Oakland Manor House on the market

The owner of the 1900s home is selling the property and hopes it will remain a center for wellness.

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It can be difficult to do what’s best, especially when it comes to giving up one’s passion, but Charlotte Charfen wants to see an Oakland gem reach its full potential.

Charfen, a physician, author and self-proclaimed optimist, is the owner of the Oakland Manor House, a center for health, meditation and art close to Oakland’s Lake Apopka shore. And she decided to sell the property and historical 1900s home to someone who can give it the attention it deserves.

“For this place to continue to thrive, I believe it really needs an owner that has boots on the ground to reach its full potential,” said Charfen, who now lives in Hawaii. “I love the Oakland community and that home and all the history that lives within its walls. It is such a gem beyond words. It pains me to let her go, but I am grateful to have been her caretaker and to now pass the torch.”

The five-bedroom, seven-and-a-half bathroom home has served as an inn and a wellness center since opening early last year.

Each bedroom has a private bathroom, and each room has its own theme, such as the Peacock Room, the Sage Room and the Speakeasy. There are common living areas and plenty of small spaces for guests needing alone time.

Ceiling-to-floor windows, wood staircases, hardwood floors and large porches come together to celebrate the home’s history and create an atmosphere of relaxation, which has served Charfen well in her business.

“There is an amazing group of practitioners that teach at the Manor and have carried on the wellness aspect from yoga, meditation, sound healing, energy practitioners, health and arts,” Charfen said. “There is a core of five women who have been more supportive than I could have ever imagined.”

The team also includes an inn-keeper, health coach-vegan chef, part-time assistant and marketer/events/retreat coordinator.

Charfen said she hopes the team will be able to keep their employment with the new owner.

“I'm hopeful that the person taking my place would take what's already been built and continue to expand and improve upon the foundation,” she said.


“As an emergency physician, humanitarian and entrepreneur driven to help make the world and my local communities a better place through empowerment of one's own health, this was a huge, difficult, painful, humbling but necessary experience to really practice what I teach,” Charfen said.

“I may own the home and business, but it is this group of incredible women in the Oakland community that have brought (the house) and me back to life through their love, kindness, support and healing abilities. In my opinion they resuscitated the home just like I have done for so many in the E.R. They offered me grace and hope during one of the hardest times of my life.”

Until it’s sold, Charfen and her staff will continue to host classes and events, as well as rent out rooms, at the Oakland Manor House. Amenities include health classes, workshops and retreats focused on health and wellness programs and activities.

“My gut is that the buyer will be an entrepreneur in the field of wellness who will want these things in place and see the enormous value of what is already transpiring,” she said.

The home features nearly 5,000 square feet of living space. A porch overlooks the three-fourths-of-an-acre lot and its mature oaks.

“The home has always been magical and will continue to be so,” Charfen said.

The house, built around 1905, was originally known as the Williams House. Fred and Grace Mather-Smith stayed with the Williamses in the vernacular-style home when it was just one story. It later was a caretaker’s house for Walter Smallbone and his son, Tom Smallbone, who managed the Mather-Smith estate and groves in the mid-20th century.








Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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