By JM Copeland
For Hometown News
One of the oldest properties in Daytona Beach has been sold once again.
Marlys O'Malley of Asheville, Ala., has bought the former Live Oaks Inn for $600,000, according to Realtor Bob Jenkins of Century 21 A.H. Stone & Associates of Ormond Beach. The sale was completed on Sept. 26.
Ms. O'Malley was not available for comment, but public records show she owns a condo in Ponce Inlet and one of the older houses on the beach in Wilbur-by-the-Sea.
The inn, at 444-448 S. Beach St., was originally a home built by Myron Peck in about 1880 on a lot he bought from his brother Riley Peck, who bought it from Daytona founder Matthias Day.
It was the home for many years of Maria Huston Davidson Brower Pope, the first white child born in Daytona.
It was expanded and turned into a bed and breakfast inn by Vinton Fisher in 1987.
The latest owner changed the name to White Hammock Bed and Breakfast.
The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located across from the Halifax Harbor Marina, it is popular with many tourists.
"There are several buildings on South Beach that are pretty old buildings, but that one is one of the oldest if not the oldest," said Warren Trager, secretary of the Historic Preservation Board of Daytona Beach. "The house is in the first established historical district that we have downtown."
According to Mr. Trager, there are tourists who look for neighborhoods with older structures.
"The yacht basin is across the street and they can walk around the neighborhoods," Mr. Trager said. "A lot of the houses are made, at least in part, of coquina and that's unusual."
Mr. Jenkins agreed, "It's a place people will want to go and see."
Previously purchased by Gino and Tonya Giannoni in 2011 for $445,000, the property underwent extensive renovations under the watchful eye of the Historic Preservation Board and the City of Daytona Beach.
"We gave the previous owners a permit to do a lot," Mr. Trager said. "We wanted to keep it pretty much like it was, but they did do some changes on the porch."
According to Mr. Jenkins the structure is ready to use.
"The facility has been renovated in recent years and brought up to code," he said said. "It's been closed for a while but it's not going to require a lot of work to get it open again."
The property received national attention when John Giddings, who hosts the television show "Curb Appeal," was hired to offer design advice to the Giannonis.
The bed and breakfast has 14 bedrooms, each with Victorian accents, and 10 baths.
There have also been reports of a variety of resident ghosts that spend their time participating in spooky spectral tricks.