The MacDonald House
The other building with which we are most closely associated is the MacDonald House at 38 E. Granada Blvd., where we operate a Welcome Center for the City and have our offices. The Mac House (as everyone calls it) was built by a well-known area architect, Sumner Gove, who built many area landmarks, in 1903. The person having it built was a woman, Margaret Stout, who worked at the Hotel Ormond. It is named for Billy MacDonald and his family, who purchased it in 1939. They were well known as the owners of Billy’s Tap Room, a mainstay of Ormond Beach social life for many years. Just stop for a minute and think about all the people and events that house has seen in the last 117 years!
Today the Historical Society tells those stories through a variety of programs – lecture series, Loop bus tours of historic sites, tours of area cemeteries and Plantations, kids programs, but other than a 20 minute video and a few photographs and changing exhibits in front 2 rooms of this building, we have no permanent place for visitors and Volusia County residents to come to hear these wonderful stories on an everyday basis.
However, we plan to change that over the next few years! The City of Ormond Beach, which owns the MacDonald House, has received an ECHO grant to restore the badly deteriorated exterior of the building. Work should begin on that around the beginning of 2021. OBHS contributed $100,000, again raised by local, concerned citizens, toward this effort. Once the restoration of the exterior is underway, we are planning on launching a Capital Campaign to raise funds to restore the interior three floors into the Ormond Beach Museum of History and Welcome Center, which will increase available exhibit space by more than 2800 square feet. This would allow Volusia County residents, as well as visitors, ready access to explore the unique and important stories of our past and interrupt its impact on our present and future.
The new facility would employ state-of-the-art museum and display concepts as well as historic artifacts designed to engage the public. We are excited to be currently working with architects on preliminary designs. So, stay tuned for more information on all the developments…