Several generations before you contemplated vacationing in the Sebastian River area, this charming home was already welcoming guests escaping the harsh winters and humid summers of Ohio and beyond.
Early in the 20th century, an Ohio industrialist by the name of “Goodrich” discovered a shady grove of live oak, red cedar, and Sabal palm trees perched above the banks of the St Sebastian River --not far from the spot where it meets the Indian River Lagoon-- while on a fishing and hunting expedition. We don’t know whether it was the natural beauty of the spot or the “spiritual energy” that many people still report feeling here that attracted him and his family. We only know that they chose this place to build a sprawling estate, featuring a carriage house, servants’ quarters, the county’s first privately owned swimming pool, and this guest house in addition to the main house.
Fast forward more than 80 years. This home has hosted many visitors and undergone many renovations and upgrades – the most recent at the beginning of 2009-- but it still retains the special look and feel that welcomed the Goodrich guests from the start, set in a uniquely beautiful, natural old-Florida setting. The original Goodrich estate has been parceled out over the years, but we have been fortunate enough to be able to reunite the guest house with the main house, huge swimming pool, and poolside cabana house.
On entering the guest house, the first things you’re likely to notice are the beautifully refinished hardwood floors below, the coffered ceiling above, and a cozy fireplace straight ahead. The light-filled living room stretches across most of the front of the house. The fully functional kitchen is open to a sunny family room and eating area. Passing through the newly renovated bathroom with beautiful Dade pine beaded board and a freshly refurbished clawfoot tub, you’ll enter one of the bedrooms, featuring period furnishings and a spacious closet. Just off the living room you’ll find the master bedroom, again boasting family heirloom furniture as well as its own private bath with shower and whirlpool tub. As was the custom in the early 20th century, windows and doors are strategically positioned throughout the house to take greatest advantage of the sea breezes during the frequent periods of fine spring-like weather.
Of course our home features all the modern comforts you’d expect, as well--including wireless Internet access, cable TV, DVD player, local phone service, all the kitchen and laundry appliances you’re likely to need, a gas grill, and central heat and air conditioning. We’ve furnished it comfortably, casually, and stylishly with furnishings from the first half of the 20th century to stay true to the style and spirit of the home.
Outside, enjoy the peaceful natural setting while lounging beneath the beautiful century-old live oak. Listen to the soothing trickle of water across the sandy drive in the Goodrich fountain courtyard that connects the main house with the poolside cabana. Catch a glimpse of the glistening St Sebastian River through the wrought iron gates at the front of the fountain courtyard, or walk a few hundred feet down to the river to enjoy it up close. Bring your boat, or rent one at a nearby marina. Take advantage of the dock to moor your boat, fish, or just watch the sun set over the river. We are very fortunate to be located between a nature preserve on the opposite bank of the river, a county conservation area, and three county parks; with the Sebastian Inlet State Park and Pelican Island National Wildlife Preserve close by. The unspoiled and never-crowded beaches of the barrier islands are an easy 15-minute car ride away. If you are looking for bright lights, constant stimulation, and urban excitement, this is not the place for you; but if like us you love the peace and quiet and natural beauty that unspoiled Florida offers, you’ll love it here.
This home sleeps 4 to 6 people quite comfortably, but if you should need even more space, consider combining it with the poolside cabana directly opposite (VRBO #33100), the riverside cottage 4 doors down the street (VRBO #41391), or both! You will definitely be getting away from it all when you stay here, but if you should need a break from the peaceful relaxation, it’s an easy 20-minute drive to Vero Beach, an hour to Cocoa Beach and the Kennedy Space Center, or 90 minutes to Orlando or West Palm Beach.
Come for a visit here and you’ll see why we uprooted ourselves from Atlanta and rebooted our professional lives in 2002 so that we could live in this one-of-a-kind setting. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, prepackaged predictability, or a gated resort that could be anywhere in the world... keep looking. But if you’re like us and love the natural charms of Florida that have enchanted out-of-town visitors for decades, spend a little time here. You’ll be glad you did.
Keywords: Home, Cottage, Bungalow, Vacation home, Vintage home