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May-Stringer House Museum

The May-Stringer House Museum is a seven-gable 14-room, four story “Painted Lady” Victorian Era home built in 1856.  It is perched on top of a hill overlooking the City of Brooksville and has over 11,000 artifacts on display.

The Armed Occupation Act ratified by the U.S. congress in 1842, stated: any settler who came to Florida, lived on the land for five years, cultivated five acres, and built a dwelling would be granted 160 acres. Richard Wiggins homesteaded the land where the May Stringer house is located today.

John May brought the property in 1855 and built a four room house. He died in 1858. John May’s wife Marena, continued to live there and she ran the plantation. In 1866 Marena married Frank Saxon, a confederate soldier. Marena died in 1869 during childbirth.

When Frank Saxon remarried he sold the house to Dr. Sheldon Stringer. Dr. Stringer expanded the house to fourteen rooms and practiced medicine from one of the rooms on the ground floor.

Three generations of the Stringer family lived there before Dr. Earl Hensley and his wife Helen bought the house. They sold it to the Hernando County Historical Museum Assoc. in 1981 to become the May-Stringer House Museum.

The fourteen room, four story house has seven gables and gingerbread trim. In some rooms the ceiling is 10 feet tall. The Museum assoc. has created exhibit rooms with a Victorian Look, and there are rooms devoted to specific themes: A Military Room, a 1880s doctor’s office and a 1900s communication room.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Brooksville, Florida, lie three museums owned and managed by the Hernando Historical Museum Association, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. These museums are a link to Brooksville’s rich past. Each museum offers guided tours by knowledgeable docents and walk-in tours during business hours, but large groups and/or school field trips are available by appointment ONLY. The price for each Museum is $5.00 for Adults and $2.00 for Children for ages 6-12 years old.