My Ormond by the Sea!!!

I am on a nostalgic run, and we are getting to summer, I think of my Florida. Not the glitzy marketing spots but the real living in gorgeous Ormond Beach, rather Ormond by the Sea, or North Peninsula in Volusia County. I have written briefly on it in previous posts but rather do one on it wholly in my blog with new older pictures, Hope you enjoy it as I.

ormond beach

It was a lovey period of my life and this was as glamorous as it can, after all this is the Sunshine State and here has its best show, The unincorporated town of Ormond by the Sea bounds up to include the Volusia/Flagler county line on the north, the city of Ormond Beach on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Halifax River on the west. The area has traditionally been called the North Peninsula, although other nicknames such as OBC or OBTS are sometimes used. I graduated from university, and my marriage was in the city island courthouse , and my oldest boy was born in Halifax Hospital of Daytona Beach, Memories forever !!!

Difficult to recall all so will put emphasis on internet sites having to do with the city from private to government sites including wikipedia, Not wanted to leave anything out, if you want to know more let me know, I am still in touch with my neighbors there !!! And yes we got frost too !!

ormond beach

There are two principal roads, in Ormond by the Sea, State Road A1A (also known as Ocean Shore Boulevard), which runs along the Atlantic Ocean,(closest only 150 meters to my house!!) , and John Anderson Drive, which runs along the Halifax River.(about 250 meters from my house!). There are wonderful nature parks here such as the Tomoka State Park where the Timucuan Indians, who in the 16C occupied a large village called Nocoroco, located at the site as well as Bulow Creek State Park , Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens, and my closest the North Peninsula State Park. This is heaven with marshes and ocean breezes to boot ! Love it !! The park comprising approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2) of undeveloped coastal dunes and marsh lands, which were acquired in the mid-1980s through the Conservation & Recreation Lands Program,  later known as the “Preservation 2000” and “Florida Forever” programs. Among other species, the park provides crucial habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay, a threatened federal species of which less than 4,000 breeding pairs are thought to survive. The North Peninsula State Park of OBS : https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/north-peninsula-state-park

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Another park we frequented and mostly play catch up ball with my sons while overlooking the beach of the Atlantic ocean in Ormond by the Sea was the wonderful Bicentennial County Park facing the ocean we love it! The city of Ormond Beach on the OBS located park : https://www.ormondbeach.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Bicentennial-ParkCounty-Park-17

Ormond beach mima y pipo at house

With its hard, white beach, Ormond Beach became popular for the wealthy seeking relief from northern winters during the Floridian boom in tourism following the American Civil War. The St. Johns and Halifax Railway arrived in 1886, and the first bridge across the Halifax River (also intracoastal waterways) was built in 1887. John Anderson and James Downing Price opened the Ormond Hotel on January 1, 1888. Henry Flagler bought the hotel in 1890 and expanded it to accommodate 600 guests. It would be one in a series of Gilded Age hotels catering to passengers aboard his Florida East Coast Railway, which had purchased the St. Johns & Halifax Railroad , After many years trying to save the hotel, no buyer could be found, and the city decided to razed it in 1992 ,and built condominiums in its place as seen today unfortunately as I voted to save it. One of Flagler’s guests at the Ormond Hotel was his former business partner at the Standard Oil Company, John D. Rockefeller. He arrived in 1914 and after four seasons at the hotel bought an estate called The Casements, that would be Rockefeller’s winter home during the latter part of his life. Sold by his heirs in 1939, it was purchased by the city of Ormond Beach in 1973 and now serves as a cultural center. It is the community’s best-known historical structure, and indeed many wonderful events as well can be tour with proper reservation.

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Beginning in 1902, some of the first automobile races were held on the compacted sand from Ormond Beach south to Daytona Beach. Pioneers in the industry, including Ransom Olds with his Pirate Racer, and Alexander Winton, tested their inventions. The American Automobile Association brought timing equipment in 1903 and the area acquired the nickname « The Birthplace of Speed » In 1907 Glenn Curtiss set an unofficial world record of 136.36 miles per hour (219.45 km/h), on a 40-horsepower (30 kW) 269 cu in (4,410 cc) Curtiss V-8 motorcycle. Lee Bible, in the record-breaking, but fatal, White Triplex, was less fortunate. I was driving a Ford Mustang then due to the fact that is the NASCAR and car/bike racing heaven !! I am a lifelong Ford owner !!

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Driving on the beach is still permitted on some stretches, and now paying. When my time there it was free ,there goes the times,,, The historic shopping district located along Granada Boulevard from A1A to Orchard Street is home to dozens of locally-owned shops and restaurants along with historic and cultural sites. Yes indeed such as the Casements and my favorite spots in town.

A bit of history on the are drawn from memory and internet as I like it

Among the first Anglo settlers of Ormond by Sea (where I actually lived) in the area was Chauncey A. Bacon, an architect and American Civil War veteran from New Britain, Connecticut, who in 1876 purchased 172 acres (0.70 km2) in present-day Ormond-by-the-Sea and named it the Number Nine Plantation. The Bacons later constructed a larger home, which still stands on John Anderson Drive,(by the Halifax river) from salvaged mahogany logs that washed ashore from the City of Vera Cruz shipwreck.  The property was also planted with a large fruit grove featuring oranges, grapefruit, lemons, loquats and guavas, among others. By the turn of the century, the Bacons had a thriving home business selling brandied figs and their best-selling “Number 9 Guava Jelly.” The business survived until 1968, and the jelly house was demolished to make way for a subdivision in 1984, Again modern times infringement !! Another early settler was Leonard B. Knox, who developed a citrus plantation known as Mound Grove, located along High Bridge Road (by the famous bike loop ride ! ) near its crossing with Bulow Creek. It was Knox’s son Donald who planted the Canary Islands date palms which currently line the road. Part of the property also included a waterside building that operated as Uncle Guy’s Fish Camp between the 1930s and 1950s. The property was subsequently acquired by Dick Cobb, who operated a bar and restaurant out of the building, which became known as “Cobb’s Corner.” (My memorable spot !before closing ), The business closed in 1976, although portions of the structure remained until finally turn down in 2007.

Despite these early settlements, nearly all of present-day Ormond-by-the-Sea remained undeveloped until the 1950s, when the area began to develop in earnest as a retirement community.  Approximately one mile north on A1A, ( Ocean Shores blvd next to ocean) near the intersection of A1A and Spanish Waters Drive, stands a watch tower constructed in 1942 by the Coast Guard Reserve to look out for German U-boats operating off the coast. The tower was restored in 2004 and is one of the last remaining examples of a WWII era observation tower on the Florida coast.

The city of Ormond Beach on the birthplace of Speedhttps://www.ormondbeach.org/87/Birthplace-of-Speed

The Florida State tourist board on Ormond Beachhttps://www.visitflorida.com/places-to-go/central-east/ormond-beach/

There you go folks, I feel much better to have given the full credit it deserves to this wonderful spot in my life. Again, plenty on Florida in my blog , but this is unique , I say the real Florida most folks don’t come to see and they should, As said, many wonderful memories of the Sunshine State, not to ever forget them. We made a decision to move to France and we do not regretted either as it has been a roller coaster of fun and memories. We still very much attach to France thanks to dear late wife Martine, courage and determination. Never to be forgotten. Hope you enjoy the post and Ormond Beach, Ormond by the Sea as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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