Port Orange is a city in Volusia County, East Central Florida. Port Orange is considered to be part of the Greater Daytona Beach Area, and Port Orange only recently obtained its own mailing address, separate from Daytona Beach. Tourism marketing continues to tie these two cities together.
The original settlers of the Port Orange area were the Timucuan and Seminole Indians. During Florida’s plantation period, Patrick Dean was granted 995 acres in 1804 from the Spanish Crown which later was named the Dunlawton Plantation. The fertile soil was favorable for citrus, indigo, and sugar cane which could be shipped to market on the Halifax River. The plantation was destroyed by the Seminole indians during the Second Seminole War in 1836. The Dunlawton Sugar Mill on Old Sugar Mill Road is the last remnant of the old plantation. The second major era for Port Orange occurred after the Civil War. Dr. John Milton Hawks, an abolitionist and United States Army Surgeon, along with other Union Army officers formed the Florida Land and Lumber Company and brought 500 freed slaves to public lands along the Halifax River, north of Spruce Creek in 1866. Dr. Hawks moved the settlement he was credited with naming Orange Port in February 1867 from the Mosquito Inlet (Ponce Inlet) to where the community lies today. By April 1867, the settlement’s name change to Port Orange because another town in the United States already had the former name. Port Orange was incorporated in 1926.