Built in 1881, this house was one of the oldest structures in the area

It was built by a banker from New York for his wife as a wedding present, a summer country retreat at what was at the time, 500 acres of cattle and farm land, what is now Riddle Drive in Orlando. According to locals, the house was built on an old Indian mound and many Indian artifacts were found there while digging in the ground as kids, including arrowheads, pottery shards and bones. Sadly, the banker’s wife passed away shortly after moving down due to yellow fever.

It was bought by silent film actor and comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle who used it briefly as a tourist attraction which included the sink hole, now in the Biltmore Shores subdivision.

Riddle House | Photo © 2014 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com

Years later, it was acquired by the State of Florida and used as a country hospital and tuberculosis ward in the 1920s. Neighbors who have said to have lived in the area since the 1930s claim the house was used as a relief hub for a local mental asylum. They recall sneaking up to the house as kids and seeing people in cages covered in feces.

It was purchased in 1966 by a family who moved down from Washington D.C. In the 1970s, it was known as the home of “The Orlando Wicker Man” and it’s exactly how it sounds; he made wicker furniture and other items.

The property was foreclosed on in 2014 and purchased in September. It was demolished on January 19, 2015.

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