This stone commemorates the 1769 colony of Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scot, who had recruited 200 Greeks, 110 Italians and 1190 Minorcans to homestead his royal land grant of 101,000 acres. This was the site of the largest single attempt at colonial settlement in what is now the United States up to that time (eight vessels with 1,403 people).
Dr. Turnbull was a physician and entrepreneur who obtained a grant of land from the British Crown, with a and he named the colony "New Smyrna."
The colonists came prepared to till the soil, bringing with them farming implements, seeds, and cuttings of mulberry, grape, olive, orange and fig. The settlement produced the bulk of the indigo of the world during the revolution. They also made red dye of cochineal, and Barilla from weed gathered on the sea edge. Their system of drainage canals, the ruins of stone wharves indigo vats, wells and home sites are still to be seen. Nine years after founding the colony, the colonists were released from their contracts and moved to St. Augustine.
Fondest memory: The stone says:
TO THE PAST
... TO THE PRESENT
...... TO THE FUTURE
Dedicated On This
In Honor Of Those
Who Came To The New World in 1769
As Settlers Of The Historic New Smyrna Colony Of Florida
By Americans Proud Of Their
Who Cherish Their Participation
In The Great Ideals
Of Democracy And Freedom
As Embodied In Our
American Way Of Life
So That Generations Yet Unborn
May Fulfull The Hopes
Engendered By These
Presented by the
Order of AHEPA
American Hellenic Educational
May 4, 1969
We went to see the now defunct marina and the "Old Fort" which we had seen briefly when we stopped here on our boat in the fall of 2000.
While we were looking at the Old Fort, I took this picture of the library. A website about it says:
"The New Smyrna Free Library (now the Connor Library Museum) was constructed by Washington Everett Connor in 1901. Mr. Connor, a New York stockbroker, personally maintained the building and paid the librarian's salary for 20 years. Originally located on the northwest corner of Faulkner and Washington Streets, the library was deeded to the City in 1924, with the stipulation that the City continue to maintain the building as a library.
"In 1940, the New Smyrna Free Library was moved into the newly completed Works Projects Administration (WPA) facility on Sams Avenue (now City Hall). After the relocation of the library, the New Smyrna Beach Garden Club used the original library building as its headquarters.
"Despite its illustrious beginnings, it did not appear that the building would be allowed a graceful retirement. By 1990, the Connor Library stood abandoned and deteriorating and seemed a likely candidate for demolition. In 1991, the City of New Smyrna Beach moved the building to its present location in Old Fort Park. It remained in its dilapidated state in the park until 1994, when the building was completely restored and converted into a museum detailing the history of Southeast Volusia County."
Fondest memory: In 2001, the Connor Library Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary. I did not know it was a museum, or I might have visited it-- or maybe it wasn't open at the time we were there - I don't really remember.
120 Sams Avenue
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
There were also banners on it advertising Eco-Tours.