Originally named New Britain after the Connecticut home of early settlers, the name was changed in 1880 to honor an early plantation owner.
John and Charles Bostrom built a modest home and rented rooms to travelers and potential settlers.
|This appeared to be Ormond Beach’s destiny. With the first bridge across the Halifax River and the impending arrival of the St. Johns and Halifax Railroad, the time was right for development. George Penfield (age 14) won the competition for the design of the 75 room Ormond Hotel and golf course.As the railroad was making its way down from the North, John Anderson and Joseph D. Price set about building the Ormond Hotel. A great success, it drew giants of American industry from the cold, Northern winters and their wealth made anything possible.Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton were two of the first racers on the hard packed sand – dead heating down the beach at 57 MPH. Forerunners in the community, Anderson and Price then organized the first auto races on the beach.By 1904, the Florida East Coast Automobile Association boasted 200 members with names like Vanderbilt, Flagler, Astor, and Gould among them.|
John D. Rockefeller, a long time visitor to the hotel and devotee of it’s golf course bought the nearby Huntington property called “Casements.” Having survived vandalism and a couple of fires, Casements is today “Ormond Beach Community Enrichment Center.” Ormond Beach is still a thriving seaside mecca for the gentle lifestyle.
With the “Casements” and Memorial Art Museum (and Gardens) as downtown cultural anchors, the wilderness of Tomoka State Park for the camping, canoeing and picnicking nearby, the activity engendered by the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers and beautiful Atlantic beaches the community lives up to the cliche’ has it all.
Commercial support for Ormond Beach’s up-scale residential population and its visitors has now traversed westward along busy RT.40 to I-95 (exit 88).
This in addition to the fine stores, professional offices and medical facilities along A1A, US1 and Nova Road, make Ormond Beach truly a community to enjoy.
25 Riverside Drive
The Casements was once the winter home of John D. Rockefeller, now it is a historic gathering place for cultural events; including book fairs, author lectures, classes, various exhibits, and holiday events. There is a gift shop on the premises, and guided tours. The popular Ormond Beach Trolley Tours are available here. They are climate controlled, pleasant driving tours through thirty historical buildings and various notable sites in Ormond Beach. Reservations required. Call for schedule and rates. (386) 677-7005.
The Casements hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon, on Saturdays. Guided tours are available from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on Saturdays.
Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center
399 N. U.S. Highway 1
The Performing Arts Center of Ormond Beach offers community theatre, classes, shows, and a variety of cultural performances. Visiting professional theatre troupes are at home in a 3,000 square foot, fully functional theatre. For patrons that may have trouble, devices are available for free for the hard of hearing. Handicap accessible as well.
Birthplace of Speed Park
Intersection of A1A and Granada Boulevard
Ormond Beach is the birthplace of speed. Dedicated to the beginning of car racing and driving, this scenic ocean-side park in Ormond Beach pays homage to the first automobile race held on the nearby sand at the turn of the twentieth century. Ransom E. Olds and Alexander Winton were the first to compete. The park was established in 2002, and is adjacent to the beach. There are picnic facilities with shaded areas and automobile statue replicas of the first two automobiles to ever race in that area.
Billy MacDonald House
38 E. Granada Boulevard
This lovely old house is part of the Ormond Beach Historical Trust Inc., and a welcome center. Called the Billy MacDonald House, there are orientation videos for tourists and local visitors, displays of historic photographs, and trust merchandise for sale to help preserve the history of Ormond Beach. There are various events and happenings at the MacDonald House, including jazz Fridays and holiday events.
Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site
Old Dixie Highway
Back in the nineteenth century, there was a prosperous family, who despite the fact that they owned slaves, are historically significant to local Ormond Beach history. The family prospered from cotton and sugar, until the second Seminole War ruined their enterprise, and what remains today are the remnants of a once flourishing, old Florida plantation. The grounds are now a park – with picnic areas, Bulow Creek (which allows small water crafts), hiking trails and fishing. The park is open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Parking fees are $3.00 per vehicle.
Bulow Creek State Park
3351 Old Dixie Highway
This is the site of one of the last remaining symbols of natural old Florida, a Fairchild Oak over four hundred years old, and is one of Florida’s largest live oak trees, left standing majestically along Bulow Creek.
Dummett Sugar Mill Ruins
Old Dixie Highway
Florida has a fascinating history, and its unique indigenous peoples are only part of the equation. Sugar plantations were thriving in Florida until the second Seminole War, when the Seminole Indians revolted against their lands being taken, and struck back against the plantation owners who so prospered, therefore sugar cane farming would never be the same. Up until this time, one of the most noted entrepreneurs who wanted to capitalize on Florida and its sublime environment for sugar cane was Thomas Dummett, the first to use a steam-operated mill on his plantation. The ruins of the chimney from the old sugar mill are still standing.
Tomoka State Park
2099 N. Beach Street
Feel the history come to life, as you walk the grounds of an ancient Timucuan Indian Village. The modern day park is situated on hundreds of acres, and provides camping, picnic areas, canoe rentals, small boat access, hiking trails, fishing and more.
Tomoka Mounds and Middens
Florida shell mounds are found throughout the state, but in Ormond Beach, the shell mounds of the Tomoka Mounds and Middens are thought to be over five thousand years old, pre-Columbian. Located at the Tomoka State Park.
Ormond Tomb Park
3268 Old Dixie Highway
This park has over ten acres, and is a fun park for play; with volleyball, playground, picnic facilities, and more. Restrooms on the premises.
Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
78 E. Granada Boulevard
The museum features local artisans, paintings, and rotating exhibits. There are some tutorial art classes for children, and situated outdoors are lovely gardens; with pathways for walking, local indigenous plants, holiday-themed displays and more.
Public Golf Courses:
River Bend Golf Club
730 Airport Road
An eighteen hole championship course, located near the Tomoka River. Practice facilities available.
Tomoka Oaks Golf & Country Club
20 Tomoka Oaks Boulevard
Golf course, club with pool and lighted tennis courts.
Halifax Plantation Golf Club, Halifax Plantation Course
3400 Clubhouse Drive
An eighteen hole public course.
Riviera Country Club, Riviera Course
500 Calle Grande Street
Opened in 1953, this is an eighteen hole public course.
Ormond Beach Tennis Center
38 E. Granada Boulevard
This facility has eight lighted tennis courts. There are tennis professionals on premises for lessons.
Boat Launches and Fishing Docks
Tomoka Boat Ramp
397 Palm Avenue
A small park and free boat launch into the Tomoka River.
Briggs Drive Fishing Dock
2500 John Anderson Drive
Small park directly on the Halifax River, popular spot for local fishing.
Riv-Ocean Drive Fishing Dock
Another local Ormond Beach park, perfect for fishing.