For a better future, study the past.

Turnbull Grand Canal Florida Historic Marker

New Smyrna Beach is where you will find the Turnbull Grand Canal Florida Historic Marker. The City of New Smyrna Beach and the Florida Department of State are the marker sponsors. In  2018 sponsors placed the monument for public viewing.

If you would like to read other posts on my blog about Florida historic markers, please CLICK HERE.

The National Register of Historic Places includes the Turnbull Canal System. You may see the National Park Service NRHP file using THIS LINK.

To learn more about the Turnbull Settlement, please visit the New Smyrna Museum of History.



Turnbull Grand Canal Florida Historic Marker



The Turnbull Grand Canal, also known as the Grand Canal, was built by indentured servants brought to the area by Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull in 1768. As part of the largest single attempt at British colonization in North America, Smyrnea Settlement, Turnbull attracted more than 1,400 Minorcans, Corsicans, Greeks, and Italians, who sought the promise of new opportunities in Florida. Turnbull was impressed by the Egyptian canal system and wanted to replicate it in Smyrnea. Three canals ran east-west and were linked with a fourth longer canal known as the Grand Canal that ran north-south and connected to Turnbull Bay. These hand-dug canals provided irrigation and drainage for rice, hemp, cotton, and indigo crops, and served as a mode of transportation within the colony. After nine years of harsh treatment under Turnbull, drought, and crop failures, the colony’s population fell to about 600 people. In 1777 a group of Smyrnea colonists walked 70 miles to St. Augustine to petition British East Florida Governor Patrick Tonyn for release from their indentures. After hearing the case, Governor Tonyn gave them their freedom and granted them land north of St. Augustine.


A Florida Heritage Site

Sponsored by the City of New Smyrna Beach, the Historic New Smyrna Beach Preservation Commission, Mayor James Hathaway, Vice Mayor Jason McGuirk, Commissioner Judy Reiker, Commissioner Jake Sachs, Commissioner Randy Hartman, and the Florida Department of State.


Turnbull Grand Canal Florida Historic Marker is located at the corner of SR 44 and Walker Drive in New Smyrna Beach. It is located across Walker Drive from Auto Zone.
The Turnbull Grand Canal marker is located at the corner of SR 44 and Walker Drive in New Smyrna Beach. It is on the south side of SR 44 across Walker from Auto Zone.

Turnbull Grand Canal looking southTurnbull Grand Canal looking north with SR 44 showing. Turnbull Grand Canal

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