• Unexplored Florida

History On The Hill - The Historic Waits Mansion in Bonifay, Florida.


Waits Mansion in Bonifay - Holmes County, Florida

This historic mansion was built in 1919-1920 as the home of George Orkney Waits, a successful lumber company owner. The house is built in a two-story Mediterranean Revival style and features recessed porches with fluted Doric columns on the ground floor, with wrought iron fencing on the porches as well as along the property lines facing Kansas Avenue and Tracy Street. The original contractor for the house was Bill Whaley, who supervised and did much of the construction himself and with the help of his brother-in-law, Ed Tison. The original owner, George Orkney Waits, was a partner in the Henderson Wait Lumber Company. He had the Waits Mansion built for his wife, Harriet Wait, so that she would not have to live in the mosquito-infested river swamps where the lumber company operated. The couple lived in the Waits Mansion only a short time before relocating to Baghdad, Florida to assume operation of a mill there. They sold the mansion to their son, James C. Waits, who became an important community and business leader in Bonifay. The home was later converted into apartments, but has since been restored for use as a single family home and finally as a bed and breakfast. The house is a noted landmark of Holmes County and was featured in the 1989 volume, A Guide to Florida’s Historic Architecture, from the University of Florida Press. It recently became a private residence and the owners have restored the property back to it's original beauty.

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