Green Gables was built in a beautiful Queen Anne style architecture and is located along the scenic Indian River. It was built by William and Nora Wells and served as their winter home until they chose to permanently retire here. Green Gables had two bathrooms and was one of the first houses in Melbourne to have electricity. The original site consisted of 150 acres of land that extended all the way to Wells Park and the Fee Avenue Library.
The nearby Carleton Hotel, built in 1887 on a bluff, was a favorite site for social gatherings and entertaining the guests of the Wells Family. It was owned by the Strawbridge family and was open from November to April. Sadly it was destroyed by fire in 1903, and although quickly rebuilt and expanded, was permanently destroyed by fire in 1925.
The trysting steps, which led to the bluff walk, connected the Carleton Hotel directly to Green Gables. The path extended all the way to Front Street. This bluff walk became Melbourne's promenade of prominence along the riverside. Rescued from near total disrepair in 1918, the stairs were poured in concrete sometime later, but unfortunately were removed in 2004.
A picture of the original house as it appeared in October of 1897. Staff are getting the house ready for the arrival of the family for the winter.
This image shows the addition on the right.
This image shows the house with the additions including the round turret and the circular veranda. Later another bay window would be added to the upstairs bedroom on the left.
The front porch wrapped around three sides of Green Gables. It was a popular place to gather on warm sunny days.
Nora is pictured here on the octagon porch where she is enjoying reading on a beautiful day with her guest.
The Stable was located on the West Side with an entrance directly onto Route 1. This was also the entrance used to deliver ice to the house.
William loved yacht racing, boating, fishing and hunting. He loved the Indian River and was a skilled and licensed steamship pilot
“Mr. William T. Wells of Green Gables takes family and friends to Malabar in his Naphtha Launch to attend the annual Congregational Church picnic.”
He owned a Naphtha Launch and several other boats for friends and extended family.
The dock was host to several boats. It is also where the day servants landed each morning from Crane Creek to take care of their household duties.
The Ladies sitting room was a formal parlor for ladies to meet, visit, and serve tea. Nora Wells, the first president of the Melbourne Ladies Club, most likely met in this room.
The main parlor was a large room that could hold a large family gathering including guests. A fireplace heated the room when needed.
A Writing desk and chair sits in the corner of the Living Room. It once touted one of the earliest typewriters.
The kitchen was used to prepare the food and where the servants would eat their meals. Not shown is the wood stove that was located between the two windows. The door to the original ice box is still there.
This room is the first room that you enter from the front door. It is a private cozy area where guests would be greeted.
This room is where the family would dine together. A door on the right connected to the kitchen and allowed the staff to serve the meals. When serving a larger group, they would set up a larger table in the main parlor.
This bedroom was one of the master bedrooms and was used by Nora. It had a door that led out to the upper balcony. Later a sewing room was added on the left side.
This bedroom is also upstairs. It has a built in closet. The window faces the west side of the house and does not have a river view. Two of the bedrooms have river views, the other two do not.
This room is upstairs and was used to store the trunks that the Wells family would bring with them from their home in New Jersey. A pulley system allowed the trunks to be hoisted up through the windows.
The main stairway is located in the Reception Room. It is adorned by an intricate grill that was hand-carved in India. This grill is also decorates the wall separating the reception room and the main parlor. There is a second staircase in the back of the house.
Green Gables was the first house in Melbourne to be built with electrical wiring. This is the original fuse box which continued to work until quite recently.
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Green Gables at Historic Riverview Village, Inc., is a tax-exempt organization (Tax ID#27-4206685) duly qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Solicitation of Contributions Act Registration. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the State. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the State. 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352. www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com
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