Welcome to Port Orange, South Daytona, and Daytona Beach Shores - Florida
On the banks of the Halifax River and on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, along Florida's east coast, are the communities of Port Orange, South Daytona and Daytona Beach Shores. Communities rich in recreation, history, and culture. Each with its own unique flavor. Families, young professionals and retirees can enjoy a comfortable, affordable lifestyle. Come see for yourself... opportunities abound in Port Orange, South Daytona and Daytona Beach Shores.
A LITTLE HISTORY
The earliest recorded settlement of PORT ORANGE occurred in 1804 when Patrick Dean received 995 acres from Spain. He built Dunlawton Plantation, which produced sugar cane, cotton and included a stone mill, the remains of which are part of the Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens. After the Civil War, the Florida Land and Lumber Company was built and made a significant contribution to establishing the city. Dr. James Milton Hawks, an abolitionist, founded the company and hired freed slaves to work for him. He is credited with naming the area Port Orange because of the oranges grown there. Over the next few months about 1,500 blacks relocated to Florida and were employed by Florida Land and Lumber Company. However, fortunes changed and in April 1867, Dr. Hawks moved the settlement from Mosquito Inlet (now Ponce Inlet) to where the community is today. By 1869, only nine families remained and they formed the beginnings of a pioneering African-American community unofficially known as Freemanville. Historians now agree the name "Freemanville" was derived from the Freeman family that owned land in the northeast area of Port Orange. A few descendents of the Freeman family and the other families that called this land home still live in Port Orange and in Volusia County.
SOUTH DAYTONA was part of land purchased in the mid - 1870s by Darnley O. Balcom of Massachusetts. His wife originally named it Blake after a town near Boston. This area attracted winter residents as well as permanent settlers. The citrus industry and its well-known profits brought many people to the area. During the Depression of the late 1920's, the citizens of Blake decided to break away from the city of Daytona Beach and establish home rule and in 1938 they became the Town of South Daytona. Thirteen years later it became the City of South Daytona.
Founded initially by the Timucuan Indians over 4,000 years ago, Daytona was named in honor of Mathis Day an inventor and newspaper publisher who in 1870 purchased 2,144 acres of land, then in 1872 opened the first hotel in the area. As a result, a small community formed around the hotel. Later in the 1960s, a group of moteliers known as "2000 Cottages" formed DAYTONA BEACH SHORES itself.