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History Of Port Orange Part 2

Discussion in 'Florida The Historic History of Florida' started by fishingfool, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant
    Thread Started By

    Now for the good stuff - Fishing!

    The first bridge in Port Orange was privately owned and was built with palm tree pilings and pine decking. The owner lived in a shack on the NW corner (now Halifax Drive and Dunlawton). He would charge a nickel to cross his bridge. He finally sold the bridge to Volusia County. The 1936 hurricane demolished the bridge. In 1951 a causeway was built and a new toll bridge built. It cost 20 cents to cross the bridge or you could buy a yearly pass for $5.00. The famous flat bridge was not built until around 1980. Before that there was only a 20 foot wide culvert near where the end of Aunt Catfish's dock is today. We could get our skiffs through the culvert unless the tide was too high.

    In 1990 the present day high rise bridge was built alongside of the old bridge. Then the old bridge was blown up. The debris was removed by crane and placed on barges to be made into some of the early artificial reefs and also placed at each end of the flat bridge.

    Before Aunt Catfish's restaurant was built, there was Dave's Dock. Dave's Dock was built in the 1930s and had a 600' dock which is still there. The business sold bait and rented rowboats. In 1959 another man named Dave bought the business. He wanted to keep the bait and boat rental business but also add a restaurant and lounge. A 15 year old kid used to hang around the dock constantly pestering the old timers about how to catch trout and gig flounder. That kid was me! Dave finally hired me. I worked weekends and two summers at Dave's while I was going to high school. The restaurant opened in 1964 as Dave's Waterfront Restaurant. I don't remember when but the restaurant closed about 1970. Jim Galbreath (I went to school with Jim) bought the place and turned the restaurant into Aunt Catfish's. Jim's son Brandon runs the restaurant today.

    Just north of Dunlawton was Sands Fish & Oyster Company. They were one of the largest producers of oysters in the area. Next to them was a small marina and Gardner's Seafood Restaurant. Gardner's was owned by Saraphine Gardner Stanier. Her grandparents owned an operated the old El Dora fish camp and restaurant just south of Turtle Mound. Today the old house has been restored and is a museum operated and owned by the Canaveral National Seashore. I used to sell clams and oysters to Gardners. They also had a ski show. One of their skiers, Richard Johnson, went on to fame at Cypress Gardens. Gardner's closed in the late 1960s. The Sandbar restaurant was built on that site. The Sandbar became the Showboat restaurant and in later years became Sweetwater's. Sweetwater's was sold to the developers of that area and was closed and torn down.

    Here's a pix of the original Sands Fish & Oyster Company.


    Enough for today. More later. We may have a quiz!

    Dave's Dock in 1961. My first car - a '49 Plymouth is on the right side of the pix. The red boat is mine. On the left of the dock is the old river shrimper. Dave's had a regular river shrimper on the payroll!

    Mboat, jurdun756 and Shrimp Gritter like this.
  2. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member

    Cool stuff Bob
    Shrimp Gritter likes this.
  3. Shrimp Gritter

    Shrimp Gritter Seaman apprentice

    I miss the quality and abundance of oysters we use to enjoy. Thanks for all your yesteryear post Bob.
  4. william bates

    william bates Newbie

    Love the history lesson, since you seem to know Port Orange history do you have any idea where on U.S. 1 the Port Orange Grill was located? I know the question is a little off topic for a fishing forum.
  5. Mboat

    Mboat Blackbeard

    Thanks for the history. And for sharing the photos.

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