New Smyrna Beach Florida Shark Attacks

January 19, 2012 by staff 

New Smyrna Beach Florida Shark Attacks, New Smyrna Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The population was 20,048 according to the 2000 census. As of 2007, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 23,161.
The area was settled in 1768, when Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull established the colony of “New Smyrna.” The colony occupies a notable place in history by being the single largest attempt by a member of the British Crown at colonization in the New World.

Turnbull transplanted around 1500 settlers, from Minorca, Majorca, Ibiza, Smyrna, Crete, Mani Peninsula, and Sicily, to grow hemp, sugarcane, indigo, and to produce rum.

The colony suffered major losses due to insect-borne diseases and Native American raids; and tensions grew due to mistreatment by Turnbull. Due to these complications, the remaining colonists marched north to St. Augustine along the Old King’s Highway, to claim mistreatment by Turnbull to the Governor of Florida in St. Augustine in 1777; then a British protectorate. Soon after, St. Augustine was returned to the Spanish, and Turnbull abandoned his colony for life in Charleston, South Carolina.

The St. Photios National Shrine on St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida, honors the settlers of New Smyrna, who were the first Greek Orthodox followers in North America. The historical exhibit adjoining the Chapel tells the moving story of their plight in great detail, with accompanying exhibits.

The area was then only sparsely populated due to the frequent raids by Seminole Indians. During the American Civil War in the 1860s the still-standing “Stone Wharf” was shelled by Union gunboats. In 1887, the Town of New Smyrna was incorporated with a population of 150. In 1892, the arrival of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway lead to an increase in the area’s population and a boom in its economy, which was based on tourism, citrus, and commercial fishing industries.

During Prohibition in the 1920s the city and its river islands were popular sites for moonshine stills and hideouts for rumrunners coming in from the Bahamas through Mosquito Inlet, now Ponce de Le?n Inlet. “New Smyrna” became “New Smyrna Beach” in 1947, when the city annexed the seaside community of Coronado Beach. Today, it is a bustling resort town of over 20,000 permanent residents, with over 1,000,000 visitors annually.

Like its Spanish partner to the north, St. Augustine, New Smyrna has stood under four flags: first the British, then the Spanish, then the American flag in 1845, followed by the Confederate Jack, and finally replaced the Stars and Stripes again.

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