You usually travel somewhere to see historic homes, sites and attractions and often don’t think there may be something local and almost right in your own neighborhood. Case in point is Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens in the old Eau Gallie downtown section of Melbourne. Located on Highland Ave, the attraction features the Rossetter House, the Roesch House and the Houston Family Cemetery with the first person being buried there in 1883.
The Rossetter House was originally built as a small cabin by early Eau Gallie settler John Houston in 1859 and purchased by James Wadsworth Rossetter in 1904. He then added to the property and building until 1908 and what we have today is the original 1908 building. Mr Rossetter was the Standard Oil Company agent for South Brevard County and saw to it that all the gas stations in the area under the Standard name got their shipments of gas. He died in 1921 and his daughter Carrie took over the business at 23 years of age, which was quite unusual for a woman at the time, and she managed it for 61 years until 1982.
So as to preserve the history of her family and the Eau Gallie area, Carrie Rossetter donated the home and property along with her 1931 Model A and it has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Your tour of the Rossetter House and Museum begins at the cemetery a block away from the house, goes back to the house, outside to the beautiful gardens and the across the street to the garage to have a look at the 1931 Ford Model A. While not being overly extravagant, the house is filled with antique treasures and nothing in the home is staged with replica furniture or decor. It is all original to the early 20th century era and home.
What we liked best about the tour was that you were able to walk right into the areas that the Rossetter’s actually lived in. Nothing was roped off as you meandered throughout the home with our guide leading the way. The gardens were also a highlight of the tour and featured what may be one of the largest staghorn ferns in the world. Look for a future post about it.
The massive staghorn fern:
Your tour through the Rossetter House and gardens including the cemetery takes about 2 hours and is lead by someone who knows the history of the area and house quite well. Admission is $7.50 per person. Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The house is closed on Monday’s.
Not only can you tour the home, you can also rent out the grounds and garden area as well as the parlor across the street which was the old Roesch house that Carrie Rossetter also owned. The grounds and the parlor are available for weddings, birthday parties and all special events.
Inside the house:
The house is located at 1320 Highland Avenue Melbourne, FL. You can call 321-254-9855 to find out more about the home or renting out the grounds or you can visit their website for more info. Don’t miss this well preserved and historic landmark in Melbourne FL.