Bates-Vammen House in Altamonte Springs was built in 1888

Bates-Vammen House, as seen in September 2022

The Bates-Vammen House is at 115 Maitland Avenue, south of 436 in Altamonte Springs. It was built in 1888 by George Frost, who wintered in Altamonte Springs from 1881 until he died in 1905. He was one of the first Boston-based investors to arrive with the Altamonte Land, Hotel & Navigation Company that built the Altamonte Hotel and purchased 1200 acres around Lakes Orienta and Adelaide. The 2.5-story house is a massive 4,350 square feet.

George Bates became the Altamonte Hotel’s manager (across the street) in 1901. He lived in the house until he died in 1931. His son Everett Bates took over the hotel management from his father and lived in the home until the hotel burned down in 1953.

1974. From Orlando Sentinel archives.
Threatened by urban sprawl in 1976. From Orlando Sentinel archives.

In 1966 Cletus Vammen, president of a local electronics company, and his wife bought the house. They raised their six children there on the one-acre lot and saw the neighborhood turn into a commercial district around them. The empty-nesters sold the house in 1998 and downsized to a smaller place in Deland.

As seen in 1991. Photo from Florida Memory

It was purchased by developer Michael Murray and one million dollars was put into its purchase and restoration. Originally there were plans to turn it into a bed & breakfast. After that and a few other ideas fell through, it was turned into a professional office building. Such an excellent preservation success story, though. Usually, developers tear down places like this, and Murray had built apartments before. It’s so beautifully done; you’d never realize it’s so old. Many kudos to him!

Bates-Vammen House in 1890, with “Ma Bundy” sitting on the porch. Photo from Florida Memory.

In the 90s, newspapers started to call the Bundy House or the Bundy-Vammen House. I can’t find a reference to where the “Bundy” came from in its chain of ownership. An 1890 photo refers to a “Ma Bundy” sitting on the porch, but supposedly it was owned by Frost at that point. I found some early Bundys in Altamonte, like Howard H. Bundy and Richard Bundy. Perhaps they lived in the house between Frost and Bates. Does anyone recall? Tell me in the comments.

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