In 1923 Ernest Wandry completed his impressive Lake County home. The German immigrant and master concrete craftsman spent 16 years painstakingly building it room by room.
At that time, the stately 4,800 square-foot Grand Island home sat amidst orange groves that extended to the shore of Lake Eustis. Beyond the stone facade were six bedrooms and six bathrooms, two original fireplaces, a hand-cranked elevator, a root cellar and a massive basement with original boiler. The Wandry House also boasts a covered lower porch and wraparound upper porch with balustrade.
The basement once housed a vault filled with Wandry's gold, but sometime in the home’s rich history the stash went missing. Rumors that Wandry had hidden treasure in the walls led one former owner to take a metal detector into the basement and drive a few holes into the thick concrete walls with a sledgehammer. There are no reports anything was discovered.
In the early 1990s Grand Island Tennis Club purchased the Eustis historic landmark and its surrounding five acres to build a 14-court tennis club and recreation center. That plan was later scrapped, but not before the Wandry House was upgraded for commercial use by adding a 50 car parking lot, updated electric, commercial plumbing and septic, a clay tennis court, and a terraced lawn.
Currently, the home is in a state of renovation. Owners Jeff and Stephanie Clunn hope a buyer will appreciate the home's rich history and take advantage of its potential as an event center, high-end wedding venue, bed and breakfast, or tennis club, uses for which the City of Eustis has already given its approval.
The Wandry House is located at 3300 Grand Island Shores Road in Grand Island. Contact Jennifer Dempsey, historic home specialist, for a showing at 352-360-5981.
Photo credit: Jeff Hegarty
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BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE