Fairview Cottage at 319 East French Avenue was built for Dr. Zeth French a Civil War hero, a member of the Florida Senate and the Florida's Commissioner of Immigration. Fairview Cottage represents an example of frame vernacular.
The cottage sets far back on the lot facing French Avenue. The exterior consists of large porch which wraps around two sides of the cottage , the south and east sides; the siding is of clapboard, windows are double hung with original panes of glass with exterior shutters. There is also a small porch at the north end of the cottage.
The cottage has two floors: the first floor consists of a parlor with a corner fireplace, a dining room with a staircase to the second floor, followed by a small kitchen and a storage area. There is also a bathroom and a bedroom off the dinning room.. The second level consists of three bedrooms all connected without a hall.
Fairview Cottage 319 East French Avenue The residential structure was constructed in 1874 It represents a primarily Florida Frame Vernacular or Cracker architectural style, which is characteristic style of the nineteenth and early twentieth century style in Florida. The style is characterized by frame construction with clapboard or batten siding, one to two stories with either side gable, front gable, hipped or pyramidal roof with metal roofing. Originally, the property was owned by Seth French, a Civil War surgeon, he created the Wisconsin Company which established the settlement of Orange City; he was a member of the Florida Senate and the first Commissioner of Immigration for Florida. The property was visited by George Barbour, a writer for the Chicago Daily Times and former President U.S. Grant on their tour of Florida in 1880. Barbour documented their journey in his book “Florida for Tourists, Invalids and Settlers. He wrote this about their visit to Orange City ”Sand had been cleared, roads and streets surveyed, eighty residences have been built and one thousand acres of orange trees are in bloom.” The grounds contain native landscaping, including some of the original citrus and many sabal palms..