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On the beach side in New Smyrna you’ll find a tomb in the middle of Canova Drive. The street is named for actress Judy Canova who had planned at one time to put a trailer park in the area, but the grave belongs to Charles Dummett.

Douglas Dummett came to New Smyrna prior to 1844 and built a house on an Indian mound overlooking the river. Dummett was a sugar merchant, the Justice of the Peace and the orange grower who gets the credit for starting the strain that led to Florida’s famous Indian River citrus. He married a black slave girl and had three daughters and a son, Charles, who was born in 1844. Dummett sent his son to school in the North and in 1860 when Charles was home from school, he was killed while on a hunting trip when his gun accidentally discharged. Douglas Dummett buried his son on the spot where he was killed. For the past century this area has been developed into a residential neighborhood, but Charles Dummett’s tomb still sits on a little island in the middle of Canova Drive.

Weird Florida


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