Tuesday, June 5, 2018
For many Floridians, New Smyrna Beach is an East Coast gem. The beaches are beautiful. The waves are surfable. The shops are quaint and local. The restaurants are unique and delicious. The city is stuffed with art and culture. Ocean breezes dance across the island, coolly grazing residents to the west. Boats roar to life, angling for the rich resources awaiting their cargo. Visitors engulf State Road 44, eager to swelter and see the sights. Sandhill cranes peruse the rural areas, seeking snacks. Trails wind through pristine wilderness, offering opportunities to pair recreation with wonder.
Fewer Floridians may appreciate the city’s heritage: three centuries of human settlement and development. Native American groups recognized and utilized the land and resources in New Smyrna Beach before European settlers arrived. New Smyrna – as it exists today – emerged as a result of Dr. Andrew Turnbull’s Smyrnea Settlement.
The settlement leads New Smyrna to celebrate something BIG in 2018. Our city celebrates its 250th anniversary! To rejoice in our shared heritage and youthful community, the New Smyrna Museum of History and the City of New Smyrna will host a 250th event at Old Fort Park. The event merges the grace of an anniversary with the exuberance of a birthday party to tell the story of our city. Stroll through Old Fort Park. Encounter the history, archaeology, and heritage of New Smyrna Beach. Explore the places, people, and events that shaped and defined our city.
I invite you to enjoy a digital birthday cake. The ingredients consist of the city’s archaeological sites that date to the 1700, 1800, and 1900s. Although 250 candles may not fit on a birthday cake, three candles will. Join me in “lighting” candles representing the last three centuries of New Smyrna Beach. Discover archaeology in New Smyrna Beach. Revel in new information. Then join us for the BIG June 16th celebration.
The next installment will transport us to the 1700s, where we will explore the Smyrnea settlement. Come to the (NSB digital archaeology) kitchen this Thursday. Let’s make this cake!
Text by Sarah Bennett, New Smyrna Museum of History
Images by Shok Idea Group