9 facts about Volusia County: 'A colorful past'

9 facts about Volusia County: 'A colorful past'

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Volusia County's website boasts: "Explore the trails that lead to Volusia County's colorful past."(Source: Volusia.org)

1. Volusia County was named after its largest community, Volusia, when the Florida legislature divided Orange County in 1854.
2. According to the county's website, "From its beginnings, Volusia County has been shaped by a collage of cultures: as a crossroads of trade on the river the Creeks called ‘Illaka' (river that wanders); as a colonial outpost under Spanish, British, and American flags; and as an enduring natural resort that continues to attract visitors and residents from all over the world."
3. Volusia County borders one of the most diverse collections of prehistoric sites in the nation, including the highest shell mounds in North America and some of the oldest burial mounds in the southeastern United States.
4. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the county's prehistoric sites. (More information) 
5. In 1768, Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull and 1,255 colonists founded what eventually became the present-day city of New Smyrna Beach.
6. At the dawn of the 20th century, many dignitaries wintered in Ormond Beach at the Ormond Hotel. The hotel was frequented by such people as Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, and John D. Rockefeller.
7. In 1903, the first timed (race) trials were held. It was that year that the sands of Daytona and Ormond were labeled "the perfect place for racing." Ormond Beach had earned its title as the "Birthplace of Speed."
8. The Ormond Garage, known as "Gasoline Alley," was built in the summer of 1904 to accommodate the racers and their mechanics.
9. City Island Ballpark was built in 1914. On March 17, 1946, it became the first place in Florida to allow Jackie Robinson to play in an integrated baseball game during Spring Training. In 1989, the ballpark became Jackie Robinson Ballpark and is one of the five oldest stadiums still being used.