Page 26 - The Ormond Chamber Vistor Guide
P. 26

 In 1765 a boat filled with Englishmen and African slaves arrived on the shores of the Tomoka and Halifax rivers to settle the area now known as Ormond Beach, Florida. More settlers arrived and soon Sugar Mill plantations lined the river banks for miles. The Three Chimneys site on West Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach contains the ruins of the oldest sugar mill and rum distillery in Florida.
Two of the new young settlers, James Downing Price and John Anderson, built the Hotel Ormond to house new visitors and new settlers. The doors opened in 1888 and Henry Flagler purchased it in 1890. Flagler also pur- chased the railroad, and a carriage and rail bridge was constructed to cross the Halifax River and deliver passengers to the Hotel entrance.
By then, the motor car was invented. In 1903, Ransom E. Olds and Alexander Winton set up a race on the beach. Eventually, official races were staged extending from Ormond Beach to the inlet and then along the beach course road 20 miles south, thus making Ormond the birth- place of speed. A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Birthplace of Speed was celebrated in Ormond Beach in 2003.
Because of the climate, Ormond became the winter home to many of the rich and famous, including John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller stayed at the Hotel Ormond at first but even- tually bought a home across the street called “The Casements,” which now houses the cul- tural center for the city.
 John D. Rockefeller, Will Rogers and friends.
Florida became a part of the United States in 1819. The second Seminole War stomped out the plantations by 1842. When the state entered the union in 1845, there were 20 fam- ilies living in Volusia County.
Several families from the Carolinas and Georgia started the Tomoka Settlement, at the west end of the city limits, but their orange groves were destroyed in the big freeze of 1895.
At the same time, the first Volusia County retire- ment community was started by a group of for- mer employees of the Corbin Lock Company in Connecticut who moved their families onto the west bank of the Halifax River. They called their new home New Britain. The name was changed to Ormond when it incorporated into a city in 1880.
The original Ormond Bridge.

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