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the dolan house

Enjoying a Special Stay at The Dolan House

By Diane Bedard Posted on May 13, 2020

When you visit Florida’s Nature Coast, or a historic city like Brooksville, it is nice to stay in a historic location. It is even nicer if the owners serve you a freshly prepared breakfast, taking a special interest in your needs.

That is what you can expect when you stay at The Dolan House Bed and Breakfast, located at 701 Museum Court in Brooksville.

Francis Ederington, Jr. bought this charming, historic home on one of the hills in downtown Brooksville, built circa 1895. In 1904, he married Carrie, but they had no children. Francis Ederington, Jr. was a citrus grower and farmer, and he sold the home in 1940.

Today, the Dolan House is entering its second century as a first-class Bed and Breakfast where guests can enjoy their time in the heart of Florida’s Nature Coast. The location is within easy walking distance of the history museum, courthouse, shops, restaurants, library, and activities of Brooksville, Florida.

Brooksville is Home to Florida’s Mermaid Trail

Brooksville was incorporated in 1856. It is centrally located for Citrus, Hernando and Pasco County activities and destinations. Weeki Wachee, Dade City, Inverness, Homosassa, New Port Richey, Spring Hill and Crystal River are all within an hour’s drive.

Brooksville is also home to the Florida Mermaid Trail, a 1.1 or 2.2 mile walk through the charming downtown where visitors can search for 21 unique mermaids, each with a name and a story that ties into the location they reside at – part scavenger hunt, part story, part outdoor activity – the Florida Mermaid Trail opened in March, 2020 and is wildly popular with locals and visitors alike.

The Dolan House is home to Lyndal who is a charming mermaid from the Florida Mermaid Trail’s long route. Lyndal is fascinated by the Ederington family, whose historic ties to the house can be found later in this story.

The Dolan House is home to Lyndal who is a charming mermaid from the Florida Mermaid Trail’s long route. Lyndal is fascinated by the Ederington family, whose historic ties to the house can be found later in this story. Image by Diane Bedard.

The Dolan House became a Bed & Breakfast in 2017

In 2017, Mike and Tina Dolan opened The Dolan House. They are originally from Washington state and, having traveled extensively, “fell in love” with Brooksville, actively participating in its Main Street program and the Good Neighbor Trail. Mike became chair of Hernando County’s Tourism Board. They had a stellar reputation with the B & B but wanted more freedom in their lives than its management allowed.

Enter Deborah and Roger King, who purchased The Dolan House Bed & Breakfast in 2019.

Deborah and Roger came to Brooksville from the Naples, Florida area. They wanted to be closer to their daughter and grandchild and found running The Dolan House to be the perfect opportunity to use combination of Roger’s culinary prowess, military-style cleanliness, and Deborah’s hospitality, decorating, and management gifts.

The Dolan House provides Guests a Beautiful Sanctuary with Historic Ties

The Dolan House grounds are exquisitely maintained, with huge live oaks and seasonal flowers providing pops of color. A charming pathway leads visitors from the two-car driveway to the home’s welcoming library. Roger, Deborah, and their guests enjoy the many birds and butterflies that visit.

There are fireplaces on the first and second floors. The parlor provides a large screen television as well as a delightful screened patio for an afternoon or evening respite.

Directly across the street is the May Stringer House Museum, a fourteen room, four-story house with seven gables and gingerbread trim open for tours from noon to 3pm Tuesday through Saturday. The May Stringer House is also reputed to be haunted and ghost tours are held Friday and Saturday nights by reservation only.

Enjoy a relaxing drink on the porch of The Dolan House with a view of the historic May Stringer House Museum in Brooksville. Image courtesy of Deborah King.

Two Rooms with Private Baths are Available

The Dolan House historic Bed & Breakfast provides two rental options: The Snow Room and The Ederington Suite. The rooms are named after pioneer families that helped build Brooksville and have ties to the house.

Each of the rooms is well-suited for two people with a comfortable queen bed and the right amount of furniture. Each has a private bath. The Ederington Suite includes a private balcony.

The Ederington-Snow History

The Ederington family were pioneers in Hernando County. Colonel Francis Ederington originally moved to Hernando County from South Carolina in 1851. He and his wife, Precious Ann, brought livestock, farming equipment and household goods, while traveling through rough land with poor roads.

chinsegut hill manor house
Colonel Francis Ederington and his wife, Precious Ann, purchased the land that would become Chinsegut Hill in 1851. Their son, Francis Ederington, Jr. was raised by his sister and her husband, Dr. James Russell Snow. The Dolan House honors these two pioneer Brooksville families with the names of their rental rooms. Image by Diane Bedard.

Colonel Ederington bought the property now known as Chinsegut Hill and the surrounding 160 acres for farming and timber. He and his wife had ten children, most of whom were born at the plantation.

​Both Colonel Ederington and his wife died while still in their 40s: Francis in 1866 and Precious Ann in 1869. Their eldest daughter, Charlotte, was left to care for her siblings and the estate.

In 1871, she married Dr. James Russell Snow, listed as a dentist, also from South Carolina. They made the plantation their home and named the estate Snow Hill, having seven children of their own, and raising Charlotte’s younger siblings, one of whom built The Dolan House. 

The Ederington Suite features a rich, luxurious feel, as well as a screened-in private balcony and attached private bathroom. Image courtesy of The Dolan House.

The Ederington Suite offers a Private Balcony

The Ederington Suite has a beautiful wooden floor with a comfortable area rug covering most of the bedroom area. The rich purple bedspread and matching drapes provide a luxurious feel and the furniture is solid wood and well-built. There is an attached bath with a modern walk-in shower and plenty of room.

The Ederington Suite also features a screened-in balcony to provide natural light to the room, as well as the opportunity to have fresh air without Florida’s notorious insect population joining you. The view is relaxing, and the table and chairs provide a great place to plan your outings during your stay or enjoy afternoon tea and snacks.

The Snow Room has a lighter feel, with mermaid decor and a private bath just a few steps away. The hardwood floors are amazing. Image courtesy of The Dolan House.

The Snow Room highlights Mermaids

The Snow Room is very nicely appointed with lighter décor and a mermaid theme, since The Dolan House is now part of the Florida Mermaid Trail. A private bath is part of The Snow Room’s appointments and is only a few steps from the bedroom door.

The flooring is beautiful, historic hardwood, restored to a fine state and area rugs provide comfort when your feet touch the floor.

A full, hot breakfast is prepared for each guest of The Dolan House. Image courtesy of The Dolan House.

A Full, Hot Breakfast is prepared for each Guest of The Dolan House

Each guest of The Dolan House is provided a sumptuous breakfast served at the time that fits their schedule and will be customized to accommodate any special needs that have been arranged with The Dolan House owners.

“We want to make our guests feel at home, but better, with special touches and schedule accommodations to meet their unique needs. For example, one of our guest couples was rising early to get out on the Weeki Wachee river before the crowds,” Deborah King explains, “Roger got up and had their breakfast hot and ready at 6:30 am. Another slept in until 10 and their breakfast was freshly prepared and served at 11, because that’s what met their needs.”

There are fresh pastries and cookies and hot coffee. Roger creates the breakfasts and bakes the pastries from scratch. They are light, sweet, and heavenly, if I do say so myself. Much better than the store-bought ones served in so many places.

the dolan house kitchen
The Dolan House kitchen is large, light and airy. Image courtesy of The Dolan House.

The kitchen is large, bright, and airy with fresh cookies, muffins, pastries or the latest creation often available to guests later in the day. And it is clean, really clean.

A full breakfast is included with your stay at The Dolan House. Fresh brewed coffee and tea, fruit juice, fresh fruit, eggs, meat, potatoes, and those wonderful pastries are all part of the special experience Roger and Deborah offer their guests.

Menus vary with what is fresh and what the cook feels most like serving, but these Bed and Breakfast owners are committed to their guests’ enjoyment and comfort so if you have something special in mind or a special occasion to celebrate, let them know when you are making your reservation.

Roger King creates fresh pastries and cookies from scratch for guests, as well as the traditional full American breakfast. Image courtesy of The Dolan House.

You will surely be pleased.

Special Message for COVID-19 and The Dolan House Accommodations from Roger King

“We at The Dolan House Bed and Breakfast Hotel look forward to your being our guests.  Due to recent events, we wanted to let you know that we are preparing our home with extra special care with cleaning, sanitizing, and health concerns,” explains Roger.  “We will be serving our regular breakfasts with options to ensure guest comfort and safety, such as separate seating times and tables. If you have any concerns, please feel free to discuss them with us when you call to make your reservations.

The Dolan House Bed and Breakfast is located at 701 Museum Court, Brooksville, Florida 34601. Their phone number is 352-631-8822.

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