New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Site of Sheldon's New Smyrna Hotel
Jane and John Sheldon built a large hotel on this mound circa 1859. During the Civil War, the structure was destroyed by cannon fire from Union ships.
After the Civil War, Jane Sheldon built a smaller structure that served as a pioneer general store, port collector's office, boarding house and print shop, which published The Florida Star, one of the region's early newspapers. Structural problems forced the building's removal circa 1900.
Erected 2010 by the Jane Sheldon Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Native Americans • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution series list.
Location. 29° 1.636′ N, 80° 55.307′ W. Marker is in New Smyrna Beach, FloridaTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 North Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach FL 32168, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1768 British Colony of New Smyrna (within shouting distance of this marker); Anniversary of Shelling by Union Gunboats (within shouting distance of this marker); To the Past... (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dr. Andrew Turnbull (about 500 feet away); Emory L. Bennett Park (about 500 feet away); New Smyrna Museum Of History (about 600 feet away); Turnbull Canal (about 600 feet away); Vietnam Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Smyrna Beach.
More about this marker. The plaque features the emblem of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is mounted on the side of a block of coquina, which sits in the grass in front of the old foundation structure.
The coquina foundation and adjacent Timucuan shell midden are collectively the Old Fort Park Archeological Site, which was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 (NRHP #08000629). Additionally, the site as well as the historical marker lie inside the boundaries of the New Smyrna Beach Historic District, which has also been recognized by the NRHP.
Regarding Site of Sheldon's New Smyrna Hotel. Much speculation over many years has been made regarding the possible origin of the mysterious foundation structure found in Old Fort Park. The park actually gets its name from one theory: that the fortress-like structure, with walls several feet thick, began as a Spanish fort. The sturdy coquina construction is reminiscent of St. Augustine's Castillo de San Marcos, however, there are no records of the Spanish building anything here.
Most historians attribute the ruins to
One of the more likely explanations is that the foundation was built to support a storehouse for the colony, which they would have used to shelter important supplies as well as store the crops they grew while they awaited shipment.
The "Turnbull Ruins", as they are widely known today, were not mentioned by Dr. Turnbull in any of his letters, so their exact origin and purpose remain a subject of debate and curiosity among archaeologists and historians.
Also see . . .
1. Hidden Treasures - Historical Highlights of New Smyrna's Past. ..including more about "The Mystery Ruins". (Submitted on June 29, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
2. Mystery Surrounds New Smyrna's Historic Turnbull Ruins. (Submitted on June 29, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 897 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 29, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 4, 5. submitted on June 30, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 29, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 9. submitted on June 30, 2014, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.