Daytona Beach Florida
Daytona Beach Florida
The history of Daytona Beach and its surrounding sister cities began at least 4,000 years ago when the area was inhabited by aboriginal Indians. Their descendants, the Timucua Indians had several villages in this area when the Spanish arrived.
Written records about life in Florida began with the arrival of the Spanish explorer and adventurer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513. Although some Spanish families were given large tracts of land in the present Daytona Beach area, it was not until after 1763, when the British and Spanish exchanged Cuba with Florida, that any serious efforts were made to colonize.
Yankees looking for a new location, Southerners looking for new homes as far as possible from the conquerors, and ex-slaves promised land streamed into Florida. In 1871, Mathias Day purchased land and laid out the town of Daytona. Blake (now South Daytona) was plotted and named in 1876. New Britain began in 1873 and the name was changed to Ormond in 1880. Holly Hill's first building was erected in 1877. The settlement at Port Orange was named in 1867.
In the 1880's, the railroad reached Daytona, bringing wealthy Northern tourists to enjoy the Sunshine and mild temperatures. One of these visitors, James Hathaway was responsible for suggesting the first automobile race to be held in this area, which was scheduled for March 1903. Ransom Olds and Alexander Winston, pioneer automobile manufacturers, precipitated the event with their own beach race in April 1902, and both of their automobiles were clocked at the unheard of speed of fifty-seven miles per hour.
In 1903, the Florida East Coast Automobile Association was formed to promote local beach racing. For the next 30 years, world land speed records were set on the beach. In 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell set the record of 276 mph. In 1938 Bill France began his Daytona Beach racing career with the establishment of NASCAR speed weeks.
On January 4, 1926, the cities of Daytona, Daytona Beach, and Seabreeze consolidated to form the present day City of Daytona Beach.
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