Sunday, October 18, 2015

Your Comments Are Always Welcome and Appreciated!


     Still working on the house I bought and have not added anything to my area & family blog in a while but hopefully that is about to change. Since it is very difficult to leave a comment here please email or call me and let me know what you think about any posting or if you have any questions.

Many thanks

Port Orange Ted


Call and leave message: 386.236.9867

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A 1956 Daytona Beach New Journal Newspaper article on Edward & Rose (Barber) McDonald pioneer family of Daytona Beach, Port Orange and Rose Bay. They settled in Volusia County over 160 years ago. Edward & Rose came to Florida in 1852 from Onslow County, NC.

     Edward and Rose McDonald and their five children came to Florida in 1852 from NC in an crude covered wagon drawn by oxen with no tires on the wheels.  

"Until they arrived there were no whites living on the peninsula where they located — about where Daytona now stands, nor were there any settlers on the adjacent mainland."

     Edward picked a camp site on North Beach Street about where the Echols Bedding Company's plant was and some earlier accounts say it was where J.W. Fulghams Beehive store was located. Fulgham's sold dry goods, notions, Gents and Ladies furnishings, hats and shoes. Fulgham's Dec. 15, 1909 ad in The Daytona Daily News.

      Lafayette McDonald said his father (Edward) moved them to a shack about where Fulghams Beehive store was located on North Beach Street in Daytona. 

"He also said there were plenty of wild animals in the area. 
I remember one day my mother heard the dogs barking and went out to see what was the matter and found a panther in
a cabbage palmetto near the front door. She got a gun and killed it."

In the booklet “Ashes On the Wind” — The Story of the Lost Plantations, by Alice Strickland. On page 40 she writes. “When John Andrew Bostrom, the first settler of Ormond Beach, was sailing down the Halifax River after the Civil War looking for land to settle, he met a Mr. E. A. McDaniel (McDonald), a former liveroaker, who was living in a cabin on the Dunlawton Plantation site. McDaniel had “a salt works which he had constructed out of six iron sugar vats from the sugar mill, and a framework supporting a trough into which the salt water was bailed by hand with a long-handed dipper.”  The water was evaporated by boiling it — leaving the salt, which during the Civil War sold as high as twenty dollars a bushel in Confederate money.

In the book “Tales of Florida Crackers”, by Ann Taylor she talks about the McDonald’s hardships in the early days in a chapter called — The Inn: 

“Life was rugged for the McDonald's as they carved out a niche for themselves in a harsh land that hadn’t been occupied since the Seminoles wrought destruction on the plantation owners more that twenty years earlier. They were fortunate to produce some big, strapping sons. As Murray McDonald said, ‘In those days, you relied on your children for help; that’s all you had’.”

Excerpts from Dr. John Hawks 1887 book "The East Coast of Florida" where he talks about the McDaniels (McDonalds) as the areas early pioneer settlers and Port Orange, Florida.

 John Milton Hawks was a Medical Doctor, Surgeon and Abolitionist and created Hawks Park now called Edgewater, Florida. He was born in 1826 and died 1910 and buried in Hawks Park Cemetery. He was also the author of the Florida Gazeteer.

Excerpts from John Hawks book, "The East Coast of Florida" written in 1887 are highlighted in yellow that mention McDaniel family, Edward McDaniel, William Johnson and an ad for Edwards Port Orange House Hotel. 

In 1867 Dr. Hawks who is responsible for naming Port Orange, he originally wanted Orange Port but someone else had used that so he decided on Port Orange due to the large amount of oranges shipped out because of the orange groves in the area. He also wanted to have a town name that was so unique that if you mailed a letter it would always be delivered to the one and only Port Orange post office even if you did not put Florida on the envelope. The post office was then located on the beach side at Mosquito Inlet and in 1867 it was moved to the mainland side of the Halifax River to it's present location and the name of the town and area was changed from McDaniel's to Port Orange.

Now there are two other towns I know of named Port Orange, one is a hamlet in New York and one in California.

The area was know as McDaniels in the late 1850s and early 1860s until Dr. Hawks moved the Port Orange post office across the Halifax from Mosquito Inlet to the present location in 1867 and the area became known as Port Orange.

Rose Bay was named by Edward for his wife Rose and the family lived on the Bay in the late 1850s and early 1860s Edward Archibald (McDaniel) McDonald settled his family there for a while and in one of Harold Cardwell's books (then president of the Port Orange Historical Society) he talks about the family settling there on the SE side of the Bay and calling it Rose Bay. 

Edward Archibald McDonald built a schooner he named after his daughter Dora Ellen born about 1864. The schooner was sailed by William Eldridge Johnson, (my Great Grandfather). William married Mary Elizabeth (McDonald) Johnson, she was Edward and Rose's first born child and owned and operated the Port Orange Palmetto Hat Factory located at Lafayette and Dunlawton. A complete posting will follow on her palmetto hat factory.

William Johnson came to Port Orange in 1867 from Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas and is listed in the 1870 U.S. Census as a sailor. William, his father Thomas and grandfather Nathan were all Sailors or ships carpenters. His grandfather Nathan Johnson was born 1791 in Mystic, CN and moved to the Bahamas in 1811 and married Catherine, Williams father was Thomas Johnson who married Charlotte Bethel and they had three kids: Belice, William and Emily Ellen. William came to Port Orange and Emily went to Key West married Philip Gandolfo. He is from one of the oldest families in Florida. They had five kids. No records or additional information were found on Belice.

The oldest photo we have of the Port Orange House built by Edward Archibald McDaniel's in early 1860s and the largest wooden structure on the Halifax River for many years. This view shows the hotel before the decorative round two story porch and observation deck on the front were added in an 1879 remodel. 

The hotel was by far the largest building in town and the looming structure stood out as you approached the shoreline — it became a landmark that stood for 125 years and was located at 3966 Halifax Drive, at the west end of the Port Orange bridge.

A complete history of the "Port Orange House" will be covered in a later posting with LOTS of old photos and postcards. Including:
   •  How Edward and Rose obtained the 69 acres along the
       Halifax as their homestead.

   •  "Old Joe" the huge alligator they kept in the back of
       the hotel for the amusement of their guests caught
       by their youngest son Elijah McDonald as a pet.

   •  Elijah McDonald was known as the strongest man in
       Volusia County.

   •  Mary Elizabeth (McDonald) Johnson's Port Orange
       Palmetto Hat Factory

   •  How Rose Bay got it's name

This old postcard shows the Port Orange House and it's most unique features the open air two story round porch and observation deck on the top floor — as it looked after the remodel in 1879. I like to say after they fancied it up!

In a handwritten history letter to her children dated February 2, 1932, Isabelle Rusling Lodor McDonald, wife of George Washington McDonald (son of Edward and Rose) Isabelle gives an account of her journey to the wilds of Florida from Philadelphia as a young girl in 1878. She said the family made their way to Fernandia by steamer then schooner to Port Orange then row boat to Blake because there was no road you had to walk the shoreline at low tide or use a row boat, Blake is now known as South Daytona. Isabelle says: “On New Years Eve of 1879, Grandpa McDonald had a grand opening of his remodeled hotel by giving a big dance and free super at midnight. I don’t remember all the food, but they had the most oysters that I had ever seen, cooked in every way possible. They danced about all night, John Hinskey playing the fiddle, as they called it in those days.” 

I'll post the entire three page letter in a later posting.

Officially the architecture is frame vernacular with a tiered veranda and a polygonal tower as stated in Harold & Priscilla Cardwells book, “Port Orange, A Great Community”. The most unique feature of the “Port Orange House” was it’s open air porches ending in what Hattie (Lastinger) Johnson (my Grandmother) called the round rooms. 

In the early 1900s the top room of the porch was enclosed to make an additional room for guests.
Grandma, Hattie H. (Lastinger) Johnson told me that when she got married to Otis Johnson (grandson of Edward and Rose) in 1912 they spent their honeymoon and lived for a while in the newly enclosed top round room of the porch. 

Later the bottom round open air porch was enclosed for you guessed it another guest room.

An extremely rare envelope from the Port Orange House Hotel, post marked Port Orange and dated Apr 10, 1888 with a 2¢ Jackson stamp #157 and mailed to a Mr. S. C. Milbern, Daytona, Fla.

Envelope reads: Port Orange House, On-The-Halifax, Port Orange, Volusia Co., Fla.,
Beautiful Location, Excellent Fishing, Boating and Hunting.
Yachts and Row Boats can be Hired at Reasonable Rates. E. A. McDaniels, - Proprietor.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Former homestead of Rollie F. Johnson & Lela (Mary Jane) Miller, Johnson, Sturges now Cracker Creek Canoeing hosts Cracker Creek Cracker Day and Spruce Creek Fest

Cracker Creek Canoeing is owned and operated by Jill and Bob Williams. They do a super job of preserving the history of the area, the buildings and support the conservation efforts of Spruce Creek. They have a great staff that is knowledgeable and helpful for all your fun events at Cracker Creek.

Crackers: Reminiscent of Florida’s pioneer heritage, the name Cracker Creek refers to the cowboys and cattle ranches in the area. The cowboy’s cracked long cowhide whips while herding cows, making loud popping noises, and they became known as “Crackers.” Cracker Creek offers visitors an opportunity to experience one of the areas greatest historical and ecological treasures.

Cracker Creek Canoeing is located at:
1795 Taylor Rd  Port Orange, FL 32128
(386) 304-0778
Hours of Operation: Wednesday thru Sunday — 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  
Adjacent to the James Gamble 175-Acre Nature Preserve that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

They pay tribute to the previous caretakers of the Spruce Creek property Roland (Rollie) F. and Mary Jane (Miller) Johnson by preserving the area and not tearing down the buildings in the name of progress. Rollie Johnson is descended from two of the Pioneer families of Port Orange, the Johnson's and the McDonald's.

Cracker Creek Cracker Day Celebration was held on May 25, 2013 with a long list of events to celebrate the Port Orange Centennial.

Captain Larry Yester made the frame display using the bamboo on site near the launch. The framed painting (top left) was given to Jill Williams by Merrily Clark, granddaughter of Tom Sturges, Lela married Thomas B. Sturges after Rollie's death. The other display pieces on Rollie, the Johnson family, the McDonald family and The Gamble Place were given to Jill by Ted E. Johnson, Jr. great nephew of Rollie Johnson, aka portorangeted. 

Merrily Clark, granddaughter of Tom Sturges, after Rollie's death Lela married Thomas Benedict Sturges April 14, 1951 in Daytona and Ted E. Johnson, Jr. is the great nephew of Rollie Johnson, aka portorangeted. Merrily and Ted met for the first time at Cracker Creek (where else) and told stories and reminisced about the lives of Lela and Rollie and reviewed a print out of their mutual family history. Merrily and John Clark visit New Smyrna in winter. Ted Johnson will be retiring this year from Atlanta and returning to Port Orange.
Photo taken March 14, 2012 by John Clark.

Merrily and John Clark, granddaughter of Tom Sturges and they are enjoying one of their many visits to the beautiful grounds of Cracker Creek — Rollie and Lela's old homestead now both structures are restored by the Williams and serve as Cracker Creek Canoeing headquarters with the azaleas and wandering flocks of chickens and peacocks that roost in the majestic moss covered oaks at sundown. It's a beautiful and tranquil place.
Photo taken by Ted E. Johnson, Jr. March 14, 2012. (portorangeted) 

Rollie Johnson, taken 1911, at age 37.
Rollie was personally hired by Gamble in the very early 1900s as caretaker of the newly built main house a “Cracker-style bungalow” hunting and fishing retreat, citrus packing house/caretakers house and adjacent orange grove were in place by 1907. Rollie was uniquely qualified for the job, since he was born a stones throw away on the creek and had hunted and fished the area all his life. He had worked for his father William Eldridge Johnson taking care of a neighboring citrus grove, plus he was a skilled carpenter. The 1900 Florida Census shows Rollie’s occupation as a farmer (citrus), age 26.

Rollie was more than the caretaker, hunting and fishing guide, he was cook, bartender and most important charismatic story teller for the many visitors including: visiting statesmen and dignitaries and friends of Mr. Gambles such as: President William Howard Taft, and captains of industry like H. J. Heinz, Mr. Proctor and Mr. John D. Rockefeller—plus many of Mr. Gambles close friends. He was the spice that set the Gamble Place apart from any other retreats in Florida. 

"He always squatted down to tell his stories and lit up his crooked stem pipe — he could tell stories all day — that was his glory — when he had an audience. It didn't matter to him if you were some guy from down the road, head of a corporation or President of the United States. He was carefree, nothing worried him."
Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., December 2000.

Mr. James Norris Gamble, Proctor and Gamble
Mr. James Norris Gamble of Proctor and Gamble fame — inventor of Ivory Soap (the floating soap) and founded the first laboratory in P&G history. He and his wife Margaret had been longtime winter residents of Daytona Beach and one of Florida's first winter visitors if not the original snow birds — the Gambles first arrived in the area in the 1860s on their honeymoon. They stayed at various hotels along the River, and then in 1888 they began staying at the newly opened Ormond Hotel.

Around 1894 their principle winter residence in Daytona was a magnificent three-story riverfront Victorian house across the Orange Avenue Bridge that becomes Silver Beach Avenue when it crosses the Halifax River. The Gamble home took up the entire SW corner of the Silver Beach Avenue and South Peninsula Drive bordering the Halifax river but was unfortunately torn down in the 1970s — again in the name of progress and replaced by yet another condominium complex. The only reminder of the Gamble name and home is a short road a block over from South Peninsula that runs between Silver Beach Avenue and Bostwick Avenue that bears the name Gamble Place.

Mr. Gamble was known for naming his homes and the Victorian home on the Halifax was known as 'Koweekah', an Indian word meaning 'here we rest'.  He named the Spruce Creek hunting lodge 'Egwanulti', an Indian term meaning 'by the water' and 'Ratonagh', his 13-room Victorian mansion on Cincinnati's Westwood neighborhood was named for his ancestral hometown in present-day Northern Ireland.

Mr. Gamble purchased the 175-acres for $600, April 6, 1898, including the citrus packing barn and 5-acre orange grove on Spruce Creek for use as a hunting and fishing retreat. Gamble bought the property from George W. Leffman who had recently bought the property from his brother Robert Leffman, who acquired the land on Aug. 12, 1886, through a federal land grant under President Chester A. Arthur. 

Gamble, a wealthy Northern industrialist could have built his hunting and fishing lodge in any architectural style he wanted but because of his love for Florida's Cracker-style architecture he chose an "upscale" version of a "Cracker-style Cabin", but one that keeps the Florida Cracker tradition of combining the outdoors with the indoors. The place was considered a rustic cottage with an open front porch and a breezeway connecting a separate kitchen, dining room and large back porch.

The Gamble Hunting Lodge and Retreat entrance gate. “Egwanulti” an Indian word that means 'by the water'. Photo shows the front of the home and it's rather plain and unassuming appearance giving little clue to the beauty of the back side of the home with it's wonderful open, wrap around — rocking chair porch that gave Gamble and his guests an unobstructed view of Spruce Creek.
Photo taken by Ted E. Johnson, Jr. — November 24, 2000. (portorangeted) 

The Gamble Place — rear view, 1907 Hunting Lodge and Retreat. Rollie was caretaker for the Gamble Place for over 35 years and also worked at the Daytona Beach Boat Works as a master carpenter — the Boat Works was then owned by his Uncle Charles McDonald. Lodge is yellow with green trim and banisters and each window had a moon cut out on it’s shutter and green latticework covered open areas under the house and porch. The deep set porch was supported by six square columns providing ample room for a row of rocking chairs for Gamble and guests to view the grounds and creek.
Photo taken by Ted E. Johnson, Jr.
— November 24, 2000. (portorangeted) 

Where Rollie actually lived and entertained. 
One of many interesting stories Theodore E. Johnson, Sr. told about his colorful Uncle Rollie that very few people know about was: 
"Most people thought Rollie lived and slept in that little house that was part of the citrus barn, but he always lived and entertained in the big house. About the only time he would sleep in the small house was when Gamble was visiting".
Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., December 2000. 

Gamble also modified the citrus barn around 1900, from an open-sided barn on brick piers and pine flooring by adding sides, a central partition and a caretaker’s residence. Gamble added an unusual front entrance to the building—a Greek revival front portico. This unusual touch was Mr. Gambles fancy interpretation of a Southern orange packing barn. It is this unique feature, rarely found on such early packing barns, which draws much attention from the architectural historians around the state.

Built in the 1880s by Leffman the Citrus Barn is the oldest structure on the Gamble Place.
Photo shows the remodeled Citrus Barn which is located on the backside of the building and the caretakers quarters is on front side.
Photo taken by Ted E. Johnson, Jr. — November 24, 2000. (portorangeted) 

The Gamble Place Caretakers House with it's unusual front entrance — a Greek revival front portico.  
Photo of Rollie's great niece and nephew, Charlotte Marie (Johnson) Boyd and Ted E. Johnson, Jr. standing in front of Rollie's caretakers cottage and citrus barn on back side. 
Photo taken by Jessi Smith, then Curator of the Museum of Arts & Sciences, November 24, 2000.
A future posting will cover the complete history of Mr. James Norris Gamble, The Gamble Place and his impact on the areas of Spruce Creek, Port Orange, Daytona and Ormond.

Cracker Creek is situated on the 20-acre property and former homestead of Roland (Rollie) Francis Johnson and Mary Jane (Lela E. Miller) Johnson. Rollie was caretaker for the James Gamble Estate for 35 years and Lela (Mary Jane) Miller Johnson was Mr. Gambles private nurse that traveled with him from Cincinnati, Ohio in his later years due to illness.. The cabin Rollie lived in along with the home built in 1933 for his wife, Lela Elizabeth Miller are located on the property.

When you get a chance check out Cracker Creek's website, their history and the evolution of the area from simple homesteads to being a part of the 2000 acre Spruce Creek Preserve and Recreation Area and their family run eco-tourism business. 

Lela E. Miller, Johnson, Sturges
aka Aunt Mary Jane to Rollie's
side of the family.

Rollie first met Lela Elizabeth Miller (Mary Jane, that was his nickname for her), when Mr. James N. Gamble came to visit his Spruce Creek hunting lodge. Mary Jane was Mr. Gambles private nurse that traveled with him from Cincinnati, Ohio in his later years due to illness. When Rollie and Mary Jane announced they were going to get married, Mr. Gamble was so opposed to the marriage due to the age difference and Rollie's love of adult beverages he fired both of them the same day — about 1932. In an unfortunate turn of events Mr. Gamble died in his sleep shortly thereafter, on July 2, 1932, one month short of his 96th birthday.

Rollie and Mary Jane loved living on the creek so much they bought the adjourning 20 acres to the Gamble Place on March 30, 1933 from Edison and Minnie Briggs about six months before they were married. They were married October 11, 1933 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She would have been approximately 40 years old and he was about 59. Mary Jane went back to Ohio to pack up her possessions and Rollie was finishing the big house they were building and living in the little house until she returned.

Rollie's last day. Rollie stopped by to talk with his brother Otis Johnson on the way home from working at the Daytona Beach Boat Works and to see if his nephew Myron wanted to ride out to Spruce Creek with him in his new car. Rollie said he would bring him back the next day but Otis said Myron had to do something around the house and could not go with him. So after visiting a bit Rollie headed out to the Creek. He was found dead from a heart attack the next day in bed by a fellow carpenter and friend Wesley Johnson, who was helping him finish the house.   
Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., December 2000

It’s very sad that after all they went through to be together he died only ten months after they were married, August 18, 1934 at age 60. He was buried on August 21, 1934, next to his brother Fred Johnson and grandparents Edward and Rose (Barber) McDonald in the old section of Woodland Cemetery, in Port Orange, Florida. 

I'm sure Rollie would have been happy he made the Front Page.

He lived all his life out at Spruce Creek, he was born there and died there. Death certificate listed his residence as Spruce Creek, age 60 years, 4 months and 22 days. Occupation listed as Boatman for last 35 years. He was very proud of his profession and worked for many years at the Daytona Beach Boat Works.

Part of his obit: Johnson was widely known among sportsmen as a hunter. For 35 years he was superintendent of the James Gamble Estate and citrus grove on Spruce Creek. He was married last October to Miss Lela Miller, a nurse who had cared for James Gamble during his last illness.

Roland (Rollie) Francis Johnson died August 18, 1934 at age 60. He was buried on August 21, 1934, next to his brother Fred W. Johnson and grandparents Edward and Rose (Barber) McDonald in the old section of Woodland Cemetery, Port Orange, Florida. I went around a few years ago and cleaned the headstones of family members and there were well over 60 headstones from the McDonald and Johnson lines.

Rollie maybe gone but certainly not forgotten. In recent years he has become a piece of Florida folklore. He is written about in several books making him an official Florida ghost. I believe Rollie would love that.

In “Haunting Sunshine”, by Dr. Jack Powell, A book on “Florida Forklore” he is talked about in the chapter titled: “See Rollie Run” and in the old cedar tree next to his grave in Woodland Cemetery I use to find candles left in the crotch of the tree. Ms. Ella Warren put a stop to the Ghost Tours when she took over the cemetery and has done a wonderful job with Woodland — it has never looked better.

A few more quotes from Theodore E. Johnson, Sr. about his colorful Uncle Rollie: 

Rollie, 1912, age 38.
"Uncle Rollie loved Spruce Creek, he was born out there and died out there. He lived in the woods all the time. He said there was no better pleasure to him than sitting at daybreak or at night hearing the woods and world come alive, birds chirping, squirrel’s barking and at night hearing the hoot owls — everything coming alive. He would say that was music to him."
Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., December 2000. 

"Uncle Rollie had saved some money up, it didn’t cost him a dime to live there all those years. He killed all his meat he used and caught all his fish and instead of staying there (The Gamble Place) all the time he’d go work at the boatyard, when he was suppose to be out there. He was making money on both ends. No phone or electric lights out there." 
Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., December 2000.

A future posting will cover the complete history of Roland (Rollie) Francis Johnson and Lela Elizabeth (Miller) (Johnson), Sturges, aka Mary Jane.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

June 4, 2012 we lost one of Edward & Rose McDonalds oldest Great Grandsons, Theodore Everett Johnson, Sr., at age 91. I tell every one that he is buried between his two favorite people Mom and my brother Glenn, unless you count Tim Tebow and Dale, Jr. and my sister Charlotte and I fit in there somewhere. Charlotte agreed and said it's true.

Dad was 91 when he passed away June 4, 2012 in Port Orange, he was born March 12, 1921 in Port Orange, FL. He married Gladys Josephine Trahan, October 28, 1944, she was born November 19, 1918, Rayne, LA, died. May 2, 2006 Crowley, LA. They had three children: Charlotte Marie (Johnson) Boyd, born August 11,1945, Ted E. Johnson, Jr. (Buddy), born May 31, 1947 and Glenn Martin Johnson, born January 25, 1954 and died September 19, 2006.

He and his cousin Murray McDonald, age 92, born July 17, 1920 were two of the oldest living Great Grandsons of Edward and Rose McDonald before his passing.

Dad's parents were: Otis Myron Johnson, b. July 12, 1884, Spruce Creek, FL, d. November 4, 1954 in Port Orange, FL, & Hattie Henrietta Lastinger, b. November 7, 1893, in Spring Garden, FL, d. August 15, 1980 in Port Orange, FL, married: September 4, 1912.
Dad's Grandparents were: William Eldridge Johnson, b. September 20, 1850, (Hope Town) then called Great Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas, d. October 18, 1912 in Port Orange, FL & Mary Elizabeth McDonald, b. November 9, 1848 in Onslow, NC, d. August 16, 1922 in Port Orange, FL, married: July 4, 1870 in Port Orange, FL.

Dad's GGrandparents were: Edward Archibald McDonald, b. September 20, 1823 in New River, Onslow, NC, and died May 18, 1901 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL & Roselend Barber, b. April 06, 1823 in Dukeland, Onslow, NC, and died January 07, 1902 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL. married: February 07, 1848 in Dukeland, Onslow, NC.  

Dad's GGGrandparents were: Daniel McDaniel, b. between 1781 & 1791, d. between 1841 & 1850 and (Name unknown) Daniels first wife and mother of Edward, b. between 1781 & 1791, d. before 1839.

Dad's GGrandparents on William Johnson's side were: Thomas Johnson, b. May 18, 1824 in Cherokee Sound, Bahamas, d. abt. 1853 in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas & Charlotte M. Bethel, b. November 1830 in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas, d. After 1900 in Key West, FL, married: Abt. 1847 in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas.

Dad's GGGrandparents on William Johnson's side were: Nathan Johnson, b. 1791, believed to be Mystic, CT according to family legend and Catherine Johnson, b. 1793. married in Bahamas before 1816. Nathan immigrated to Bahamas before 1811.

Theodore E. Johnson, Sr., and good friend Bobby Moore, owner of Bob's Shoe Shop in Port Orange taken during the taping and interview of Bobby and Dad for the Port Orange Government TV,  POG TV channel 199 part of the Oral History Series. Kent Donahue interviewed and videoed Dad and Bobby. Kent is Special Assistant to the City Manager and does a great job — he's been doing this on air since June 2005. The pogTV develops programming that focuses on the history of the community through the Port Orange Oral History Project. In this case we have Old Timers telling it like it was and having fun remembering events from their childhood and early days of Port Orange. Dad hunted and fished with Floyd Moore, Bobby's father for many years. Floyd had a hunting camp off 44 at Watson Island if my memory serves me. I was fortunate enough to go a couple times myself.   

Dad & Charlotte happened to stop in to see Bobby one day and Kent Donahue, Special Assistant to the City Manager of Port Orange was there interviewing Bobby and they asked him to join so he is on the second half of the CD and can be seen on POG TV channel 199 on a rotating basis.

Ted E. Johnson, Jr. (Buddy to the family) and Ted E. Johnson, Sr., visiting Merritt Island, FL National Wildlife Refuge on one of Dads beloved Sunday rides. Photo taken 2010.

Dad and daughter Charlotte Johnson Boyd, taken 2010 on our ride thru Merritt Island Wildlife Refuse.

He loved to ride out to Spruce Creek or down Tomoka Farms road to try and catch a glimpse of how it used to be and see if he could spot an old gopher turtle or flock of turkeys which he was very good at — he had excellent eye site. Many times my sister Charlotte and Dad would just take off down old US1 and see where it took them, over Rose Bay, which was named for Rose McDonald
his Great Grandmother or follow Riverside Drive along the Halifax River thru New Smyrna, Edgewater, Oakhill and back on US1 to Mims and Titusville and usually tried to find some backroad for the return ride home but most of the time it ended up going the back way thru New Smyrna and down Tomoka Farms road and past the Spruce Creek Airport. 

Countless times Charlotte took him down to the river and/or the bridge and parked along the causeway but before going home they usually ended up parking in front of what was Jack Osteen's home on Halifax Drive before they tore it down along with the other wonderful old homes to make way for River Walk to try and see a mullet jump or porpoise chasing bait fish or the old Great Blue Heron that seemed to hang around that area. He enjoyed these simple things.

Dads had a wide assortment of caps. For Christmas a couple years ago we gave him this Florida Gators t-shirt and cap. Photo taken 2009.

The Old Boy was Gator Tough
I tell every one that he is buried between his two favorite people Mom and my brother Glenn, unless you count Tim Tebow and Dale, Jr. and my sister Charlotte and I fit in there somewhere. He loved Tim Tebow and Dale, Jr.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

$100 Finders Fee Offered. Can You Help Me Find This old Photo? It is of Edward, Rose and Mary Elizabeth (Johnson) McDonald. It is the only photo I have ever seen that shows them full body.

I'm trying to find this old photo taken in late 1880s of Edward Archibald and Roselender (Barber) McDonald seated and their daughter Mary Elizabeth (McDonald) Johnson standing. I took this photo of the front room in my Grandparents (Otis & Hattie H. (Lastinger) Johnson’s home on Louisville Street in Port Orange — as a photography project while at the University of Florida in 1974. I believe it is the only one of it’s kind and would love to borrow it to add to their section and make a copy for everyone to share. It shows Edward and Rose sitting in rockers full body and Mary Elizabeth standing behind them. It was taken the same day as the one everyone has seen and posted at the beginning of this blog, head and shoulders only.

If anyone has seen or knows where the photo might be please let me know. It is an important piece of our family history. Many thanks for your help.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Juanita (Marsh) and Thomas Murray McDonald, Dec. 1, 2011

Juanita (Marsh) & Murray McDonald are a wonderful couple and a great source of family information.  

Murray's parents were: Murray Lloyd McDonald, born July 12, 1889 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL, and died September 17, 1962 and Susannah Anita (Susie) Pellet, born March 24, 1892 in Daytona Beach, Volusia, FL, and died 1987. 

Murray's Grandparents were: William Lafayette McDonald, b. June 29, 1853, New River, Onslow, NC; d. August 27, 1932, Port Orange, Volusia, FL and Marcia Malicia (Callie) McIntyre, married April 01, 1873 in Enterprise, Seminole, FL. She was born March 11, 1858 in Indiana, and died September 01, 1914 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL.

Murray's GGrandparents were: Edward Archibald McDonald, b. September 20, 1823 in New River, Onslow, NC, and died May 18, 1901 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL & Roselend Barber, b. April 06, 1823 in Dukeland, Onslow, NC, and died January 07, 1902 in Port Orange, Volusia, FL. married: February 07, 1848 in Dukeland, Onslow, NC.