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Winter Park Library Archive

The Guild Hotel - "Osceola House"

Built in 1883 by Dr. William A. Guild, the house was situated on approximately 18 acres on the north shore of Lake Osceola. The house commanded a sweeping view of the entire length of the lake. 

The two-story house consists of sixteen rooms, five with fireplaces, and was built with timber taken from the property.

In 1884 the Guilds began to take in boarders and called their house the "Osceola House", not to be confused with the "Osceola Lodge" owned by Charles H. Morse. Dr. Guild advertised "Osceola House" as "a new house, high, light and airy rooms, well furnished; 175 feet of wide veranda; cistern water. A quiet home-like house, short distance from station, stores, good boating and fishing".

Dr. Guild died in 1902 and "Osceola House" was sold to Frank E. Spooner

Over the years various owners have given different names to the house: "The Guild House, The Guild Hotel, The Osceola House, Weatogue, and Braemar."

Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Spooner purchased "Osceola House" in 1905. The house may have been abandoned, probably because of the big freeze. It was in disrepair but they transformed the house into a showplace and changed its name to "Weatogue."

According to a newspaper clipping found in the "Weatogue" guestbook, "Mr. Spooner gave his wife the privilege of naming their new home, and Mrs. Spooner, remembering the early days and friends, chose "Weatogue." Mr. Spooner looked up the name in Trumbull's History of Old Names and also consulted the Congressional Library in Washington and found the meaning; 'camping ground' or 'here we camp.' "

This article was written by former archivist, Barbara White, MLIS.

The Guild Hotel - "Osceola House"