SIZE: 17.11 square miles
LOCATION: 20 miles west of Daytona Beach
GOVERNMENT: Mayor-Commission with an appointed city Manager
CONTACT: City Hall (386) 626-7000
MORE INFORMATION: www.DeLand.org
- DeLand was founded in 1876 by Henry DeLand while touring the St. Johns River. He and other early pioneers had a vision to build the “Athens of the South” along the lake-studded shores of the St. Johns. Located along the high-tech corridor between Orlando and Daytona Beach, DeLand is the county seat for Volusia County and is also home to the Volusia County School Board, the Florida Department of Transportation District Office and Florida’s first private university, Stetson University.
- DeLand is an active retail, residential and manufacturing market in the dynamic Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach MSA. A growing industrial and commercial base combines with the renaissance of its picturesque downtown area. The DeLand airport/business park, designated as a foreign trade zone, has a diverse and growing selection of manufacturers.
- Known as the “Athens of the South”, DeLand has a variety of cultural offerings. The Henry A. DeLand house, built in 1886, is home to the West Volusia Historical Society. The Museum of Florida Art and The Florida Museum for Women Artists offers exhibits by noted artists throughout the year. The Rivertown Players and Stage III provide dramatic offerings at the Theater Center. The African American Museum of Art and museums on the Stetson University campus are also destinations for patrons of the arts.
- Marinas and fish camps abound along the St. Johns River. You can enjoy the river on a pontoon boat, houseboat or on the deck of one of the many fine restaurants located along the river.
- Visitors enjoy the downtown historic district with its many antique shops, unique gift ships, restaurants and historic buildings. The main street business district has received national honors as a Mainstreet USA. And three neighborhoods are on the National Historic Register.
MORE INFORMATION: www.PioneerSettlement.org
- James D. Barber, who hoped to capitalize on the fact that the area was on the proposed route of the Jacksonville, Tampa, Key West Railroad, established Barberville in 1882. Today it lies at the crossroads of busy highway 17 and Route 40, the Ocala National Forest and the city of Ocala itself. Not far from here was the tiny settlement of Volusia (named for a Belgium native whose name was loosely spelled and loosely pronounced “Volousee”) and for which the county is named. Barberville is home to Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts, a demonstrative project to link today’s Floridians to their pioneer ancestors and their way of life. For a real step back in time slowly drive from DeLeon State Park entrance on county road #3 to Pioneer Settlement’s doorstep. In November, the Fall Country Jamboree attracts hundreds of crafters and thousand of visitors to the Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts in Barberville.
- The Volusia County Speedway offers NASCAR sanctioned asphalt and dirt racing on Friday and Saturday nights. The Pine Island Marina and RV Park is a full service facility with a campground for hunters and fishermen.
LOCATION: Sandwiched between Lake Helen to the north and Deltona to the south, off I-4
GOVERNMENT: Volusia County Council
MORE INFORMATION: www.Cassadaga.org
- George P. Colby, from Pike, Allegheny Co., New York, is given credit for being the founder of Cassadaga. Mr. Colby was a trance medium that traveled to many states giving private readings and conducting seances. He was referred to as the “Seer of Spiritualism.” The most well known spirit guide of Mr. Colby was an Indian named Seneca. It was during a séance that Seneca manifested and instructed him on a journey. The message was that he was to be instrumental in establishing a Spiritualist community in the South. After following instructions from Seneca, Mr. Colby arrived at a place near Orange City called Blue Springs Landing. He was later guided by Seneca and his other guides to an area that was exactly as it had been shown to George during a séance. The year was 1875.
- Many people have been curious as to the origin of the word Cassadaga. The name comes from a small town outside of Lily Dale, New York, and is a word used by the Seneca Indians meaning, “rocks beneath the water.”
- Cassadaga was created with the intention of being a winter haven for Spiritualists and continues today as a premier psychic community. Known as the “Psychic Center of The World,” Cassadaga is home to some of this country’s finest psychics.
GOVERNMENT: City Council and Mayor
MORE INFORMATION: www.DeBary.org
- Nestled between the peaceful St. John’s River and the busy I-4 corridor, is the charming City of DeBary. The city is named after its founder and first settler, New York champagne importer, Samuel Frederick DeBary, who put down roots in this scenic area in the early 1870’s. Drawn by the beauty and abundant wildlife, Mr. DeBary built an 8,000 square foot hunting lodge for his friends and family. DeBary Hall, as we know his lodge today, still remains and is open to the public.
- Incorporated in 1993, the City of DeBary has continued to maintain the natural beauty that captured its founder, with its thousands of oak trees, an extensive park system and environmentally sensitive areas. Known for its friendly and quiet hometown atmosphere, DeBary offers a variety of residential lifestyles from country club living to rural acreage, and boasts championship golf courses, as well as numerous community programs for youth through senior adults. DeBary is also home to the Gateway Center for the Arts, a multi-purpose community cultural and arts center with classrooms, studios, a kiln room, exhibit space, a lecture hall, and a state of the art auditorium.
- Although primarily a residential area, DeBary has pockets of commercial development within the city and the city’s location along 17/92 and I-4 offering excellent business opportunities. In an effort to enhance economic development and the quality of life for residents, the City of DeBary (in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, Volusia County and other local governments) is moving forward with plans for a commuter rail station to be located in the Ft. Florida area of DeBary.
LOCATION: Northwest of DeLand in west Volusia County
GOVERNMENT: Volusia County Council
PRINCIPLE BUSINESS: Agriculture
MORE INFORMATION: www.FloridaStateParks.org/DeLeonSprings
- The economic mainstay of this community is farming. Fern and citrus growing and horse breeding provide the livelihood for most residents.
- The springs at DeLeon Springs are the center attraction for this area. This natural spring is within an approximate 600-acre park. The spring has a water temperature of 72° and flows into three lakes before entering the St. Johns River. Over the course of Florida’s history, many battles have been waged over “ownership” of the spring. The Native Americans of this area considered the springs to have a spiritual power. Early settlers wanted to harness the mechanical power of the water gushing from the fissure in the spring. A sugar mill was built at this site with a water wheel providing power. Today this is the site of the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant – a popular area attraction.
- The Spring Garden Ranch Training Center offers the excitement of harness racing. Training of the standard bred horses is from October to April and visitors can watch trackside from the second floor observation deck of the restaurant.
GOVERNMENT: City Commission and Mayor
MORE INFORMATION: www.DeltonaFL.gov
- Strategically situated on the rolling lake dotted hills north of Lake Monroe, Deltona is one of Florida’s premier planned communities. Deltona began in 1962 as a planned unit development by the savvy Mackle Brothers and was marketed as the finest in affordable retirement living. Retirees were not the only group to discover the value of living in Deltona. Workers in nearby metropolitan areas were attracted by Deltona’s affordable housing and prime location along the high-tech I-4 corridor. Today, Deltona is the most populated municipality in Volusia County with almost 90,000 residents. The average age of its residents is 39.5.
- Incorporated in 1995, Deltona’s city and community leaders have taken the initiative to bolster economic development through strategic planning, investment in improved infrastructure and the development of commercial sites that are ready for retail, office, light industrial, and hotel use.
- Deltona also provides its residents a wealth of leisure activities with its 19 city parks, quality youth programs, abundance of lakes and many wooded areas. The City has over 12 pre-secondary institutions operated by the Volusia County School System with a total enrollment of more than 17,400. Daytona State College’s Deltona Center Campus is located at the City of Deltona’s Municipal Complex and offers a variety of business and industry training programs as well as technology disciplines.
POPULATION: Part of zipcode 32725-Deltona
GOVERNMENT: Volusia County Council
LOCATION: Lake Monroe
- Located on the shores of Lake Monroe, the town of Enterprise has a rich and colorful history. Settled by the Seminole Indians, visited by Spanish explorers, fortified with the construction of Ft. Kingsbury in 1838, and inhabited by homesteaders as the result of the Armed Occupation Act in 1842, Enterprise, with its picturesque beauty and warm springs began to attract travelers seeking health cures. After the Civil War, hundreds of visitors traveled up the St. John’s River on steamboats, to stay at the Brock House Hotel, including notables and celebrities from all over the world. In 1877, Enterprise was incorporated and served as the Volusia County Seat until 1888, when the courthouse was moved to DeLand. In the 1880’s a yellow fever epidemic reduced the population so much that the people of Enterprise voted to discorporate in 1895. To add to that woe, a catastrophic freeze in 1895 decimated the citrus industry in southwest Volusia County. These events, combined with the coming of the railroad and the end of steamboat travel, brought Enterprise’s glory days as a boomtown on the river to an end.
- Today, Enterprise still maintains the charm and beauty that were so much of her history. The Enterprise Preservation Society and the citizens of this small community have united to maintain the rich history of this once notable destination and to resist annexation and irresponsible development. Currently, the Enterprise Preservation Society is restoring the historic Enterprise Elementary School building (c. 1936). Now called The Enterprise Heritage Center and Town Hall, the renovated building will be open to the public and contains exhibits with historic documents, artifacts, and other valuable items related to the history of Enterprise and neighboring communities
LOCATION, SIZE: Located near I-4, across the Interstate from DeLand. 4.36 square miles
GOVERNMENT: City Commission with professional city administrator
CONTACT: City Hall/Water Department (386) 228-2121
MORE INFORMATION: www.LakeHelenFlorida.com
- Founded in 1884 by Henry A. DeLand, Lake Helen is rich in heritage and history. Mr. DeLand named this community after a prominent lake in the middle and after his daughter Helen. Lake Helen’s reputation as a desirable place to live or vacation grew quickly and it soon became known as “The Gem of Florida.” In 1888, the community became an incorporated city.
- Today, Lake Helen is a mix of the “old” and the “new”. There is a sizeable Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A wealth of historical homes, churches and other buildings dating as far back as the Victorian Era exhibit a wide variety of styles from many different architectural periods.
- Lake Helen is largely residential in nature, however, there is a 90-acre area west of the city’s Interstate 4 interchange, where high-intensity office park/corporate office development is both provided for and encouraged.
- The City of Lake Helen is both proud and protective if its “small town” atmosphere and the quality of life afforded its residents and visitors.
GOVERNMENT: City Council and Mayor
CONTACT: City Hall (386) 775-5408
MORE INFORMATION: www.CI.Orange-City.fl.us/
- This quaint, historical city was “home”, first to the Timucua Indians, and then to the many settlers who followed Louis and Mary Ann Thursby. The Thursby’s set up residence here in the early 1850’s. Incorporated in 1872 the city is named for the thousands of acres of orange groves planted in the area in the 1870’s. Unfortunately, the citrus industry in Orange City was wiped out by a freeze in 1895. That however did not keep Orange City from moving forward. Today, Orange City has sustained its historical role as a regional commercial retail and service provider for southwest Volusia County. The City comprises bustling business districts, affordable residential living as well as its own Historic District, including the restored Town Hall and the Thursby House.
- Situated between DeLand and DeBary, and adjacent to Deltona, Orange City’s location makes it a centralized “marketplace” for west Volusia residents. Easily accessible via major thoroughfares, Orange City’s seven square miles is home to the area’s regional medical facilities (Florida Hospital) and major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s to name a few. Orange City currently has over 1,000 businesses and the City’s central commercial hub also possesses the Saxon Boulevard/I-4 interchange, a VOTRAN Park-N-ride facility, and a 70-acre regional multi-use park/recreation facility.
- Orange City is, however, much more that a vibrant business community. Home to Blue Springs State Park, residents and visitors alike enjoy unique opportunities to observe wildlife, including the manatees that like to “winter” here. Orange City’s small town ambience, dynamic business presence, and natural beauty make it a desirable place to live, work, shop and conduct business.
LOCATION: Northwest Volusia County, 20 miles north of DeLand on US 17
GOVERNMENT: Elected Town Council (non-partisan); non-partisan elected Mayor
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS: Agriculture, primarily fern growing
CONTACT: Town Hall (386) 749-2661
MORE INFORMATION: www.Volusia.com/Pierson/
- The rural community of Pierson was first founded in the 1800’s and known then as Piersonville. The town is best known for the ferns grown and exported worldwide for use in floral arrangements and other decorations. Agriculture is the mainstay of employment.
- Many of the residents trace their lineage directly to the town’s founders, Peter and Nels Pierson. Pierson is located on U.S. 17 in northwest Volusia County and is the northern most incorporated town in the county. Pierson is situated along rural highway 17, which proclaims itself as the “Fern Capital of the World.” Startling to the casual visitor are the acres of artificially shaded “fern farms.” Even more startling and beautiful are those near disastrous times when fern farmers have to turn water on their crops and allow freezing to occur to save the plants. The theory is that a coating of ice will prevent surface exposure of the plant to temperatures even lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The result, whether saved or not, is acres of beautiful patterns in glistening white and crystal clear.
LOCATION: Northwest Volusia County on US 17
MORE INFORMATION: www.Volusia.com/Seville/
- William Lent, a vice president of the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad, founded the town of Seville in 1882 along the railroad right of way. Taking advantage of the location, he set about to build a community. He founded the Bank of Seville and built a large brick residence for himself. Teaming up with some northern investors, they started work on a grand scale hotel. Next, the group built a complex water system costing $60,000. The relationship between Lent and his backers became strained and then bitter and Lent took his own life at his Seville home in 1889. Today with limited commercial development and a largely rural/agricultural base, Seville is a quiet community on busy highway 17.