BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
On the northern
shore of Lake Monroe. Deland is very close by, home to Stetson University.
UPDATE: I just visited the site today and was very excited that Enterprise was on there. I grew up In Deltona, Florida and I lived just 5 minutes from Enterprise. But I do have to let you know that the Thornby house on Lake Shore Drive is no longer there. The Thornby house, and the 40 acres on which it used to reside, were the subject of an eight-year struggle by local citizens who fought to save it from being turned into a condo development. The property was ultimately purchased by the city of Deltona and will become a passive park, with a handicapped-accessible playground. * The house was burned down in September 2003. It was destroyed by arson. Three people were arrested and convicted of the crime. About 4 or 5 years ago. There were a couple of very old toys in the attic and a few pieces of furniture left in there. The website is great! Keep up the great work.
REMAINS: Remains of concrete foundations and decorative concrete posts and cisterns, Brock Pier pilings, Old Enterprise School, !885 Episcopal Church, Cemetery, several homes dating back to the era.
Enterprise has diminished in size to a small corner of Deltona. Once a thriving terminus of the steamboat line from Jacksonville, Enterprise was founded by Cornelius Taylor and other pioneers in 1841. Just across the lake from Fort Mellon, Enterprise boasted a grist mill, saawmill, church, school, and several stores. The town however really began to grow with the construction of the 2 1/2 story Brock Hotel and steamship landing. The hotel, central Florida's first hotel, could accommodate people in its 50 guest rooms. The sick and invalids would come to the Florida climate for their health and guests such as Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Jennings Bryant would come to vacation. Harriet Beecher Stowe was known to have written about Enterprise in her travel articles increasing the popularity of the destination. Brock built a courthouse when the town became the county seat of the then Mosquito County. By 1887 a board of trade was formed by the local businessmen who were disturbed by the deterioration of the town and by 1889 the larger growth of Deland took the county seat away. The freezes of the late 1890's damaged the large citrus groves and the railroad service extending all the way to Sanford made the steamship lines obsolete. As late as the 1980's Enterprise had a Post Office but now is gone as well as the Brock Hotel (site location is now the Methodist Children's Home) and it's former famous dock. The Enterprise Cemetery has been the subject of renovation with the graves of possible 100's of slaves being discovered in the thick brush surrounding the graveyard. An effort is underway to clean up the black section and mark the neglected locations. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin
UPDATE: The old School house in Enterprise, slated for destruction by the Volusia county school board in 2005, has been rescued and moved to a new location one eight mile north at 360 Main Street. Owned by the Enterprise Preservation Society, Inc, a local non-profit organization, the school house will become a museum and heritage center opening in late 2009.
Also, the description of the town on the web site is "a small corner of Deltona". This is technically incorrect, as the old downtown and most of Enterprise is still unincorporated Volusia county. More importantly, the citizens of enterprise incorporated the Enterprise Preservation Society (EPS) in 2000 in order to save Enterprise from being annexed out of existence by Deltona.
We feel that Deltona did not have an interest in preserving the history and heritage of the town and that it is better served by this citizen's group than by Deltona's city commissioners, who have for many years shown more interest in development for its own sake than in preservation of our heritage and quality of life.
EPS has succeeded in having Enterprise designated as a "community of special interest" by the county, and the county is in the final stages of developing the Enterprise Local Plan, designed to protect the rural character of the community. They are also planning on designating the old downtown area as a historic district, providing further protection of historic buildings and sites.