For Hometown News
A special exhibit featuring a significant element of Volusia County's diverse history is on display in the Ocean Center's ECHO Gallery.
"Volusia Waterways -- The Current of Change" focuses on the role waterways have played in the county's development.
The exhibit is part of Viva Florida 500, a statewide celebration of Florida's history beginning with Juan Ponce de Le-n's landing in 1513. It will be on display through early 2014.
It was water that brought the first non-native visitors to Florida, water that first supplied the state's livelihood, and water that still draws people by the millions. Ponce de Le-n brought the first group of Europeans across the Atlantic Ocean to the beaches of the east coast of the Florida peninsula. For the next five centuries, people from all walks of life have traveled to Volusia -- as tourists from the northern climes, business people, trades workers and fortune seekers.
The exhibit celebrates the rich history of Florida and Volusia through a closer look at four defining areas: Florida's first peoples/Native Americans discovered through archaeology and shell middens; steamboats, shipwrecks and war boats; recreation; commercial fishing; and art inspiration from Volusia's waters.
The county government commissioned Eric Dusenbery of Cinderic Documentaries of DeLand to curate the exhibit and document some of the aspects of Volusia waters through photography and oral history narratives.
"The waters of Volusia are such a big part of life in the area and have been through our history," Mr. Dusenbery said. "The exhibit could have been significantly larger. The biggest challenge was choosing what areas to focus on."
The exhibit includes many historic images of Volusia's connection with water provided by area historical societies and museums, as well as contemporary photography. Special objects related to Volusia's waters are also on display, including a Native American canoe and archaeology artifacts, historic ship models, original paintings, and a commercial fishing hoop net.
The Ocean Center is at 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. The public can view the exhibit in the Ocean Center's ECHO Gallery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.