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East Florida Seminary was a Gainesville school for young men and women that was absorbed by the University of Florida in 1905-06. The EFS women's dormitory was then purchased by Major William Reuben Thomas, Gainesville's imminent politico and businessman, and converted into a hotel-the White House. This is a view of the dining room, large enough to accommodate nearly 200 guests. An article in the "Gainesville Sun" in 1945 featured an interview with George Alexander, an elderly waiter who had worked for the White House for many years. Mr. Alexander noted the difference in foods in demand then and 40 years past-he said that in the old days, "…all bread was hot, most meat dishes were boiled or baked, and fried foods, like steak, pork chops, and other stuff wanted today, was hardly ever known." Authorities are not sure of the exact date that the White House was built, but it was closed and demolished in 1962. The Hotel was located in the block bordered by North Main Street and Northeast 1st Street, 4th Avenue, and 5th Avenue.
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