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History Of Ponce Inlet

Discussion in 'Florida The Historic History of Florida' started by Nautical Gator, Oct 24, 2015.


  1. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member
    Thread Started By

    History of Ponce Inlet
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    1513
    Ponce De Leon explores Ponce Inlet area
    1565
    Spanish establish St. Augustine, and gain control of Florida, driving out the French.
    1763
    Spain loses Florida to English at end of French and Indian War.
    1768
    Dr Turnbbull settles a group of Greeks, Italians and Minorcans in the largest British colonial attempt in North America at New Smyrna.
    1783
    Turnbull County deserted by indentured settlers who go to St. Augustine.
    1790
    Spain attempts to settle outlands from St. Augustine, by use of land grants.
    1803
    Antonio Pons (Ponz or Ponce), a New Smyrna Minorcan, is granted 175 acres on the point where the lighthouse now stands, which he had been farming for 20 years.
    1806
    Antonio Pons is driven off by the Indians and moves to St. Augustine.
    1812
    Antonio Pons is killed while serving the King of Spain during the Patriots War, started by the Americans.
    1820
    Pons' widow receives an additional grant of 230 acres in return for her husband's service to Spain.
    1821
    Florida ceded to United States by Spain. Live oak lumbering began at Los Mosquitoes (Ponce de Leon Inlet).
    1834
    First lighthouse built on New Smyrna side of Inlet was destroyed by Indians and a storm.
    1842
    Bartola Pacetti, descendant of an Italian settler at New Smyrna builds a house of driftwood on fifty acres of Turnbull Grant of the north side of the Inlet.
    1860
    Mercedes Pacetti gains Ponce Grant from heirs through a tax sale.
    1867
    Florida Land and Lumber Company establishes the Village of Port Orange near the Ponce Grant . Postal stamp moved to Dunlawton Plantation, present site of that city.
    1870
    Congress appropriates $60,000 to secure a site and build a lighthouse.
    1883
    Ten acres purchased from Bartola Pacetti for $400 for lighthouse reservation site.
    1884
    Major ( formerly Brigadier General ) Orville Babcock, appointed engineer for building the lighthouse and who named the community Ponce ( Pons ) Park, drowns in the Inlet.
    1887
    Lighthouse goes into service on November 1st of this year.
    1890
    Nathaniel Hasty files Ponce Park subdivision plat. La Ponce Hotel built on the river shore.
    1903
    Bert Pacetti, son of Bartola, named Bird Preservation Warden of the Mosquitoe Inlet Sanctuary by President Theodore Roosevelt.
    1926
    Collapse of Florida Land Boom and work stops on Robert Pacetti's dream . . . "The Inlet Terrace Hotel and Subdivision."
    1928
    Name of Mosquito Inlet changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet.
    1937
    Coast Guard takes over U.S. Lighthouse Service and the lighthouse here.
    1941
    Families moved off lighthouse property with the outbreak of World War II.
    1946
    Electric power run to Inlet
    1960
    Hurricane Donna rips through Volusia County and Ponce Inlet with winds up to 100 mph. Electricity went out for 24 hours.
    1963
    Town of Ponce Inlet incorporated August 20th. First Town Council sworn in at the lighthouse office.
    1964
    Town leases lighthouse property for $1.00 per year from U.S. Government for a Town Hall.
    1969
    Water service brought to inlet by the Town.
    1970
    Light turned off and re-established in New Smyrna Beach across from the Inlet.
    1971
    First Ponce Inlet police car rolls into service on Good Friday night.
    1972
    Interior Department, U.S. Government, deeds lighthouse reservation to Ponce Inlet.
    1975
    Lighthouse open to public daily by preservation society.
    1980
    Ponce Inlet Government moves into new Town Hall.
    1982
    New light returned to tower and new balcony opened for public at top.
    1999
    Hurricane Irene rips through Volusia County and Ponce Inlet with winds up to 100 mph.~ Electricity went out for nearly three days.
    2003
    New Public Works facility is built at 4875 S. Peninsula, on the site of the old building.~ Dedication takes place November 21, 2003.
    2004
    Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, & Frances tear through Florida making this an unprecedented Hurricane Season.~ Power poles along Atlantic Avenue are snapped like tooth-picks, there is flooding, several homes are damaged and many trees are destroyed.~ Fortunately, no lives are lost here in Ponce Inlet.~
    2005
    Ponce Inlet Police Dept. earns State Accreditation.
     
    Shrimp Gritter likes this.
  2. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member
    Thread Started By

    Here is a photo from 1975
    e801618be6c555927baafeea0af859c169c69f6e_r.jpg
     
  3. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    When the Coast Guard took over the lighthouse its light was turned off . A tower was built near where the south jetties are today with a light. A lookout was stationed in the light tower 24 hours a day. I know first hand! I ran aground in the inlet before the jetties were built and the lookout spotted me before I could call them. Many of the Pacetti family are buried in a small cemetery just off Sailfish Drive in Ponce Inlet.
     
  4. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    When the jetties were being built around 1970, they would build a wooden deck over the rocks to allow the dragline and trucks to drive out to the end each day.

    The original jetties had a weir built about half way. This was a short concrete slab seawall that allowed the water to flow over the weir. The only problem was the fact that the sand flowed also building massive sand bars both inside and outside of the inlet. They finally filled in the weir with rocks and built the walkway over it.
     
  5. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    Sam - that 1975 photo shows the weir. It runs from the shore out about half way.
     
  6. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    You can see the south jetty is almost completely covered up after being built for 3-4 years! That was caused by the weir.
     
  7. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    Here's another little tidbit from Ponce Inlet. When the town was incorporated in 1963 Bill Stephens, the manager of Inlet Harbor, was appointed Town Marshall. Bill always said if he ever had to make an arrest he would resign! The town would not have a paid police force until 1971.

    I started my deep sea career in September 1963 at Inlet Harbor. I spent the next 15 years there.
     
    jurdun756 likes this.
  8. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member
    Thread Started By

  9. FLJNR

    FLJNR Pirate

    Interesting
     
  10. Good stuff. Thanks always nice to learn
     
  11. Floridays

    Floridays Pirate

    Fishing fool you would have most likely known Frank Timmons Sr. and his charter busines and Down the Hatch relationship. Frank Jr has had a charter business in St. Augustine for some 30 = years following in his dads footsteps. I grew up in Ormond in the 60's but knew Ponce Inlet well.
     
  12. robthetimekeeper

    robthetimekeeper Seaworthy

    Unfortunately, Fishing Fool hasn't been active on the forum for years. Has anyone seen him lately?
     
  13. Very cool details. Interesting to see the background.
     

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