Another Trip to Lowe's
One of Two Cars Stacked Full of Home Improvement Supplies
Bagged a Few Leaves
Postal Museum at the Heritage Inn
Postal Museum at the Heritage Inn
Postal Museum Antique Mailboxes at the Heritage Inn
Entrance to Hollywood Cemetery
Established in 1870
Lincoln Cemetery Looking Over the Fence from Hollywood Cemetery
Locked Gate and sand path to Lincoln Cemetery
Many Grave Markers are Carved vs. Etched
Lincoln Cemetery - Cement Slab Grave
Today was my day to take a step back in time in Orange City, Florida to see if I could uncover some of the history of the area. Anthony continued with his projects for Janet after we loaded him back up at Lowes last night after dinner with more home improvement supplies (2 cars full).
My first stop was the Heritage Inn. The 1876 Heritage Inn is the oldest operating hotel in Volusia County and one of the oldest in the State of Florida. It is a contributory historic property in the recently approved Orange City Historic District. Sometimes I find that the efforts to maintain a historic building appear to run astray from what I might or would expect. I stopped in the Heritage Inn’s Red Roof Café for a quick bite to eat and noticed that they feature Indian food and music on certain days of the week. Not items I would expect in a Historic Florida Hotel. The postal museum lines the hallways of the main floor and I did find the collection very interesting but the theme song from the movie Grease blaring from the bar was very distracting to the ambiance of the hotel and the museum. There appears to be a barber shop, happy hour advertising all over the place, Karaoke is also heavily featured etc. It seem that instead of highlighting the history and embracing it they are confused on how to attract visitors and are branching out in every direction possible. Although the staff was friendly they could capitalize on history with tasteful uniforms, a menu update that features unique food from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s that you can only find in Florida etc. It was just kind of sad for me to see the hotel being almost everything except being true to its original roots. Maybe I am just a romantic and have watched too many Jane Austin movies and episodes of Downton Abbey. I did not take time to ask to see any of the rooms.
I attempted to locate a couple of historic houses that I found listed as part of their historic area of town but as I drove by there were no plaques or information that I could find for the Seth French House or the David P. Graves House. All I could see were some homes that were nothing special with yards full of warm weather items (kids toys, beach chairs etc.). The historic houses were a total bust.
Undaunted I drove over to the Hollywood Cemetery. Hollywood Cemetery was established in 1870 when the Wisconsin Land Company, who founded Orange City, donated 10 acres of land on South Carpenter Avenue. This land was designated for both white and African-American families. Robert W. Sturdevant surveyed the land and drew the first map, which is still in use today.
The first burials were recorded in 1876. In 1883, the 10 acre parcel was divided into two 5 acre parcels. The eastern parcel was designated for whites and named Hollywood Cemetery for its numerous holly trees. The western half was set aside for African-Americans and named Lincoln Cemetery. Both are still in use today.
What was interesting is there is a fence surrounding Hollywood Cemetery, paved roads and street markers in this section. There are also lots of signs warning you that there are surveillance cameras watching you. At the back of Hollywood Cemetery is Lincoln Cemetery with no access via Hollywood Cemetery. I had to drive all the way out and over to a very large locked rusted metal gate and follow the sand trail on foot past the Hollywood Cemetery to the back lot. The Lincoln Cemetery does not have easy access or a paved road, the headstones are much less elaborate than the ones in Hollywood Cemetery and many are just wooden crosses without names or cement plots on the ground. This is the not the first time I have encountered a cemetery that is segregated. In Idaho it is not uncommon for Chinese Immigrants to have their burial plots segregated without markers or headstones and they are often covered in brush or empty dirt lots. There is quite a bit of grass in Hollywood Cemetery but only sand and dirt in Lincoln Cemetery. It was unfortunate not to see the same amount of attention and care given to both cemeteries (but again not uncommon).
I finally gave up on my history search and decided to take myself to see the Lego movie at a theater close to Janet’s place. I had the entire theater to myself. The move was really cute and cleaver. I would recommend it for any age.
This evening we took Janet to the Fujiyama Stake House and Sushi in Orange City. We sat at the Hibachi table which was a lot of fun. After dinner we were back to Lowes Home Improvement for another car load of supplies for tomorrow.