Published on June 15th, 2013 | by Swiss Britt0
Blast from the Past
Yesterday may be gone but it’s not lost here in NSB. Explore the history of the 2nd oldest town in Florida and some of the best scenery around.
- Turtle Mound - (321) 267-1110, Canaveral National Seashore Park, NSB: Located in the Southern tip of NSB inside Canaveral National Seashore Park is Turtle Mound. Named for its shape, Turtle Mound is believed to have been formed sometime between 800 and 1400 A.D. It is a midden, or kitchen midden, which is basically a pile of shells and other refuse left by the indigenous people of the area. The Timucuan Indians who occupied the area at the time formed the midden through generations of occupation. Hike up to the top of the mound and take in the breath taking scenery of the Intracoastal Waterway. At 50 ft. it is also the highest point on the island. There is a $5.00 entrance fee for the park. Restrooms and parking are available
- Sugar Mill Ruins - (386) 427-2284, 600 Old Mission Rd., NSB: Destroyed by Native Americans only 5 years after being built, the Sugar Mill Ruins spent very little time as a sugar mill. After its destruction, soldiers used the site while stationed there to guard against further Seminole attacks. The sugar mill was built using coquina, which is compressed shell that has been dug up and dried so that it is strong enough for building. The drying process can take years. Once complete the stone is still softer than most stones and other building material making coquina a valuable asset when faced with a cannon ball. Due to the softness of the coquina, the cannon ball sinks into the stone instead of crumbling the entire wall. The Sugar Mill Ruins are surrounded by a nature trail for a quick hike as you learn some history. Signs posted throughout the ruins depict the history and how the sugar mill functioned when it was in operation. Entrance is free and parking is available, however, restrooms are not provided.
- Old Fort Park - Washington St. and N. Riverside Dr., NSB: The ruins at Old Fort Park have many legends as to their origins, but no concrete evidence has been found to prove who originally built the foundation. What remains is a coquina foundation with 5 ½ ft. thick walls. Archeological evidence, as well as historical references to the area, suggest that a midden was originally located at this site. When the foundation was constructed the builders used the midden as the site for their structure which has been rumored to be everything from a Spanish mission to the foundation for New Smyrna founder Andrew Turnbull’s mansion. Whatever it was originally, it is now a great place to explore some history and the popular coquina building material of the day. Entrance is free, parking is available, and restrooms are not provided.
- Seminole Rest - (386) 428-3384 , River Rd., Oak Hill: Seminole Rest, or Snyder’s Mound as it is also called, is a collection of middens believed to be the site where the Timucuan and Ais Native Americans came to gather fish, clams, and oysters seasonally between 600 and 1400 A.D. Seminole Rest consists of Snyder’s Mound which is the largest at 13 ft. high, and Fiddle Crab Mound that is much smaller with a diameter of 15 ft. Fiddle Crab Mound has a few smaller mounds associated with it. After the mounds where created by the Native Americans, the area was not settled until the 1870s. There are two historic buildings on site that where built in the late 1800s, the Instone House and the Caretaker’s House. Entrance is free, parking and restrooms are available. The park is open 7 days from 6 a.m. to sunset and the Instone House is available for touring Wed. through Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Dummit’s Tomb - Canova Dr., NSB: Located on Canova Dr. in NSB behind the Riverview Hotel lies Dummit’s Tomb. Douglas Dummit was a sugar merchant who lived in NSB in the the mid to late 1800s. He married an African American slave girl and had 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. The boy, born in 1844, was named Charles. Charles Dummit was raised in NSB and sent to school in the North. He eventually moved back to NSB where he was killed on a hunting trip when his rifle accidentally went off. Charles Dummit’s tomb was erected where it still stands today in a residential area in the middle of Canova Dr. There is no fee to visit Dummit’s Tomb. Restrooms and parking are not available.