Beautifully located in the “Bass Capital of the Country”, sunny Welaka, FL, Andersen’s is the perfect get-away for your next trip. Right from your cabin at Andersen’s you’ll enjoy fresh air, the privacy and natural beauty of the surrounding State and National Forests, Conservation and Recreation Areas, Marine Preserves and the scenic islands of old Florida. If fishing is your game, there are beautiful creeks to explore with fish popping in all directions. If you are suffering from a hectic and busy world, then Andersen’s is the perfectly relaxing cure you need. Our wonderful Pub is built on a deck 20′ over the St Johns, so wildlife viewing is a treat while you enjoy a nice sundowner. The awesome sunsets from the deck will be hard to forget! Andersen’s is surrounded by the atmosphere of old Florida, yet is conveniently located to Jacksonville, Daytona, Gainesville, and St. Augustine, sitting just minutes from the major Highway 17.
To understand Andersen’s Lodge and its “Old Florida feel” you would need to know a bit of its colorful history….so here goes!
Andersen’s was originally built in the 1920’s as a popular stop on River fishing expeditions and explorations. The cottages were added in the 1940’s and the lodge in the 1950’s. All are recently renovated as a charming place to stay. Cypress paneling, memory foam mattresses, luxury sheets, and plush towels in every room offer a cozy retreat. Utility kitchens available in some rooms. King or Queen size accommodations, television with cable, and high speed wireless internet are available in each room.
The present site was a destination of many for religious retreats before the War Between the States. It was then known as Tucker’s Mount. Parishioners traveled by horse, wagons and mules from miles around to attend Easter Sunrise Services at the river’s edge.
During the War Between the States, Britain was supplying munitions to the Southerner’s by off-loading in Tapa onto horse drawn wagons headed to Fort Gates at Salt Springs. The loads were then transferred onto barges and pulled by many a strong hand with ropes strung across the river. The Yankees sent a gunboat down river to Welaka to interrupt this supply train. However, the Southerners were prepared. A wheeled artillery piece stationed on the high bluffs just about where the current restaurant now stands fired and sank the Yankee gunboat before they could interrupt the delivery of munitions.
Captain C.D. Andersen, a seasoned Norwegian ship pilot, knew the American Eastern Seaboard so well that he was flown up and down the seacoast to pilot convoys of ships through the treacherous channels to their ports of debarkation. During World War II, his extensive knowledge of the St. Johns River earned him a commission in the United States Navy to transport supplies to the various ports that led out to the ocean channels. From his many trips up and down the river, Andersen learned every inch of the river’s habits from bank to bank from Sanford to Jacksonville. He was impressed with the high bluffs and the historical site of the fishing lodge, the very spots the Confederates stationed their defense artillery to defray the Yankees from stopping their supply trains. He decided to purchase all the land comprising the entire lodge, built newer facilities and renamed it “Andersen’s Lodge”.