The Florida Stories app by the Florida Humanities Council recently launched a new walking tour of Ormond Beach.
I've always been fascinated with history — the stories behind old buildings, the people that built them from the ground up and the feeling of nostalgia that seems to revolve it all.
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Ormond Beach Historical Society hosted a ceremonial app download at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum to commemorate the addition of Ormond Beach to the audio walking tour series in the Florida Humanities Council's app, Florida Stories. It was an event attended by Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington, County Councilwoman Heather Post and a room full of Ormond Beach residents.
I asked Mayor Partington if he would be completing the entire tour, which consists of 11 stops, that afternoon. He smiled and told me he would do some of it.
Now that I've done the tour myself, I don't blame him for taking it slow. The audio walking tour of Ormond Beach is packed with a lot of interesting tid-bits of information that some of the city's longest-standing residents may or may not know. As a relative newbie to Ormond Beach, I absorbed each fact about John Anderson and John D. Rockefeller like a true tourist.
I didn't know that the Nathan Cobb cottage in the historic Orchard Lane neighborhood was salvaged from a wrecked schooner in 1896, or that John Anderson's home in that same neighborhood didn't have a kitchen because he ate all his meals in Hotel Ormond.
However, Tahlaloko cottage is probably the one I'll never forget, though not for historical reasons.
I spent 20 minutes wandering up and down Orchard Lane looking for Tahlaloko. After stop no. 7 in the walking tour, I started listening to the next one since I found out the audio tour directs you to where you should go. I'm absolutely terrible with directions though, and should have known that the combination of historical facts, photos and trying to cross John Anderson Drive at the same time would be a recipe for a misadventure.
Without meaning to, I passed right on by Tahlaloko cottage, which is on the very corner of Orchard Lane, and walked all the way to the last stop of the tour. I was looking for a house with palm logs, without knowing exactly what that was supposed to look like, and bypassed it entirely. By the time I realized the app actually has an arrow that helps you find where you are in relation to the other stops, I had resigned myself and stood in the middle of Orchard Lane to listen to the last four stops.
How do you get lost in a street less than quarter-mile long? I say where there's a will, there's a way.
But it was a good day to get lost. The weather was nice, the sun was setting and I did finally find Tahlaloko. I've been an Ormond Beach resident for about four months, but I'm just starting to feel like I'm home.
Plus, now I know Tahlaloko means "cabbage" in the Miccosukee Native American dialect and that was the best part of the tour.