Town History

  • 1513: Ponce de Leon explored the Ponce Inlet area
  • 1565: Spanish Army established St. Augustine, and gained control of Florida, driving out the French
  • 1763: Spain lost Florida to the English at the end of the French and Indian War
  • 1768: Dr. Andrew Turnbull settled a colony of Greeks, Italians and Minorcans in New Smyrna Beach.
  • 1783: Turnbull colony deserted by indentured settlers who flee to St. Augustine
  • 1790: Spain attempted to settle outlands from St. Augustine by use of land grants
  • 1803: Antonio Pons (Ponz or Ponce), a New Smyrna Minorcan, granted 175 acres north of the inlet which he had been farming for 20 years on the point where the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse now stands
  • 1806: Antonio Pons driven off by the Indians and moves to St. Augustine
  • 1812: Antonio Pons killed while serving the King of Spain during the Patriots War, started by American settlers
  • 1820: Pons' widow received an additional grant of 230 acres in return for her husband's service to Spain
  • 1821: Florida ceded to United States by Spain. Live oak lumbering began at Los Mosquitoes (Ponce de Leon Inlet)
  • 1834: First lighthouse built on New Smyrna side of Inlet destroyed by Indians and a storm
  • 1842: Bartola Pacetti, descendant of an Italian settler at New Smyrna, built a house of driftwood on fifty acres on the north side of the Inlet
  • 1860: Mercedes Pacetti purchased the Pons Grant
  • 1867: The Florida Land and Lumber Company established the Village of Port Orange near the Pons Grant. The postal stamp moved to Dunlawton Plantation, the present site of the city of Port Orange
  • 1870: Congress appropriated $60,000 to secure a site and build a lighthouse at the inlet
  • 1883: Bartola Pacetti paid $400 for ten acres on the north side of the inlet for the lighthouse reservation site
  • 1884: Brigadier General Orville Babcock appointed engineer for building the lighthouse and named the community Ponce (Pons) Park, drowned in the Inlet
  • Mid-1880s: Ponce Park became the name of the community located on the north side of the Mosquito Inlet
  • 1887: The Lighthouse went into service on November 1st
  • 1890: Nathaniel Hasty recorded the Ponce Park subdivision plat
  • 1890: La Ponce Hotel built on the river shore along the current Front Street
  • 1903: Bert Pacetti, son of Bartola, named Bird Preservation Warden of the Mosquito Inlet Sanctuary by President Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1926: Work stopped on Robert Pacetti's dream, "The Inlet Terrace Hotel and Subdivision" due to the collapse of Florida Land Boom
  • 1928: Mosquito Inlet renamed Ponce de Leon Inlet
  • 1939: Coast Guard took over the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet
  • 1941: Families moved off lighthouse property to allow Coast Guardsman to live on-site
  • 1946: Electric power run to Inlet
  • 1960: Hurricane Donna ripped through Volusia County and Ponce Inlet with winds up to 100 mph
  • 1963: Town of Ponce Inlet incorporated August 20th. First Town Council sworn-in at the lighthouse office
  • 1964: Town leased the lighthouse reservation property from the U.S government for $1 per year to use as Town Hall
  • 1969: Water service brought to Ponce Inlet
  • 1970: The Lighthouse's beacon turned off and re-established in New Smyrna Beach across the Inlet
  • 1971: First Ponce Inlet police car rolled into service
  • 1972: U.S. Interior Department deeded the lighthouse reservation to the Town of Ponce Inlet
  • 1975: Lighthouse opened daily to the public by the Preservation Society
  • 1980: Ponce Inlet government moved into a new Town Hall at 4680 S Peninsula Drive
  • 1982: Light was returned to the Lighthouse tower and a new balcony at the top opened to the public
  • 1998: The first Ponce Preserve parcels acquired, 4401 S Peninsula Drive
  • 1999: Hurricane Irene ripped through Volusia County and Ponce Inlet with winds up to 100 mph.
  • 2002: The final parcel for Ponce Preserve acquired
  • 2003: Ayres and Kay Davies Lighthouse Park dedicated on February 19, 2003
  • 2003: The new Public Works facility at 4875 S Peninsula dedicated November 21, 2003
  • 2004: Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, and Frances tore through Florida making this an unprecedented Hurricane Season.
  • 2004: Timucuan Oaks Garden parcel acquired
  • 2005: Ponce Inlet Police Department earned State Law Enforcement Accreditation for the first time.
  • 2006: New Town Hall and Council Chambers built at 4300 S Atlantic Avenue
  • 2006: Old Town Hall/Police/Fire Station renovated for specific Fire Station use
  • 2006: New Ponce Inlet Police Station built at 4301 S Peninsula Drive
  • 2007: Ponce Preserve Boardwalk over the marshland completed at 4401 S Peninsula Drive
  • 2007: Wilbur Bay Wetlands parcel acquired for protection, 4324 S Peninsula Drive
  • 2007: North and South Turns of the Historic Beach Road/Beach course added to the Ponce Inlet Register of Historic Places
  • 2010: Ponce Inlet Historical Museum opened to visitors in the newly restored Meyer-Davis House and Hasty Cottage at 143 Beach Street
  • 2011: Ponce Preserves improvements completed at 4401 S Peninsula including trails, exercise equipment, two playgrounds, lookout tower and dune walkover to the beach
  • 2012: Ponce Inlet Fire Department began providing Emergency Medical Transport service
  • 2014: Timucuan Oaks Garden boardwalk over the marsh completed at 4550 S Peninsula Drive
  • 2016: Timucuan Oaks entrance facilities completed and memorial to Constance D. Hunter dedicated on January 30, 2016