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The widows walk.

Don’t miss Daytona Beach’s oldest beachside home, where history comes alive. This historic home is a great example of Italianate High Victorian architecture — one of only two in Volusia County, Florida — and features high ceilings, crown moldings and heart-of-pine floors. 

The Lilian Place tower also originally featured a “widow’s walk,” an outdoor platform designed for mariners’ wives to watch the sea for their husbands’ return. The sad name of this architectural detail came about because so many women waited in vain, only to later find that the sea had taken the lives of their missing men. 

Lilian Place actually sheltered one man the ocean couldn’t quite claim. 


Stephen Crane

In 1897, the writer Stephen Crane — perhaps best known for the Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage — was traveling to Cuba to work as a journalist when his ship sank after hitting a sandbar. The press reported that Crane and three other men had drowned, but they were stranded at sea for 30 hours. They tried over and over to pilot their rowboat, barely big enough to hold them, through treacherous currents to reach land. Their tiny boat capsized during their final attempt, and one man died. Crane was taken in by residents of Lilian Place, where he recovered from his ordeal. He wrote the short story “The Open Boat” based on the experience, and many consider it his finest work.


Ghostly sightings

Ghostly sightings have been reported at Lilian Place over the years. The most frequent tales of visitation involve a mysterious woman in a white dress who has been named Lucile by Daytona Beach residents.  Most recently she has made it known her name is really Lucy.


There have also been reports of sounds of laughing children (when no children are present), lights turning on and off, doors open by themselves...


And a man resembling Stephen Crane walking the halls. Most incidents have been reported in the bedroom where Crane recuperated from his near drowning in the inlet just beyond Lilian Place.

Visit Lilian Place and you may see or hear one of the spirits!

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