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GARDEN 351: Henry A. Deland

Posted By Saskia Ottley, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In the 1800’s, Henry A. Deland was a businessman and manufacturer who made his fortune in baking soda in New York. Also a philanthropist, Deland contributed the money he made, and his invested time in projects that would not only beautify the community, but that would also help the community. During his time, Deland wanted to invest his money into a cause that would be well worth it. So what did he do? First, he renovated the community of Persimmon’s Hollow, and turned it into what is now known as the “Athens of Florida”. Shortly after that he founded what is known as one of the best music school’s in Florida – Stetson University. The land was initially used for Deland academy, however after the freezes that took place in Florida, crops were killed off and Deland no longer had the money to fund Deland Academy. John Stetson took over, renamed it, and created a plaque in the University so students near and far knew how it got its start. There is also a hall within the University named Deland hall in honor of Henry Deland. I decided to dedicate my garden to Henry Deland because he is an integral part of Florida’s history. Deland was a man who believed in what Florida’s land could be, and invested his efforts into building it up and putting it to use. Music is a huge part of my life, and ironically enough Stetson University would’ve been my current University had I not chosen to stay closer to home. Because of Henry Deland and his dream, Central Florida has a piece of a great Philanthropist in its midst forever.  

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**Henry Deland photo credit: 
Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2014

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