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Ormond Beach Observer Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016 2 years ago

Ormond Beach is still a mystery

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I took a bus tour of Ormond Beach and realized there was a bunch of stuff I still don't know.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Being a reporter for the past two years, I've come to know a lot about the weird and unusual in Ormond Beach. It's something I pride myself on, and it also makes for some great bar stories. 

But this weekend, I was humbly reminded (again), that there's still a lot I don't know.

As a part of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Program, I hopped on a tour bus to drive down the streets I travel every day with the promise of learning something new. I was skeptical at first, but a few minutes after we got on the road, I had my first lesson — courtesy of Ormond Beach Historical Society volunteer Joyce Benedict and her feathered red hat. 

Hidden in the brush at 715 W. Granada Blvd., is The Three Chimneys site, the oldest successful British sugar plantation, sugar mill and rum distillery in the United States. One of my classmates, Alex Bittner, said what everyone thinking: 

"I've never seen that before in my life." 

While I tend to nap during history class, it's hard not to be interested in history made hundreds of years ago on your own daily commute.

Next on our stop was the Timucua Indian Burial Mound, something that had caught my eye, but I never bothered to Google. The giant hill is similar to the one in my childhood home that covered our septic tank, but unlike ours, you want to know what it's filled with: 125 bodies dating back to A.D. 800.

The mound sits on the edge of a neighborhood off South Beach Street, and Benedict told us that residents have reported some spooky instances.

"One woman told me that every now and then, the rocking chairs will rock back and forth," she said, "but there's no wind." 

Remind me to never visit the mound at night. 

Other stops on our tour included all the old cottages on Orchard Lane, and a hotdog lunch at Fairchild Oak, two more places I had always driven by, but never stopped to enjoy. 

So this my weekly reminder to keep exploring, because there really is so much to see. 

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