New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
—  City  —
New Smyrna Beach from observation deck on top of Ponce de León Inlet Light
Nickname(s): Florida's Secret Pearl
Motto: Cygnus Inter Anates
Location in Volusia County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 29°1′50″N 80°55′31″W / 29.03056°N 80.92528°W / 29.03056; -80.92528Coordinates: 29°1′50″N 80°55′31″W / 29.03056°N 80.92528°W / 29.03056; -80.92528
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Volusia
Settled 1768
Incorporated 1887 (town)
1947 (city)
 – Type City Council
 – Mayor Adam Barringer
 – Total 30.8 sq mi (79.7 km2)
 – Land 27.7 sq mi (71.7 km2)
 – Water 3.1 sq mi (8 km2)
Elevation 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 20,048
 – Density 650.9/sq mi (251.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 32168-32170
Area code(s) 386
FIPS code 12-48625[1]
GNIS feature ID 0287692[2]

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.[3]



Dr. Andrew Turnbull

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.[4] 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.[5]

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 León 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.

See also: New Smyrna Beach Historic District


New Smyrna Beach is located at 29°01′50″N 80°55′31″W / 29.030563°N 80.925307°W / 29.030563; -80.925307 (29.030563, -80.925307).[6] The city's motto is "cygnus inter anates", which is Latin for "a swan among ducks."[citation needed] The city is located in the Fun Coast region of the state of Florida.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.8 square miles (80 km2). 27.7 square miles (72 km2) of it is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) of it (10.04%) is water. The city is bordered by the city of Port Orange to the northwest, unincorporated Volusia County the north, the census designated place of Samsula-Spruce Creek to the west, and the city of Edgewater, Bethune Beach, and the Canaveral National Seashore to the south. Bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, New Smyrna Beach is on the Indian River.

The city is crossed by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 1A, Florida State Road 5, Florida State Road 44 and Florida State Road 442.


New Smyrna Beach

Like the rest of Florida north of Lake Okeechobee, New Smyrna Beach enjoys a humid subtropical(Koppen, Cfa) climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, mostly dry winters. New Smyrna Beach, like many coastal locations on peninsular Florida, is also home to several tropical microclimates where Coconut Palm and Banana can grow to maturity and fruit. Although four seasons are thought to be present by some, this area is normally dominated by two distinct seasons: the rainy season, from April until November, and the shorter dry season, from November to March. Spring and autumn are normally too subtle to be noticed as the majority of trees here are not deciduous, and therefore do not lose their leaves. Although it can be chilly and damp during the winter, the temperatures very rarely drop below freezing, and temperatures usually remain comfortable during the winter. The city has only recorded snowfall three times in its 250 year history. The summers, on the other hand, are very long and hot, with ferocious thunderstorms in the afternoon, as central Florida is the lightning capital of the Americas. The growing season is twelve months, USDA hardiness zone is 9b. Dangers include hurricanes from June until November, and Nor'easters in the winter. Hurricane Charley exited over New Smyrna Beach on August 13, 2004, after crossing the state in a northeastern direction from initial landfall in Punta Gorda, Florida.


Cathedral oaks in 1909

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 20,048 people, 9,839 households, and 5,844 families residing in the city. The population density was 724.1 inhabitants per square mile (279.5/km2). There were 13,618 housing units at an average density of 491.9 per square mile (189.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.57% White, 6.27% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.

There were 9,839 households, out of which 14.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.52.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.9% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 19.6% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 34.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,372, and the median income for a family was $43,409. Males had a median income of $29,544 versus $25,706 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,547. About 7.3% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

City Hall


All public education is run by Volusia County Schools.

Elementary schools

  • Chisholm Elementary
  • Coronado Beach Elementary
  • Read-Pattillo Elementary
  • Sacred Heart School (Private Catholic)

Middle schools

  • New Smyrna Beach Middle School
  • Sacred Heart School (Private Catholic)

High schools


Named one of "America's Top Small Cities for The Arts,"[citation needed] New Smyrna Beach is home to the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an artists-in-residence community and educational facility, the Harris House, the Little Theatre and Arts on Douglas.[citation needed] Arts shows featuring visual and performing arts occur throughout the year.[citation needed]

Shark attacks

According to the International Shark Attack File maintained by the University of Florida, Volusia County, Florida had more confirmed shark bites than any other region in the world in 2007.[7] Experts from the University of Florida have referred to the county as having the "dubious distinction as the world’s shark bite capital".[8] The trend continued in 2008, during which time the town also it broke its own record, with 24 shark bites.[9]

An Orlando Sentinel photographer filmed a four-foot spinner shark jumping over a surfer, a reversal of jumping the shark.[10][11]


Elected city government officials include:

  • Adam Barringer – Mayor
  • Judy Reiker – Zone 1 Commissioner
  • J.S. Grasty – Zone 2 Commissioner
  • James W. Hathaway – Zone 3 Commissioner
  • Lynne Plaskett – Zone 4 Commissioner

Notable natives/residents


External links

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