Arnett House

212 West Bay Avenue
Hettie Arnett McNamara

This home was built in 1930 by Ms. Lossie Arnett Cramer. The house was constructed using lumber from an earlier two-story home that had been located on the lot.

The modest structure is constructed in the Frame Vernacular style. It has details of the Bungalow style, such as the tapered wood columns resting on brick piers, a prominent exterior chimney, and exposed roof rafters. Some sources say this home was built earlier; however, Seminole County records date it at 1930.

The Arnett-Cramer family lived in the area of Longwood since at least the 1890s. Lossie married Longwood resident Wesley J. Cramer in 1900, but was widowed by 1920.  Lossie’s daughter Hettie Arnett moved back in with her mother during the 1930s and early 1940s, after teaching at public schools in various other parts of the state. Mother and daughter were both school teachers, prior to Lossie’s retirement in the late 1930s. Lossie’s son, Harry, also lived here for a time. Sister Harriet Lenora Arnett Eckles moved to Ocoee after her marriage to Eulos Gray Eckle in 1915.

Hettie was single for years until she married John C McNamara in 1943 at age 47, until he died in 1954. Known to her students as “Miss Hettie” or “Miss Mac”, she had a 42-year teaching career including many years at Lyman. She was acclaimed by all as a beloved teacher and citizen.

When she retired from teaching in 1956, county commissioner Otis E. Fourakre (who had three children that had been in her class) said this: “I’ve known her for over 20 years and she’s been a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person. In losing Mrs. McNamara, Lyman school is losing one of the best.” (full story on her career and retirement)

Hettie was one of the longest residents of Longwood living there until her death in 1984 at 88 years old. She was an early member of the Longwood Historic Society.

The historic home was encompassed by a new construction in 2002, but the original house is still clearly visible as a distinct structure. The aerial view makes the distinction even more apparent.