The City of DeLand is located in Volusia County in the East Central part of Florida. It lies along the eastern shore of the St. Johns River and sits north of Deltona and Orange City and west of Daytona Beach. The city is located only 25 minutes from Daytona Beach and about 40 minutes from Orlando, and has easy access to major highways such as Interstate 4.
Complete with both the charm of a quaint downtown area and the youthful activity of its local university, DeLand delights its residents with the mixed excitement of a bigger city and hospitality only a small Southern town can offer. The city’s downtown area is lined with gift shops, unique restaurants and historical sites such as the Athens Theater. Multiple times a month, the city coordinates special events open to the public, that focus on culture and the arts, history, hospitality and lifestyle.
DeLand is a relatively small town within Volusia County, where residents live close to one another and to the main downtown area. The city’s population tends to thrive each school year when students from all over the United States maintain residence at the local college, Stetson University.
|*Estimated Current Population||58,965|
|Average House Value||$81,750.00|
|Average Household Income||$33,452.00|
|Median Age (Male)||39.05|
|Median Age (Female)||42.85|
|*All population statistics received from zip-codes.com|
How DeLand Got its Name
The area now known as DeLand was once called Persimmon Hollow, as wild persimmons used to grow in this area in abundance. After the end of the Civil War, the area was found by pioneers seeking to build a place to settle.
A man by the name of Henry A. DeLand traveled to the area from his home in New York and, after meeting some of the settlers, bought around 159 acres of land. In the years to follow, Mr. DeLand encouraged more settlers to move to the area, promising them that he would buy back their land if they didn’t like it after 2 years. He quickly became a benefactor to the settlers, allowing them to build churches and schools.
On December 6, 1876, the settlers of DeLand met and voted to name their community “DeLand” in honor of Henry Addison DeLand and everything he had done for the community.
Historical Landmarks in DeLand
DeLand is a city where residents are proud of its unique heritage and rich history and culture. It is currently the county seat, and holds one of the main courthouses in Volusia County. Around 2 years ago, the city received a make-over, where its downtown area (Woodland Blvd.) was renovated and newer shops were added. This area has now become a hotbed of activity, where residents can enjoy such public activities as antique car shows, agricultural festivals and an annual motorcycle rally.
Along with its tree-shaded streets and various parks, the city is marked with numerous historical sites.
In the heart of downtown DeLand lies Stetson University, one of Florida’s oldest private colleges. Deep-rooted with history and culture, the university’s campus is classified as a National Historic District. The college was founded in 1883, where it began as DeLand Academy. Stetson’s presence enhances the community’s rich cultural offerings with theater, recitals, museums and a vibrant speakers program.
Springs and Parks
Deland is dotted with numerous springs and state parks. Residents can visit Blue Springs State Park (located west of Orange City) by driving a short distance from downtown DeLand. Blue Springs is the largest spring on the St. Johns River, and is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees.
To the north of DeLand lies Deleon Springs State Park, a smaller spring that attracts more families and school groups. At the spring, visitors can explore the area by renting a canoe or paddleboat, or enjoy customizable pancakes they griddle themselves at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill.
Just six miles west of Deland off of State Road 44, visitors can find Hontoon Island State Park. The park sits on the St. Johns River, where individuals must take a small ferry ride from the mainland to get to the island. Once there, you can enjoy a picnic under the cypress and oak trees (and maybe spy some wildlife) or take a nature walk through the park. Evidence of Native American habitation can be witnessed all through the park, and visitors can learn more about the island’s early inhabitants in the visitor center.
The Athens Theater was developed by L.M. Patterson, a native of Washington, D.C., who moved to DeLand in 1920 and organized the DeLand Moving Picture Company. Its design came from Orlando architect, Murray King, who began planning the theater’s structure in 1921.
Once the entertainment centerpiece of West Volusia County, the showplace evolved through the decades from a vaudeville theater, to a movie house, a place for community theater and prom parties, a video game room, a restaurant and a teen night spot.
In 1993, the MainStreet DeLand Association spearheaded the effort of community leaders and residents to restore the theater to its original design. A year later, MainStreet purchased the Athens Theater with the help of a Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation Matching Grant. The restoration process began shortly after, and was recently finished in 2010. Today, the theater offers film festivals, independent art films, concerts, dramas and other live performances open to the public.
Volusia County Courthouse
The Volusia County Courthouse is located in the heart of DeLand, off of Woodland Boulevard. It was originally built on land donated by Henry A. DeLand, but was moved and rebuilt in its current location in 1927. Since then, the courthouse has undergone several renovations to preserve the building’s structure as well as new landscaping.
Rue & Ziffra Alumni from Stetson University
Our firm is proud to claim that many of our employees and family members have graduated (or will be graduating) from Stetson University! Among some of the graduates include:
- Attorney Allan Ziffra
Graduated from Stetson Law School in 1987 located in St. Petersburg, Florida. He went on to receive an L.L.M in Tax from Miami University College of Law in 1989.
- Attorney Robert Wohn, III
Graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida with a Bachelors degree in Marketing. Attorney Wohn went on to receive his J.D. from the University of Florida.
- Kristen Cass
Graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a focus in Management. Ms. Cass will be receiving her J.D. from Michigan State University in 2014.
Upcoming graduates include:
- Joshua Ziffra
2011 High School graduate from Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Florida
- Kursten Lizarraga
2009 High School graduate from Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Florida
- Amanda Goodwin
2011 High School graduate from New Smyrna Beach High School
Rue & Ziffra, P.A. Sponsorships & Events in DeLand
Below are some of the DeLand organizations and events Rue & Ziffra, P.A. has been proud to sponsor.
Stetson University Tennis Team
Rue & Ziffra, P.A. has been an active sponsor for the Stetson University Tennis Team. Our firm has helped support summer tennis camps for incoming students as well as students from DeLand High School who use the university’s facilities for its camps.
Annual Motorcycle Rally
In the past, our firm helped sponsor the annual motorcycle rally held off of Woodland Boulevard in DeLand. Once a year, the city invites motorcyclists from all over Volusia County to enjoy a day of festivities in its downtown area. As a promoter of motorcycle safety, Rue & Ziffra participated by sponsoring a live remote at the event for radio exposure and handed out literature on motorcycle accidents and safety.