Great Floridians 2000
The Great Floridians 2000 program was designed to recognize individuals who distinguished themselves through their philanthropy, public service or personal or professional service, and who have enhanced the lives of Florida’s citizens.
Anyone could nominate an individual to be designated a Great Floridians 2000 by submitting a Great Floridians 2000 application. These applications were periodically reviewed by the appointed Great Floridians 2000 Committee, a group of seven distinguished historians from throughout Florida.
The program, begun in 1998, was completed in 2000.
The distinctive blue plaques honoring the men and women in the program are attached to buildings or structures in the cities where the designee left their mark. No biographical information is included on the plaques.
Born in Portland, Maine on August 6, 1853, to parents Samuel J. and Jane W. Anderson, John Anderson is considered Ormond Beach’s greatest promoter. He came to the city, then called New Britain, in 1876 from New York City. From 1876 to 1878 and 1881 to 1882 he was the Volusia County Tax Assessor. He built the Santa Lucia Plantation and, in 1888, the Hotel Ormond. Anderson also built Volusia County’s first golf course. His friendship with James Ormond III led to the proposal to name the community after the Ormond family, rather than to use the name New Britain. In 1902, along with Joseph Price, he organized the first auto-racing tournament on the beach. He later promoted a professional baseball team in Ormond Beach. John Anderson died February 17, 1911. An online memorial for Anderson may be found HERE.
His Great Floridian plaque is located at the Hotel Ormond Cupola, Fortunato Park, 2 John Anderson Drive, Ormond Beach.
To learn more about the history of Ormond Beach, please visit the Ormond Beach Historical Society.
The John Anderson Papers, which focus on the development of the Hotel Ormond, are available at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida.
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The only biography of John Anderson that I am aware of has been written by Ormond Beach transplant Ronald Howell. You may order a copy of John Anderson: His Life and Times in Ormond, Florida through Amazon by clicking the link or the photo.