The city of DeLand, Florida is most commonly associated with Henry A. DeLand and John B.
Stetson. They were certainly the movers and shakers that helped bring the town to life. Captain
John Rich is often overlooked in the telling of the history of DeLand. In 1875, Rich built a cabin
in the area that is now New York Avenue, near St. Peter Catholic Church.
It was at the Rich cabin where Henry and Helen DeLand spent their first night in the area in
1876. Of that night, Helen DeLand is quoted as saying that she, “slept on the floor where I could
look out at the stars and put my hand between the logs.” (1)
An image of the Rich cabin is shown in a book published by West Volusia Historical Society. (2)
Looking at the property today, a visitor will see a large two and one half story building built around 1905 that is home to Westside Settlement Associates. The building is well kept and the grounds manicured. The modern address is 339 W. New York Avenue.
The Florida Master Site File for the property does not provide much information. The building is in the Colonial Revival style, a style that predominated in the early twentieth century. An early resident of the home was Annie Hyde.
The building is not individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places but is listed as a contributing structure to the West DeLand Residential District that is on the NR. (3)
Anne Elizabeth Copcutt was born January 15, 1840 in New York City to parents John and Rebecca Copcutt. The family moved to Yonkers in 1854 where John owned more than twenty-five acres. The family must have had some prominence as an obituary states that she met Washington Irving at her grandfather’s home. (4)
Anne was to marry Peter L. Hyde; a marriage that was to end in separation/divorce. The outcome is not 100% certain and records appear to be missing. What is certain is that they did not live together for many years and she is not mentioned in Peter’s obituary when he died in 1925. Peter is buried in Sanford, FL.
According to newspaper death notices, Anne had moved to DeLand in 1899 where she built a
home on Woodland Boulevard in 1907. This date would correspond to her living prior at the
New York Avenue property as referenced in the Florida Master Site File. Ms. Hyde passed away
at her Woodland Boulevard home March 22, 1927. Reverend Harry L. Taylor, the rector at St.
Barnabas Episcopal Church, led a local funeral service before her remains were returned for
burial at St. Johns Cemetery in Yonkers. Ms. Hyde was survived by three children; Mrs.
Gouvernor F. (Rebecca) Peek, Arthur E. Hyde, and Franklyn P. Hyde, and five grandchildren.
Please click here to find online memorials for Anne and members of her family.
As mentioned earlier, there is nothing left of the Rich cabin; an important location in DeLand
history. On site, however is a small marker designating the location of the Rich cabin and
providing a bit of background information. From the road, this small marker is probably
impossible to see. I happened to spot this on a walk during my lunch break.
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1) Quoted in Michael G.Schene. Hopes, Dreams, and Promises: A History of Volusia
County, Florida. Daytona Beach: News Journal Corporation, 1976. 89.
2) Evans C. Johnson, editor. William J. Dreggors and John Stephen Hess. A Pictorial
History of West Volusia County 1870-1940. DeLand, West Volusia Historical Society,
3) Florida Master Site File VO-3600.
4) Yonkers Statesman, March 23, 1927. (Courtesy Findagrave)
5) DeLand Sun News, March 23, 1927.