About the Blog

"It seems to me almost every one North wants to come to  Florida."

-- Lucy Mead Parce, Spring 1881

Source: "The Parce Letters, Voices From the Past"

Period photo showing citrus grove in view taken from the front porch of DeBary Hall
This 19th century view of citrus groves is from
the front porch of Count Frederick deBary's
 house, the historic site DeBary Hall.
Credit: Florida Memory

And come they did. Florida in the 19th century was like the Wild West, with towns springing up from the sand seemingly overnight. 

My avocational fascination lies in the minutiae of pioneers' everyday life. I read social history for fun, when I'm not writing short stories or Catholic romance novels and novellas set in frontier Florida. You can learn more about my historical novels on the Persimmon Hollow Novels books page. Other pages in the Frontier Florida blog focus on domestic history and home life in late 19th and early 20th century Florida, including the lives and times of early Catholic settlers.

Photo of cover of book "Parce Letters: Voices From the Past"
The blog's page header quotes are from a slim volume of letters and reminiscences by members of the J.Y. Parce family, pioneers who settled in DeLand in the 1870s. The material and supplemental historical information are in The Parce Letters, Voices From the Past, which I compiled, edited, and designed for publication for the West Volusia Historical Society. The nonprofit historical society published the book in 2004 as a fundraiser. 

The (very) limited edition printing is sold out, but some copies are floating around, including at duPont-Ball Library at Stetson University and in the genealogical section (not for loan) of the DeLand Area Public Library. The book also can be ordered from the historical society via their gift shop at the Henry A. DeLand House Museum.

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