DELAND  FLORIDA � PLACES & PICTURES

 

Capital of Volusia County and home to Stetson University, DeLand is one of those strong little towns that few tourists visit. 

 

Downtown Deland

 

109 West Indiana (1875) is the oldest commercial building in Deland.  Next door at 105 West Indiana is the �Old Curiosity Shop� � so named for a gift shop was housed here since its 1925 construction.  Downtown is a great antique spot and there are a number of neat restaurants.

 

                                  The Courthouse

 

The 1929 Volusia County Courthouse is an impressive sight with its Corinthian columns of Georgian pink marble covered by a copper dome. Deland has been the county seat since 1888.

 

The 1922 ATHENS THEATER designed by Floridian Murray S. King was saved from the wrecking ball by wise locals who knew the old vaudeville house was an architectural asset to the local arts scene.

 

103 Indiana Ave. 

The Lancaster Drug Store started here in 1906 but was replaced by the first Post Office.   Later it was a theater and now an arty caf�/span>

100 East New York was the 1909 Dreka Department Store in the heart of DeLand.  The three-story reinforced concrete structure has odd Mission Revival traits.

The 1909 J. F. Allen Furniture and Funeral Building is a cute structure for having such a strange dual identity in the past.

 

World War II heads toward Woodland Boulevard.  The airfield has a museum

on aviation and is very active in preserving Florida�s air history.

 

DeLand has lots of historic sites outside of the downtown area.  At 137 West Michigan Avenue, just north of downtown, is the HENRY S. DELAND HOUSE MUSEUM (1886).

  The building is ironically not the former home of the founding father of the city. DeLand sold the land to Arthur George Hamlin, DeLand�s first attorney.  In 1893 Hamlin sold the house of JOHN B. STETSON, the hat manufacturer and benefactor to Stetson University.  Stetson used the building to house faculty until it was finally bought by Dr. Charles Farris, a professor of Greek.

The museum also honors LUE GIM GONG, �the Luther Burbank of Citrus.�  Gong developed many varieties of oranges and grapefruit which helped Florida become a great fruit exporter.

 The focal point of the town is STETSON UNIVERSITY, founded in 1883 on a 175-acre historic campus north of downtown.� Besides offering bachelor and masters degrees in a variety of fields, the 2,500 student university has Law Schools in St. Petersburg and Tampa.

A landmark is the JOHN STETSON MANSION (1886), designed by George T. Pearson in the Gothic Tudor cottage form.� The tiny schoolhouse built to educate his kids stands in the back of the 8500 square foot house.