Registry, but truly look as if Hollywood had built them for films of long ago.
Micanopy is also considered one of the oldest native inland settlements in Florida, if not the oldest of all native settlements. Ancient documents show that a Timucuan village existed here for over a thousand years, until it and the people were destroyed by the Spanish invader Hernando De Soto. The first European settlers would soon arrived in 1821, bringing Western civilization to Florida, adopting the old Indian name Micanopy out of respect in 1834. At the turn of the century, a Mrs. Natalie Herlong departed South Carolina to inherit a quantity of land in Micanopy, as well as a somewhat rundown farmhouse. The Herlongs were forced to relocate from South Carolina to Florida because the family’s business was failing terribly, so the relocation seemed like a blessing. Mr. Herlong however, never learned to love Micanopy as the others did, regretting the move from his beloved Carolinas. Regardless, Mrs. Herlong held the title to the property until she passed away, leaving the Herlong Mansion to her six children. The only understanding is that the will’s decree was to be respected by the children, along with the addendum to the deed as it were, which stated that their father could live in the house until his death. Mr. Herlong lived in the house another ten years until his death, leaving the six siblings the rundown Mansion. Although they all wanted the old southern home, only one of them could afford the expense…Inez Herlong-Miller. Inez was left a good amount of money when her husband Fletcher Miller died some years earlier, so she was the most likely candidate. She had enough money in fact, to buy out her remaining family and even enough left over to begin the much-needed repairs on the old Herlong Mansion. Although the whole affair was legal and business-like, the family was exceedingly angry with Inez for buying the home for herself, and it seemed like destiny that a family feud would result, which it did with no resolution. The feud was so bad that the five siblings would never speak to Inez again, nor would ever enter the mansion, thus leaving a painful rift between the Herlong siblings. Although Inez was adversely affected over the fighting, she was determined to restore the stately home to its original beauty with all the southern charm it had had years before.
Inez was successful in restoring a good portion of the old farmhouse into a beautiful and stately manner, reminiscent of the plantation homes of the 19th century. Nevertheless, although she was the victor in the family battle for the home, she had always regretted losing contact with her siblings and even more distraught that the feud had caused so much bitterness and alienation. Sadly, the family home she fought so hard for and put so much time and effort into was not to remain a refuge for her old age. Not too long after Inez had taken control of the home, she passed away as a result of a heart attack while sitting in her sister Mae’s childhood bedroom…A dream was lost. Today, the Herlong Mansion remains an icon of architectural brilliance, denoting the builder’s love and historical pride that will always remain timeless. When you stay in one of the many rooms, you will get the feeling of old Florida, when life was far less stressful and much unhurried. In this tiny township, you will experience a small community mentality, where everyone truly knows each other, and works together as a fellowship should. Although you won’t find any fast paced bars or fast food restaurants here, nor giant multiplex theaters or mega game rooms, the city of Gainesville is only a few miles to the east of this quaint hamlet in case the peacefulness here is just too peaceful for you. Indeed, as with all small towns, Micanopy has its own supernatural legend, and it’s no surprise that the Herlong Mansion is suspected to have a ghost residing within its stately halls and gorgeous bedrooms, as countless guests have told of their eerie experiences for many years. Because Inez Herlong-Miller had put so much effort and love into her family home, only finding peace while in her bedroom, and the adjoining pink room during her childhood and teen years, many believe it is her spirit who still finds refuge in the home she so loved in life. Although her spirit is hardly tormented, she maintains an almost constant vigil here, where her presence is almost always detected in one way or another. Though this spirit is often quiet, there is much more to the Herlong Mansion that meets the eye…The ghost of Inez Herlong.
A mothering spirit to some; yet intolerant of cads and miscreants
Courtesy — The Herlong Mansion
For the most part, Inez’s spirit is one of a gentle nature, almost motherly in demeanor, as local legend suggests. I have not personally heard of or had experienced anything negative about this entity, yet it is believed that those who have a dark or sinister nature to them will not enjoy their stay here, thus cutting their visits short and sometimes even fleeing before their stay is finished. Although Inez will not behave like the typical Hollywood ghost, where it will jump out at you or heave objects; instead, an unfriendly visitor may have nightmares or experience bad feelings that will make he or she wish to abandon this bed & breakfast rather quickly. For most of us however, you will receive a deep, restful sleep that seems almost out of the ordinary. If you are to experience anything odd, however, it will most likely be of a whimsical nature, such as hearing strange noises, seeing the bedroom lights flicker or go off completely, only to go on again in a few seconds. Perhaps you will smell strange fragrances like flowers or perfume lingering through the hallways, or spot foggy images through the corners of your eyes, but certainly, nothing frightening. Although these are the most common phenomena witnessed, others have reported that when they awaken in the morning the overhead light will be turned on, and even more strange, the stereo that sits in the room will sometimes go on and off on its own accord. Moreover, as local legend tells, when you leave the bathtub half full overnight, strange things will happen. You may hear a light splashing coming from the bathroom area, or hear echoes of a voice, which cannot be comprehended. Sometimes the water will be completely drained, yet the plug will be set firmly in place.
Famed Gainesville-based parapsychologist and professor; Dr. Andrew Nichols has conducted research at the Herlong Mansion over the years. His findings appear to indicate that the Mansion falls under the auspices of the classical haunting, but as his field research is synonymous with tenacity, it’s a good bet his inquiry here is not entirely finished. Other paranormal researchers, including myself have stayed here in hopes to witness something out of the ordinary, and though the level of events fall under something more of a subliminal nature other than an out and out physical manifestation, indeed, some claim to have experienced the fantastic. My girlfriend and I stayed here while I was writing my first book about Florida haunts, years ago. It was both a romantic getaway, as well as to accommodate our combined ghostly research. As she had stayed here many times before, she knew exactly which room to choose and where to go in town. When we got to our room; Inez’s old room, she walked over to the dresser and picked up a diary. This book is placed there specifically so that guests may log in their experiences while staying in the room. Going back years, hundreds of past guests have jotted down their experiences ranging from a quiet night to the downright spooky. After settling in, we enjoyed a lively night in downtown Gainesville, and then returned to the Herlong for tea, and then to bed for a well-deserved rest. While she stayed up most of the night, waiting for the extraordinary, I fell asleep and slept a deep, thoroughly restful sleep I had not had since my childhood. In the late morning as we both awoke, we noticed that the overhead bed-board light was on, though neither of us remembered turning it on. And, though this certainly does not constitute a major paranormal event, it does nonetheless, make one take notice.
After having a wonderful breakfast in the parlor, we went to explore a little more before we would have to depart for home. After looking around on all the floors, getting a feeling of what it must have been like in Inez’s day, we finally ended up in the drawing room. Here, we found several videotapes of the aforementioned films Doc Hollywood and Cross Creek, which were filmed in Micanopy, as well as another tape, which had no title. As the Herlong Mansion invites its guests to watch the television in the drawing room, we decided to have a look at this videotape. The video contained documentary-style footage of several men going underneath the Herlong Mansion, in what appeared to be a hidden chamber. Although no one is exactly sure what it was originally used for, many suspect it was a room used to put either slaves or servants there when they angered their masters. Some have suggested it was used as a fruit cellar, but the location and layout is designed far too bizarre for such a time-honored tradition. Yet, there are some that believe that this room served another purpose…As a secret occult meeting chamber. The room below the mansion’s foundation has very odd dimensions. Although it is uncertain to discern the original diameter of this room, because of the decomposition of the ground over the years, some believe that the original estimations were 6-feet wide, by 6-feet across, by 6-feet deep, resulting in the doomed number of 666! Regardless the implications of this particular number, some to the contrary believe that the original measurement across were more like 777, which sounds a bit less threatening, and in fact has its roots in “goodly magick.” Though this room remains something of a mystery to this day, many suspect that some form of mystic order may have held their meetings here many years ago, although there are no historical documents to prove its existence. Moreover, this video showed these urban explorers finding a tattered piece of paper, faded and aged, with either the words “Help Us” or “Help Me” written on it. Without a doubt, something nefarious might have been occurring here so long ago, though today it remains yet another Herlong Mansion mystery for the records.
Although there have been no reported physical manifestations or apparitions of Inez, the sounds of doors slamming and footfalls on the second floor, when there would be no guests staying there add to the haunting enigma. Though rare, this event seems to have its origins almost immediately after Inez’s death. Apparently, when the mansion was purchased to be used for a bed & breakfast Inn, the owners hired a mid-western construction company to complete the work. Although Inez was able to begin the refit of the stately southern mansion, her untimely death ceased her original plans. Fortunately, the new construction crew was able to understand Inez’s wishes, and began work. During those days, there was no electricity in the house, so the workers could only work while there was sunlight shining in and by candlelight in the evening. The men had to sleep in the drawing room downstairs in order to get some fresh air from the open windows. One evening, while they were just getting to sleep, they began to hear footsteps on the floor above them, pacing back and forth. Then, they heard doors slamming, which naturally put them on alert, thinking that someone had broken in. As the men raced up stairs to seize the intruder, they found no one; not a soul. After the second night of this, the legend of the haunted Herlong house was born. It seems that on occasion Inez will reenact this scene. Perhaps she wants to make a statement, or perhaps she’s just playing games with the living, either way, she occasionally gets noticed. Though events like these are indeed rare, the most you can expect is a gentle feeling of being watched over, or hearing the water splash in the bathtub when left half-full. Perhaps a light will flicker, or the radio in your room will turn on by itself, and just maybe you will catch the gentle hint of perfume in the air, yet never feel threatened by the kind-hearted spirit of Inez, the Herlong Mansion’s resident house mother…Unless, of course, she doesn’t like you.
When it was time to leave the beautiful Herlong Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn, we were saddened, as it was one of those occasions we would not forget. Not because there was expensive champagne or caviar waiting in the rooms, nor was it the amenities we have become so accustom to in our fast-paced society today. No, the Herlong Mansion was designed to cater to an older, more refined since of appeal, for a person that knows how to relax and appreciate a style and particular class of long ago. If you are going on your first honeymoon or your second or third, the Herlong Mansion would be a wise choice. Or, if you have a desire to get away from it all, turning off the cell phones and iPads, and enjoy a good book instead (if you can do that), or just wish to escape for a romantic interlude, then the Herlong Mansion will only add to that special occasion… If however, you are looking for a ghost, this should be your haunted destination as well.
The spirit of Inez Herlong is anything but scary, as she behaves more like a mother than anything frightening. When I slept in her room, my sleep was so peaceful that words cannot describe. It seemed as soon as I got into bed that I knew I was staying in a good place, while all the time, having the feeling as though I were being watched over by someone who truly cared for me. When we awoke to find the soft-colored bed light turned on above us, we both felt comforted regardless of the strangeness of such an event. It seemed as if we were being gently awakened so not to miss breakfast, which would have been unfortunate, as breakfast at the Herlong Mansion should not be missed for any reason. This bed & breakfast does indeed appear to be haunted. As it has all the right attributes of a classic haunting, the cold spots in locations around the home where there should be none are common here, as well as the presence of odd, floral scents, and flickering lights only add to this assessment, but more than anything else supernatural here, I would have to say the feeling of a presence stands out the most. Perhaps it’s the child in all of us that remembers feeling safe when our parents assured us everything would be all right when we were afraid of the dark, or when a thunderstorm raged outside. It’s that feeling of reassurance one gets at the Herlong Mansion…As if Inez watches over her guests.
When traveling north, central Florida, be sure to visit the bustling city of Gainesville. See the many sights this college town has to offer, but take a few hours to stop by the charming little town of Micanopy. If you have some special time to set aside for that special occasion, spend a night or two at the Herlong Mansion. You’ll be glad you did. Enjoy the gentile nature the staff offers here, and delight in the amenities of old Florida today and relax a bit. If you are fortunate enough to feel the presence of Inez, then simply say thank you for staying in the mansion she called home for the majority of her life…As apparently, she still does.
Planning a trip? Check out these links for a look at this peaceful little town, and be sure to stop for a night or two at one of Florida’s last towns of yesterday.
The Herlong Mansion is located at 402 N.E. Cholokka Boulevard in Micanopy, Florida and may be reached for reservations at (352) 466-3322