John Anderson in Ormond Beach...What is in the name for us?
How often do we drive streets named after someone day after day and year after year ... and have no clue who that is? What do we tell our children if they ask us who was that person that they named the street, we live on, after?
If you are in Daytona Beach, especially if you are in Ormond Beach, you would hear this name: John Anderson. Yes, John Anderson Drive is one of the most beautiful streets with gorgeous residences along the Intracoastal. It starts from Granada Avenue (SR-40) right across from the Casements - the last home of the richest man in the world John Rockefeller,and it goes north following the curves of the river. It starts with Ormond Heritage Condominiums, which address is 1 John Anderson Drive. But who was John Anderson?
John Anderson was the very man, who built the Hotel Ormond on this site in 1888. The town was New Britain. Hotel Ormond, which was a few years later bought by John Rockefeller's partner in Standard Oil Co. Henry Flagler, who expanded it and then brought the railroad right to the entrance of this magnificent wooden structure, the largest wooden building east of Mississippi. The man who was the biggest promoter of Ormond. Actually he was behind the name change. James Ormond III was his his close friend.
Born in 1856, he came to New Britain from New York in 1876. He served as the county tax assessor, then built the Santa Lucia Plantation, then Hotel Ormond. He also built the county's first Golf Course. Unfortunately the wooden structure did not survive, and Ormond Heritage Condominiums was built on the site. The cupola from the famous Hotel were saved and is now in the riverfront Fortunato Park in front of the condominium building.
In 1902 it was John Anderson along with Joseph Price, who organized the first auto-racing tournament on the hard packed white sandy beach. He was the man, who started the great American tradition of racing. Later he promoted a professional baseball team in Ormond Beach. John Anderson died in 1911. Nearl 100 years have passed. A lot has changed. Hotel Ormond is no longer standing proudly at the foot of the bridge. The cars are no longer racing on the beach... Life has changed. Yet, these names are our local history.
Take a slow ride on John Anderson Drive. 25-mile speed limit is appropriate here as you need time to look at those beautiful homes on the river. You are on John Anderson Drive, the most prestigious address in Ormond Beach.
Today's prices are very tempting. You can now buy a $1.2 Mil home with a dock and wide lot on the Intracoatal for only $495K, and incredible value.
Presidents come and go, the economy rises, falls, and then rises again. But John Anderson Drive address was valuable 100 years ago, is more valuable now, and will be even more valuable tomorrow.