Publication Date: November 27, 2006
Ponce de Leon is reputed to have entered the inlet now named for him at New Smyrna Beach during his first Florida exploration in 1513. Jonathan Dickenson crossed the inlet to safety with the Spanish in 1696, and Dr. Andrew Turnbull created his short-lived New Smyrna settlement in 1768. Later pirates and plunderers entered through the inlet and wreaked havoc, and American Indian chief Wildcat terrorized the area. Federal navy cannonading destroyed the community in 1863, and the freezes of 1895 and 1896 decimated the orange groves. The people of New Smyrna persevered through it all to make New Smyrna the charming community it is today. This book offers a wide view of this history, mostly through images from the family archives of Zelia Mary Wilson Sweett.