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March Over to DeBary Hall for a Month Full of Activities

Mon, Feb 26, 2024 at 11:10AM

March Over to DeBary Hall for a Month Full of Activities

DeBary Hall has something for every taste during the month of March. A magnificent 19th century hunting estate overlooking the St. Johns River in DeBary, the site is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and includes DeBary Hall, the oldest intact building in southwest Volusia County.

Built in 1871, DeBary Hall was the winter retreat of a European-born wine merchant who chose the St. Johns River country for his hunting estate. Frederick deBary tried his hand at orange growing and commercial steamboating, but his Florida estate became a center of sport hunting and hospitality.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, some of the country’s wealthiest people visited DeBary Hall to spend winters hunting, fishing and swimming in the cool springs nearby, then relaxing in the shade of the veranda enjoying a cool drink and the news of the day. DeBary reportedly entertained Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland; the Astors, Goulds, and Vanderbilts; and the Prince of Wales, who went on to become King Edward VII.

Today’s historic site covers 10 acres and includes the 8,000-square-foot hunting lodge, stables,and other structures.


Story Time at DeBary Hall: 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 1, 15, and 22. Children are invited to Kids Corner, a free story time featuring stories, songs, and activities. The program is designed for preschoolers, but children of all ages are welcome.

Lemonade Lecture: West Florida Trails: 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Join avid cyclist Edith Kohlbach as she shares her adventures on west Florida trails. From the Suncoast Trail to the Santos trail, Kohlbach will share photos and stories of the trails she’s visited and explain the best ways to access and enjoy them. This presentation is part of the free Lemonade Lectures series sponsored by Volusia County. Light refreshments and lemonade will be served.

Get Stepping with Line Dancing Lessons: 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 7 and 21. Line dancing is a great way to exercise your mind and body. Join DeBary Hall staff for a fun evening full of learning beginner line dances to various music genres. There is a $3 charge for each class and registration is required, call 386-668-3840 or email to sign up.

7th Annual Living History Day: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9. History will come to life at this family-friendly event. It will feature George and Martha Washington, and Galileo actors, a war re-enactment camp, guided tours of the 150-year-old winter hunting estate with reenactors portraying various members of the DeBary family, historical presentations, Victorian games, crafts, and more.

Master Gardener: Antique Roses: 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 12. Join a master gardener and learn why antique roses are the best for your Florida garden. Each attendee will receive a rose starter to take home.

Historic Bike Tour: Ride the East Central Regional Rail Trail: 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 13. Take a free 15-mile, round-trip, guided bike tour along the East Central Regional Rail Trail. The ride begins at Green Springs Park. Participants will learn about local history, native plants, and the water quality of Green Springs. Bring your own bicycle and helmet, make reservations by calling 386-668-3840 or emailing

Lemonade Lecture: Florida Nature Trails: Discovering Hidden Gems: 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16. Explore pristine forests, wetlands, and beautiful vistas in Volusia and surrounding counties with Joan Ferrell of Ferrell Outdoors. This presentation is part of the free Lemonade Lectures series sponsored by Volusia County. Light refreshments and lemonade will be served.

Lemonade Lecture: Afternoon with an Author: 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Join author Sadie May Bradford as she reads from her new book Grandpa’s Garden; a story of a boy and his grandpa as they work in their family garden. Bradford will bring a variety of seed pods and help guests plant seeds to take home. This program is recommended for all ages, including families. This presentation is part of the free Lemonade Lectures series sponsored by Volusia County. Light refreshments and lemonade will be served.

Epiphyte Walk: 9 a.m. Saturday, March 23. Discover native air plants, lichen, fern, moss, and other plants that don’t need soil to survive. Take a guided walk on the grounds of DeBary Hall Historic Site, in partnership with Volusia County’s Green Volusia program, and discover these plants and the wild Bartram’s orchid. After the walk, create your own air plant display to take home. All ages are welcome. Registration is available online at Eventbrite, search Green Volusia.

Victorian Tea Tasting: 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30. Experience the elegance of a traditional Victorian afternoon tea with samplings, etiquette lessons and a house tour. Guests may sample two teas as hostesses dressed in Victorian clothing describe the history of tea and offer instruction on tea etiquette. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased by Friday, March 22. The cost is $20 per person and tickets are nonrefundable. Call 386-668-3840 or email to reserve your tickets.

All events will take place at DeBary Hall Historic Site, 198 Sunrise Blvd., unless otherwise specified. Call 386-668-3840 or email with any questions.

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