Flagler Beginning The Hotel Ormond was built by Jon Anderson of Portland Main and Joseph Price of Kentucky. It was opened on January 1, 1888. Henry Flagler bought an interest in the hotel in 1890. He fully purchased the hotel and land in 1891 for $112,500. McGuire and McDonald were called on to expand and renovate the new hotel.
1891 (From Snow to Sun Florida Winter Pleasure Tours Pennsylvania Railroad) Ormond 120 miles from Jacksonville, on Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway.
This charming little town is located directly on the Halifax River ; it is noted for its delightful winter climate, and has gained a wide-spread reputation as the heart of the renowned Halifax River orange-producing country. It has abundant resources for the amusement of every class of pleasure seeker. The walks and drives among the oaks, palmettos, and orange groves are famous. There is also boating and fishing, and no lack of the fine fruits.
PRINCIPAL HOTEL. The Ormond , $4.00 per day.
Florida Beauties of the East Coast by Joseph Richardson, General Passenger Agent for the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Indian River Railway, 1892 Ormond-on-the-Halifax opens up the tropical vistas of this floral land, the veritable Florida, and the curtain rises on the loveliest of settings. On both banks of the half-mile expanse of water handsome hotels and homes are framed in backgrounds of green in variegated shadings; the slender palm, the magnolia and oak towering above under-growing verdure. Along the river's edge for miles, gleaming white through the foliage, are smooth shell drives through scenery ever alluring, and of interest because of its variety. Here a typical Florida hammock, green-crested palmettos, gray trunks of forest trees draped with sombre moss, the whole filled in with tangled underbrush and interlacing vines. A little further on an orange grove with contrasting dark green leaves and golden globes against the blue sky, one of Nature's audacious color combinations. Or, where the river bends, a group of whispering pines, calling to mind New England scenes, and then a mass of bananas lazily swaying their green pennants. The peninsula which keeps apart the rolling ocean and rippling river is here half a mile wide, and a lulling song of the surf is always in one's ear, stealing through the soft woodland shadows. From Ormond to the beach the road is through fragrant pines and an undulating sea of palmetto and oak, whose tops form a waving carpet where the land rises and falls in long ocean-like swells. Between the barrier of sand hills and the sea stretches the beach, 400 feet of yellow, shining sand, hard and level as an asphalt pavement, and extending 30 miles without a break; a perfect drive---such perfection as only Nature fashions Carriage wheels leave scarcely a mark on the shining expanse, and the line of tumbling breakers thunders on it in white crested ranks, warm with the mighty flow of the gulf stream, inviting bathers all the year. The charms of the Halifax are not alone for the eye or esthetic taste---the yachtsman, angler and hunter here find glorious sport. From the first fall frosts of Northern winter this river is the retreat of clouds of ducks, and is the home of the heron, bittern, crane, snipe and pelican. On its shores are still seen the turkey, bear, deer and endless covies of quail. No fisherman comes home empty handed, for channel bass, Jew fish, sheepshead, drum, sea trout and a hundred other game fish are found the whole length of the river. At night the phosphorescent flashings from myriads of mullet make a weird pyrotechnic display.
1897 Standard Guide Ormond is the first town struck by the railway after leaving St. Augustine. For the enjoyment of the tourist Ormond affords a combination of attractions second to none on the East Coast. From the Hotel Ormond, fronting the Halifax, one looks across the wide river to the beautiful village that skirts the western shore. The river is about as wide as the lower Hudson, and looks as majestic, although but a shallow lagoon. It is deep enough, however, for steamboats of light draft, and populous with all kinds of pleasure craft. The long bridge across the Halifax is a favorite resort of skilled fishermen. Fish of many varieties are abundant, among them the speckled sea trout, channel bass, cavalle, sheepshead and fresh- water black bass in Tomoka River. Sea bass weighing from twenty to forty pounds are caught in the Atlantic surf. Immense turtles, able to carry a man standing on their backs, as they go back to the sea from their nests on the beach, are plenty in the spring season. Bears are often seen on moonlight nights coming out of the scrub to hunt the turtle eggs, which are laid from eighty to a hundred in each nest. The eggs are also used to flavor the Hotel Coquina muffins; and nothing is more delicate and appetizing than the flavor of coquina soup, made from the living shellfish (Donaces) that are swept up the beach in great quantities. Ormond abounds in game. Ducks are plenty in the headwaters of the Halifax, quail in the fields and flat woods; also wild turkeys and deer and not infrequently bear's meat are brought into the Ormond Market.
The Ormond climate is of that medium quality which permits one to come in October and stay until the end of May. The walks in all directions are singularly attractive, being either shelled or planked over sandy spots, and provided with numerous rustic seats and arbors along the shaded river banks or through the trails across the half-mile peninsula that connects the river with the ocean.
Ormond is famous for its drives and its bicycle paths and beaches. It has the advantage of unfailing marl pits, which supply the best material for roads, smooth and hard as concrete, and this is supplemented by great deposits of shell which lie along the river. There is no finer beach anywhere on the Atlantic shore than at Ormond. It is 250 feet wide at mean tide, and extends for many miles up and down the coast. It is lively with all sorts of pleasure carriages, bicycles and bathers, not to speak of the annual tournament when the cowboys of the interior come to compete in equestrian sports with the horsemen of the coast. The six-horse tally-ho hardly leaves a mark on the smooth surface of this magnificent beach. It is attractive also in the variety of beautiful shells that are swept up by the high tides.
The greatest single attraction of Ormond is the Tomoka River, once the chosen resort of the Tomoka tribe of Indians. They had the best reasons for their choice. Black bass from three to six pounds in weight abound in its deep still waters, and red bass are taken near its mouth. Its high wooded bluffs afford dry and picturesque camping grounds. Not so much of a curiosity as the Oklawaha twisting its weird and narrow way through gloomy cypresses, it is yet far more beautiful and accessible. Only six miles from the Ormond bridge, and but ten miles long, it can easily be reached either by carriage or boat.
1899 (Pennsylvania Railroad Tours to Florida 1899) ORMOND. FLA. 104 miles from Jacksonville on the Florida East Coast Railway. This beautiful little town is known as Ormond-by-the-Sea, or Ormond-on-the-Halifax ” either or both ” and is one of the most charming spots in Florida. The town is situated on both the east and west banks of the Halifax River, and no other locality in Florida presents such varied scenery.
Halifax River is really an arm of the sea ” a broad tropical lagoon, whose banks are fringed with groves of palms, orange, oak, and pine. Into it flows the Tomoka River. This picturesque stream is one of the great attractions of Florida, and an excursion from Ormond to the head of the navigable waters and return may be made in about six hours by steam or naphtha launch ; many people prefer to make the trip in sail or row boats, with which Ormond is well supplied. From the pier in front of the Hotel Ormond these craft ply their way up the Halifax, a distance of five miles, to the mouth of the Tomoka, passing beautiful rolling lands, both on the mainland and on the peninsula, all under a high state of cultivation, producing oranges, vegetables of all kinds, persimmons, guavas, and other semi-tropical fruits. Three miles beyond is Thompson's Creek, "The Fisherman's Paradise." Bass, trout, mullet, carvalho, and sheepshead may here be caught in large numbers.
From the village on the west bank across the Halifax runs a long bridge, which is a favorite resort for the "fishing folk " from the hotels ; from its east end to the ocean ”about a third of a mile” the road is through fragrant pines and an undulating sea of oak and palmetto, whose tops appear to form a waving carpet of green where the land rises and falls in long sea-like swells. Between the sand dunes and the sea stretches Ormond Beach ”four hundred feet of yellow sand, hard and level as an asphalt pavement, and extending thirty miles without a break. It is a perfect drive, and a paradise for bicycle riders. The surf bathing of Ormond is superb, and it can be indulged in at least five days out of every seven during the winter season.
PRINCIPAL HOTELS. The Ormond. Hotel Coquina.
Hotel Ormond (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 13, 1900) On Monday next the remodeled Hotel Ormond will open its doors to the season's guests. Already palatial in its proportions so wide has its popularity become the even its great accommodations have proved insufficient to house those seeking the varied and beautiful attractions for which the locality is famed. To better provide for the thousands who yearly pay a visit, to this most popular resort, large additions have been made since the close of the house last season. About 150 guests apartments with baths have been added, and a large number of bath rooms have also been placed in older sections of the building. The plumbing is of the latest and most complete pattern, porcelain lined tubs, etc., all the piping being of the "exposed" style of fitting.
The former entrance hall has been transferred into a large and beautiful rotunda, which makes a most admirable assembly room. A broad veranda, 325 feet long, detached from the main building forms a delightful promenade. The new dining room, which will seat 500 people, is located on the northern end of the building, its great windows overlooking the Halifax river, affording an ever present picture of loveliness.
The new kitchens are said to be the finest in any hotel in the South. Certainly they are models in construction, and fitted with every known appliance and convenience for quick and perfect service. Two elegant passenger elevators will be operated by electric power, one of them running to the very top of the house, enabling the guests to obtain from the roof extended views of the country.
In addition to former attractions and facilities for enjoyment of its guests, the management has this year provided the splendid light-draft pleasure streamer, the Princess Isseus, which will make daily excursions on the Halifax, and up the lovely, picturesque Tomaka river. She is a staunch and beautiful craft handsomely fitted in all respects, and nobody will think their visit to Ormond complete without a trip on the romantic "Log Cabin" at the terminus of the projected route.
There will also be four electric launches of the latest pattern of elegance which will furnish the vehicle for private party occasions on the ever beautiful Halifax. "Moonlight on the Waters," is nowhere more enjoyable than here. A fine stable of horses has been established, and vehicles of every fashionable description can be had at a moment's notice. A number of Shetland ponies and miniature carts for the little folks will be prime favorites. A cycle livery is another newly supplied requisite.
Ormond beach is noted for its hard, smooth surface and great breadth, and for cycling and sun baths it is unsurpassed. Surf bathing is one of the chief delights of a sojourn at Ormond, and the New Pavilion, with its luxurious appointments, will meet the approbation of all guests.
1907 (Waugh's Blue Book of Leading Hotels and Resorts of the World by W. W. Waugh & Son) ORMOND ON THE HALIFAX, FLORIDA Tins resort is on the Halifax River, which here is parallel with the shore line of the Atlantic, and from which it is separated only by a peninsula half a mile wide. The climate is delightful, and no other one place combines more Florida attractions. The walks are very attractive, and much taste and ingenuity have been displayed in laying out the walks, and the arbors, shady and inviting spots and romantic nooks are well supplied with rustic seats. The drives are also interesting, over smooth, hard roads, drives through groves of golden orange, through dense tropical forest to Spanish ruins, drives to ancient causeways, built by the slaves of planters long ago. The orange groves of both Mr. Anderson and Mr. Price are visited daily by the visitors to this resort,, and the verdict is they are among the finest in Florida.
Tomoka River has its attractions for the tourist, along the banks of which was once the home of the Tomoka tribe of Indians, the scenery is varied and charming, and the excursions up and down the river are among the pleasures of those who visit Ormond. Fishing is good here. Black bass, three to six pounds in weight, arc found here. Red bass are also caught and alligators are seen.
Sea bathing is popular. On the ocean side of the peninsula is one of the finest beaches in the world. It is wonderfully hard and smooth, and stretches for 30 miles, without a break in its even surface, on which the hoof of a horse makes no impression. This beach has attracted those interested in speeding motor cars, and even' winter tournaments are held there, drawing thousands of visitors.
Ormond is on the Florida East Coast system of railroads, 68 miles from St. Augustine, 104 miles from Jacksonville. Hotels: HOTEL ORMOND, Anderson & Price, Managers. BRETTON INN, Geo. E. Jewell, Manager.
Where to stay in Ormond 1909 The Hotel Ormond is most picturesquely situated with the beautiful Halifax in front and the Atlantic Ocean surging only a few yards away on the other side. As a hotel it is sufficient to say that on this neck of land, apparently in the wild, civilization has planted her latest and fullest improvements, and here is a perfectly appointed hotel with all the accessories found in hotels in large cities, and under the best of management. Its popularity is attested by that fact that several times it has been enlarged. The Hotel Ormond, Florida East Coast Hotel co., opens in January and closes in April, and has ample accommodations for 600. Rate, $6.00 and up per day. Winter Camps and Cottages, to let for the season, adjoin the Hotel Ormond. Meals at the hotel if desired.
Bretton Inn Geo. E. Jewell, of Lake Sunapee, N. H. manager; Anderson & Price Hotel Co., proprietors. Is on the bluff overlooking the world's most famous speedway, the Ormond-Daytona Beach, on which motor-cars are constantly coming and going, and along which, as far as the eye can reach, the white lines of tumbling surf are rolling and breaking. Sea shells are gathered after the storms, and porpoises come close to shore and play in the surf. Every day in winter, except in "northers," bathers in the surf are watched from the veranda of the Inn. Rates, $3.00 to $4.00 per day; $15.00 to $21.00 per week.
Bosarve -- Near Hotel Ormond, fronting the Halifax, with a good view of the river and opposite shore. A private residence where a few persons who prefer home life to a hotel can be accommodated. For information address J. A. Bostrom, Ormond, Florida.
The Granada House -- F. R. Moore, proprietor. Rates, $2.00 per day; $10.00 to $12.00 per week. Newly furnished. Table unsurpassed.
Wayside Lodge -- It has large, airy, well-furnished rooms, is provided with two bath rooms, electric lights, and a thoroughly equipped kitchen. $21.00 a week. Transients not taken. M. A. Stout, proprietor. Adjoins Hotel Ormond.
Mildred Villa -- A. M. Watson, proprietor. First-class accommodations. Overlooking the Halifax river. Modern improvements. Table unexcelled. Rooms single or en suite, with or without private bath. Rates, $2.50 to $3.00 per day; $10.00 to $15.00 per week.
Rose Villa -- Mrs. Frank Mason, proprietor. Open December 1st to May 1st. Accommodates fourteen. Rates $2.00 to $2.50 per day; $10.00, $12.50 and $15.00 per week. Conveniently located on Granada avenue, near post office. Horsecars from depot to beach pass the door. Large, airy and well-lighted rooms; broad verandas. A pleasant and comfortable home for season guests.
Where to Live 1912 Granada, F. R. Moore; capacity, 30; rates - per day, $2.00, per week, $10.00 to $12.00.
Mildred Villa, A. M. Watson; capacity, 20; rates - per day, $2.50; per week, $10.00 to $15.00.
Ormond, J. D. Price; capacity, 600; rates - per day, $5.00 up, per week, special.
Rose Villa, Mrs. Frank Mason; capacity, 20; rates - per day, $2.00 to $2.50 per week, $10.00 to $15.00.
The Inn, Anderson & Price Co; capacity, 75; rates - per day, $3.00 to $5.00 per week, special.
1939 (Florida) Ormond, (a alt., 1,517 pop.), a quiet and conservative town, with pleasing houses and well-kept lawns and gardens, was established in 1875 by the Corbin Lock Company of New Britain, conn., as a health center for employees threatened with tuberculosis. Originally called New Britain, the name was changed to Ormond in 1880 in honor of Captain James Ormond, a Scotsman from the Bahama Islands, who in 1815 settled a short distance to the north on a 2,000 acre plantation granted him by the Spanish Governor of Florida; Ormond was killed by a runaway slave in 1835.
The Ormond Tropical Gardens (adm. 25 cents), Division St. and Granada Ave., comprise 116 acres planted with 250,000 subtropical and tropical trees and shrubs.