I know History is boring to some, we remember from High School all the dates we had to memorize just to past the test. Now that I don't have to remember the dates I find History interesting and exciting. I have a friend and customer who was born and raised here. When I say here I mean she was born in Holly Hill, because Ormond (Beachside) was nothing but palms, underbrush, snakes, gators, and mosquitoes when she was a baby. She was a teenager during World War II and I could listen to her stories for hours.
This is the Marker on A1A at the Watch Tower
I have lived here for over 33 years, and there is so much I didn't know about our wonderful area! Some of what I am writing I can substantiate, and some I can't so you can make up your own minds as to the validity of it all. We all know the long strip of land from Mantanza to Ponce Inlet is called a Peninsula, and a Peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides. Well the truth is we are an Island, surrounded by water on four sides. According to my friend that is because during World War II Mantanza was dredged so our Coast Guard could get some of the ships they were building in Ponce Inlet out to sea by two Inlets. This was to confuse the German U-Boats that sat off our shore and sunk most of the boats as they left Ponce Inlet. After dredging Mantanza the Germans had to watch two Inlets instead of one so more of our boats made it out.
This is one of only two Watch Towers left from World War II. Teenage boys spent shifts watching for German U-Boats. This tower was restored about 3 years ago, and is located in Ormond By the Sea.
Convoys of Army trucks used Rt 1 as there only means to transport food, medical supplies, weapons, and other supplies to our soldiers here in Florida. My friend told me of days when she couldn't cross Ridgewood Ave to go to school. She and her friends had to wait at least two hours and if they still couldn't get across, because of the convoys then they could go back home for the day.
As teens there wasn't much to do as far as entertainment went, but there was a bowling alley on the boardwalk in Daytona Beach. It was opened on Fridays nights, and of course they were under blackout conditions for most of the war (especially on the beach). They entered the bowling alley through the first door which had the glass painted black. The entrance had no lighting, when they had the door completely closed then they would go through black out drapes that hung floor to ceiling. Then they had to make sure they were closed with no light peering through before the next people could enter the building. She said once inside they would have a wonderful time and not think about the war.
With a little looking and investigating there is so much to see and explore right here in Ormond Beach and the surrounding area. There are Sugar Mill ruins, Forts, gorgeous gardens, Museums, restaurants, and so much more. What a great place to live!!
Subscribe to CommentsComment