Walking Tour of Historic Orange City
Stroll through Orange City's well-known historic area to discover the charm and fascinating past of prominent founding families.
Originally known as the DeYarman Hotel, the 1876 Heritage Inn is the oldest operational hotel in Volusia County. As its name indicates, it was built in 1876 and is a contributing property of the Orange City Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features the Post Office Museum, which displays old stamps and letters on the walls, and a cafe, barber shop, and hair salon.
The Dickinson Memorial Library is an example of Masonry Vernacular Architectural style. Construction completed in 1919, the library building was a gift from Albert and Emma Dickinson in memory of Albert's sister, Melissa, who was an honored resident of Orange City. The adjacent street, Albertus Way, was named after Albert Dickinson as it was a new street at the time the library was being built. The firm of J.H. Bates and Sons was the contractor for the new library building.
Constructed in 1928, this Neo-Classical Revival architecture stands out as one of the city's most significant historic resources. Town Hall was designed to house all offices of the City of Orange City, FL during the boom era of Florida development. The structure remains in use today for Orange City administration offices. The basement level, although now offices, still boasts two early jail cells.
This two-story structure was built in 1926 for John W. Camac and named for his wife's family. A seasoned real estate developer and banker, Camac commissioned J.P. Prettyman to build the hotel as well as complete the construction of the adjacent Laverne Apartments. The hotel was advertised on February 4, 1927 in the Orange City Times. It contained a lobby and seventeen rooms on the second floor and five commercial stores on the first floor. The commercial stores were home to hair dressers, hardware stores, antiques dealers, and used book retailers. Other notable commercial occupants on the first floor included the town post office and the Beverly Restaurant.
This historic multi-family apartment complex was built in 1926 by John W. Camac, a popular real estate developer. It is an example of wood-framed Masonry Vernacular. The apartment building loosely demonstrates Mediterranean revival influence. This structure contains 10 two-room apartments. It is located next to the historic Erwin Hotel, also built by Mr. Camac. The apartments have also been named the Nassau Apartments and more recently, the Townhouse Apartments.
The Walden House was one of the many houses built after the devastating freezes of the late 1890s. In 1904, James and Nella Walden purchased several lots along North Oak and East Graves Avenue. Included in their purchase was the former Pioneer Store building, which had fallen into disrepair. James demolished the building to make way for his new home in 1906.
Located at 343 East Graves Ave, The Drift Inn is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Orange City. The documented history of the structure begins about 1895. The home is of Framed Vernacular architecture. It is supported by brick and masonry piers and features wrap-around porches, now incorporated, abundant cross-ventilation through opposing windows and doors, high tin ceilings for maximum cooling, and balloon native pine construction, with pine-board inside walls. Multiple gable roofs allowed dead hot air to collect in the attic above the living space. This house is nicely restored to the 1900s Victorian elegance.
The Camac House was originally built in the early nineteenth century in the Florida Frame Vernacular architectural style. Possibly the house was built for the Hardin Family. In 1926, J .P. Prettyman was commissioned to remodel the dwelling and cover the exterior of the house with stucco for the new owners John W. and Sallie Camac. Mr. Camac was an import real estate developer of Orange City between the years of 1926 and 1929. He financed the Erwin Hotel, the Laverne Apartments and at least six other dwellings. He is noted for planting 500 trees to beautify the city.
Orange City Elementary School – Home of the Roadrunners This institutional structure opened in 1926 as a modern educational facility adorned with Mediterranean Revival influences. The new structure was designed to replace the former wooden school house. The facility is constructed in block with textured stucco exterior walls and decorative quoins at building corners. These elements, along with the rounded arches above the doors and windows and symmetrical façade, are indicative of the Revival architecture trending in Florida during that time. Orange City Elementary school is a contributing structure to the Orange City National Register Historic District and continues to serve as a public school facility today.
The Goodrich Bungalow. This house was built in 1915 for Alfred and Nellie Goodrich of Madison County, New York. The house was built in the popular Bungalow architectural style of the early nineteen hundreds. The house is unseen from the street as it sits back 150 feet from the street and is largely obscured by vegetation.
This two-story residential structure was constructed in 1889 by carpenter John Borland, one of Orange City's earliest builders. The example of Frame Vernacular architecture is infused with Queen-Anne style adornments including a beautiful stained glass bay window and attractive baluster patterns on the porch. When the house was being constructed the local newspaper stated the house had towering height with two distinctive chimneys, 40 feet at the peak of the 14/12 pitched roof.
Fairview Cottage at 319 East French Avenue was built for Dr. Seth French in 1876. The Doctor was a Civil War hero, a member of the Florida Senate in 1879 and was appointed as State Commissioner of Immigration. Fairview Cottage represents an good example of frame vernacular from the late 19th century. Once part of a larger estate, this oldest home in Orange City sets far back on the lot facing French Avenue.
This residence, turned Bed and Breakfast, was constructed in 1908. It represents the Florida Frame Vernacular architecture, which boasts characteristic wood frame construction with clapboard siding, two full stories with a pyramidal roof punctuated by gable dormers. The property was owned by Edward B. Alling, a prominent member of the community and most notably known as Mayor of Orange City. Alling was instrumental in establishing the Orange City Chapter of the Red Cross and donated the plot of land for Orange City's new Town Hall in 1928. The property is now known as The Alling House Bed and Breakfast, which has three rooms and five cottages, owned and operated by Gerald and Nan Hill. It began services as a Bed and Breakfast in 2004.
Tucker House – 447 N. Oak Avenue This stately home was constructed in late 1909 for Richard M. and Julia Tucker. Their first home, located across Oak Avenue, was destroyed in Orange City’s worst fire earlier that year. This two-story home exemplifies Classical Revival architecture with a symmetrical design and a semi-circular tiered portico on the primary façade.
The stunning house on Oak Avenue is known to some locals as the Coquina House, as the house is rumored to have been constructed of coquina stone. This Mediterranean Revival house is unusual to the city and most of Florida because of its full attic and finished basement. The house has recently been renovated on the inside.
The house at 345 North Oak Avenue represents an example of Craftsman Bungalow residential architectural style of which only few example exist in Orange City. This house originally had a porte-cochere, which was located a the North end of the front porch and leaded glass transom windows on the first floor. In the last few years this house has received much renovation to the exterior and interior, which includes a brick paver driveway and new landscaping.
This residential structure was constructed in 1883, and represents Folk Victorian architecture. The home retains several identifying features of the original construction including flat, jig-saw cut trim, cornice-line brackets, and the gable-front-and-wing façade that was a popular form in the southern states. The original owners, John and Maranda Graham, contributed greatly to the growth and prosperity of Orange City.
The residential structure was constructed in 1910 for the family of Louis P. and Mary Thursby. Today, the home is attributed to Louis' daughter Isabelle. "Belle" returned to her family's home after her retirement in 1949 from Florida State College for Women where she held the position as a Specialist in Food Demonstration. During her career, Isabelle conducted many experiments in budding, grafting, and laying of citrus. She was considered an authority on Florida fruits.
The Rockwood Cottage at 200 North Avenue is a contributing structure in the Orange City Historic District. The cottage was constructed in 1910 is an example of Florida Frame Vernacular or Cracker architectural style. Originally, the cottage had the classic front porch but due to much renovation the porch was enclosed with two large windows and shutters, a new entrance door and a small front porch. It is a two story dwelling with three upper bedrooms.
The 1.5 story house at 128 N. Oak Ave was constructed in 1906 and is a contributing structure to the Orange City National Register Historic District. Newspapers of the day indicate Dr. Ira C. Curtis and his wife Laura purchased the lot in 1905 and began construction in January of 1906. Since that time, this location has maintained a residential use. The property changed hands several times over the years.
The Little Walden Cottage was built for Dr. Robinson in 1889. James Walden purchased the Doctor's cottage and began preparations to move it to his lot. The structure was disassembled and moved to its current location in 1905. The home represents a fine example of Folk Victorian Frame Vernacular architecture.
The oldest surviving structure originally built as a house of worship in Orange City. The congregation that erected this building remains active today. At 99 years old, the former church was renovated into a single family dwelling in 1984. The structure retains the original location, orientation and physical characteristics, except for a bell tower that was removed in order to relocate the bell to the new building on the south side of Mill Lake.
A historical centerpiece for Orange City, this lake has recently received significant hardscape and landscape improvements, bringing long overdue attention to this treasured lake. Take a stroll around the lake for a refreshing scenic view of native flora and fauna. Enjoy a picnic at one of the many pavilions stationed around the lake or cool off in the splash pad.
Once home to the local 4-H Club Homemakers Extension, this two story structure was moved to its present location in 1915. Built before 1900, this former dwelling is now the clubhouse for the Village Improvement Association Orange City Woman's Club (VIA). Visitors can learn about Orange City's cultural and environmental history through poster displays. The VIA also publishes a town history book "Our Story of Orange City, Florida", available to purchase.