Ormond Beach Historical Society's

First Annual Giving Campaign

Take a Journey With Us:

From Awareness to Friend and Supporter

We believe that books, photos and videos record history, but it is the PEOPLE who create history every day. Our past molded today and our today will define our future by the PEOPLE. The continuum of living history will be submitted from generation to generation with a vivid STORYTELLING.

We consider history and culture to be food for our soul. You can help us to preserve it for future generations, because once a building, document, or artifact is gone—it is gone forever. TOGETHER we can prevent this from happening.

The Ormond Beach Historical Society is taking a virtual journey to increase awareness of Ormond Beach’s rich cultural heritage and will share with you our education and preservation activities, as well as important facts of our history.

Every Tuesday, starting October 13 to December 1, 2020, we will digitally bring to you and your family stories such as:

  • October 13 Native Americans of Ormond Beach with Steve Doll, as well as personal stories from present day residents: Michael Gist and Jim Geis

  • October 20 Celebrating African-American Life: One Family Story at a Time with Erlene Turner

  • October 27 The fascinating story of the Nathan Cobb Cottage with Joyce Benedict

  • November 10 Anderson Price Memorial Building and MacDonald House: Past and Present with Bonda Garrison

  • November 17 Birthplace of Speed with Diana Simmons

  • November 24 Historic Thanksgiving in Ormond Beach with Dan Smith

  • December 1 #GivingTuesday. We hope to raise $10,000, gain at least ten new volunteers, and hundreds of new friends and supporters

Are you ready to take the journey with us?

First Stop:

Native Americans of Ormond Beach

Second Stop

Personal Stories from Present Day Residents


Jim Geis

Click the picture for Jim's Story

Third Stop

Celebrating African-American life: One Family Story At a Time

Gethsemane Cemetery is a quiet, serene, and peaceful place at 140 South Orchard Street, Ormond Beach, a quarter mile South of Granada Boulevard. It has close to 200 graves including veterans and early African-American settlers with the last burial in 1974. The oldest visible date on a grave in the cemetery is 1870. It was named Gethsemane in commemoration of the Olive Garden on the Mount Of Olives in Jerusalem, where the Lord had prayed before His sacrifice. Some documentation shows it was also known as Greenwood Cemetery, and originally, as the Ormond Negro Burial Grounds.

For many years not much was known about the graves in the town’s historic all African-American Cemetery, but with the help of the Ormond Beach Historical Society that has changed by asking descendants of relatives to share family stories. Research efforts began about seven years ago, according to Joyce Benedict, an OBHS board member, by Mildred Hapala, who originally investigated the origins of the cemetery, and Gordon Kipp. The City Clerk was given the burial records of the cemetery by Mr. Herbert Thomson of Herbert Thomson Funeral Home in Daytona Beach, with a note stating that the cemetery was predominantly used for Black persons. Mr. John Van Wicklen, who has a brother buried at Gethsemane, compiled a list of names and dates. The list was given to the City Clerk, Ms.Marian “Boots”Maxwell.  

Many of the markers were homemade and show great care and personalization for the loved ones interred here.

As of Easter Sunday 2007, Gethsemane Cemetery was restored. It is owned and maintained by the County of Volusia. History was made on Saturday, February 2020, when Gethsemane Cemetery was added to the Cemetery Tours of the Ormond Beach Historical Society. Thanks to all who helped to make this happen! The site is also a nature reserve. It has endangered native species making their homes there including gopher tortoises, red tail hawks, and several species of flora.

This story was presented by:

Erlene Turner

Education Committee Chair

Ormond Beach Historical Society

One Family at a Time: Lawrence Daniels and Larry Daniels

Listen to James Daniels, a member of the Daniels Family, of Frank and Marietta Daniels, discuss his ancestors, Lawrence and Larry Daniels, in Ormond Beach.


Fourth Stop

The fascinating story of the Nathan Cobb Cottage with Joyce Benedict on October 27

P.S. The Awareness Campaign will end on December 1 with #GivingTuesday. At any time during our Awareness Campaign you can donate an amount that feels the best for you while joining the collective movement of generosity and feeling the power of the community: We are ALL in this TOGETHER!

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© 2020 by Ormond Beach Historical Society

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