The settlers called the area Persimmon Hollow before Henry Deland moved from Fairport, New York. The townspeople found out that he wanted to create a town and decided to name the town after him. He published the first newspaper on May 10, 1877 where The Deland Opera House is located. Plays and musicals were the many productions performed. The Opera House is now an apartment building. An inscrip-tion on the building chronicles the history of the period.
Numerous restaurants, an art school, antique store, rare coins, collectables and a goldsmith shop are located on Woodland Avenue.
We formed our own walking tour, walking down Indiana Avenue, reading the inscriptions on the buildings and taking photographs. After the Civil War Captain James B. Jordan opened the first commercial store at 110 West Indiana Avenue. In 1905, the law firm of Cary D. Landis and Bert Fish opened a one-story brick building at this location.
Chess Park, which is a public park, is located on Indiana Avenue. “Peace” a bronze sculpture created by Joan Baliker in 2003 and dedicated to the city of Deland in 2014. Next to the Park is The Volusia County Historical Courthouse built in 1929. Henry Deland donated the land. A inscription on the building give a detailed history of the courthouse.
Across the street from the courthouse is a Veterans Park dedicated on July 4, 1988 to the men and women who honorably served. Down the street from the courthouse is The Athens Theater built in 1922. The theater showed silent films and performed vaudeville acts that reminded my Mother of the Kismet Theater on DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. An event calendar on their website lists all the performances.
I recommend forming your own walking tour, its free and you can take all the time you need reading the inscriptions on the buildings and touring the inside as well.