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.
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