About This Place
Ormond Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The population was 36,301 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 37,929. Ormond Beach is the northern neighbor of Daytona Beach and is home to Tomoka State Park.
Ormond Beach was once within the domain of the Timucuan Indians. Their local fortified village was called Nocoroco, believed to have been located at the site of Tomoka State Park. But war and disease would decimate the tribe. The city is named for James Ormond I, an Anglo-Irish-Scotch sea captain commissioned by King Ferdinand VII of Spain to bring Franciscan settlers to this part of Florida. Ormond had served Britain and Spain in the Napoleonic Wars as a ship captain, and was rewarded for his services to Spain by King Ferdinand VII. Ormond later worked for the Scottish Indian trade company of Panton, Leslie & Company, and his armed brig was called the Somerset. In 1821, Florida was acquired from Spain by the United States, but hostilities during the Second Seminole War delayed settlement until after 1842. In 1875, the city was founded as New Britain by inhabitants from New Britain, Connecticut, but would be incorporated in 1880 as Ormond for its early plantation owner.
Florida experienced a boom in tourism after the Civil War. With its hard, white beach, Ormond became popular for the wealthy seeking relief from northern winters. The St. Johns & Halifax Railroad arrived in 1886, and the first bridge across the Halifax River was created in 1887. John Anderson and James Downing Price opened the Ormond Hotel on January 1, 1888. Henry Flagler bought the hotel in 1890 and expanded it to accommodate 600 guests. It would be one in a series of Gilded Age hotels catering to passengers aboard his Florida East Coast Railway, which had purchased the St. Johns & Halifax Railroad. Once a well-known landmark which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the hotel was razed in 1992.