Daytona Beach – Lillian Place History

Another Article written by our wonderful friend, Marian Tomblin and originally posted in her news column.
Marian is the author of “The Mystery at Hotel Ormond,” “Where’s Capone’s Cash?” and “Manatee Moon,” all selected for community-wide literacy campaigns. Her latest book, “Bull on the Beach!,” is a compilation of historical anecdotes discovered while researching her novels.
For more information on Mrs. Tomblin’s books or to have her speak at your next meeting, contact her at or at (386) 615-0493.

Anybody have a couple of million dollars I can borrow? There’s a house I want to buy, and I’m a little strapped for cash.
No, I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses; I’m actually trying to keep them and the Smiths, and the Moores and the Browns out.
Of Lilian Place.
Lawrence Thompson’s beautiful home, built in 1888 on Daytona’s then-unoccupied peninsula, is for sale. Again. And a prime candidate for bashing and the subsequent building of a(nother) condominium. Yep. Our sigh of relief upon hearing the grand old gal had been sold to a family who would maintain her as a bed and breakfast was premature.
The good news? Her asking price has dropped. The bad news? Now she’s even more attractive to developers.
Nancy Long, president of the Heritage Preservation Society, reminds us that “Historic properties are an important part of our culture and provide a positive economic and social impact on our communities.”
Her organization’s mission is to “work for preservation and restoration of historical artifacts, buildings, land and sites in Volusia County.”
But why all this fuss over one house? In addition to being the oldest residence on Daytona’s peninsula, Lilian Place is also the most documented haunted home in the area – vacuum cleaners turn themselves on and run across the carpets, lights come on in the middle of the night and door latches are hooked from the outside.
In her book, “Lilian Place,” former owner Patricia Thompson Bennett tells readers about the lovely Lucille, who having been spurned by one of the Thompson lads, threw herself from the widow’s walk into the lily bed below, and tho’ dead, refuses to leave.
So shake out your pockets, won’t you, and let’s save Lilian Place!

Posted: 2006 Jul 21 – 00:08
When William Foulke announced that he was going to build a house in the dunes where Neptune Avenue is now in Ormond Beach, the consensus was, “Storms will wash it into the sea!”
But in 1888, build it he did, and for the next 100 years, “Folke Haven” (or “Folly,” as the locals dubbed it) was able to dodge everything that came its way, except the final wrecking ball.
Laurence Thompson’s desire to build beachside in Daytona Beach was met with similar skepticism. In that same year of 1888, he selected the location now known as 111 Silver Beach Ave., and named the resulting Victorian mansion “Lillian Place,” after his daughter.
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson lived at Lillian Place with their children, Laurence Jr., Harry and the aforementioned Lillian.
When Harry was in his mid-20s, he met and married a divorcee from France. This was both scandalous and problematic as Harry was at that time engaged to marry a young lady named Lucille, who was living with her in-laws-to-be (at Lillian Place) while their wedding was being planned.
Lucille, upon hearing that the wedding was off, “offed” herself by leaping from the widow’s walk into the lily bed below.
Lillian Place is the most documented haunted home in Daytona Beach. Vacuum cleaners turn themselves on and run across carpets (and no, they’re not the self-propelled type), lights come on in the middle of the night and door latches are hooked from the outside.
The strangest report of spirit interaction was when Mrs. Patricia (Thompson) Bennett laid her 4-month-old daughter, Vicky, in an upstairs crib for a nap. When Mrs. Bennett later checked on the infant, Vicky was no longer in her crib. Instead, she was lying sound asleep in the middle of the nursery room floor, a blanket wrapped carefully, lovingly, around her.
No one (living, that is) had been upstairs.

Filed: Daytona Beach History

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