BREVARD COUNTY — All too often, pieces of history are lost to time due to deterioration, destruction, or simply going missing; having a piece of history is something that is a rare treat indeed.
The Grant Historical House, also known as the Bensen House, is one such piece of living history that we can all visit and celebrate today.
Built in 1916, the Grant Historical House was home to Atley Bensen and his wife, Clara Christensen Bensen.
Located at 5795 S. US-1, Grant, the Bensen House was originally built half of a mile north. It was moved to a lot that was the site of the town of Grant’s first house, called “Fisherman’s Landing,” which was burnt down in the 1970s.
The move of the Bensen House presented an opportunity to preserve two historical assets.
This winter, the Bensen House will host multiple tours, showcasing what life was like in the early 20th century. The tour will provide a rare insight of how people got along without the technology many children grow up with today.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Bensen House will host its own tree lighting ceremony to celebrate the holidays. Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m., with punch and goodies to eat. Santa Claus will even make a visit by 5 p.m. to all the children attending, and the tree lighting will take place shortly afterward.
“This house was built by Atley Bensen for his bride Clara Christensen,” said Christine Williams, publicity chair for the Grant Historical House. “They got married December of 1916, and moved shortly after. It was a pre-cut house that came down the river from Jacksonville. Atley, with probably all the men around, then built the house.”
Atley was a fisherman and Clara was a schoolteacher who taught in Grant and Melbourne. Both of their families came to Grant and were the pioneers of establishing the town.
The Bensen’s went on to have three sons, and it was their youngest, Russell, who donated the house to the Grant Community Center and Grant Historical Society in 1984.
Inside the Bensen House, visitors can browse a craft room with handmade items for sale, some of which are themed in time for the holidays.
While touring the Bensen House is free, a donation is graciously accepted to help meet the costs of running the house. Walk-ins are welcome.
The Bensen House will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Nov. 6-22, Dec. 11-13, and Jan. 15, 2020.
A Christmas open house will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 4-7. Visitors are encouraged to attend the tree lighting and to see the house in its Christmas decorations.
For more information, call (321) 723-8543.