A Trip Back in Time: Thursby House

Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Volusia County

thursby house
In 1856, a Mexican War veteran and ex-gold miner from Brooklyn named Louis P. Thursby bought Blue Spring and 133 acres of the surrounding lands with the intention of establishing a citrus grove. Thursby and his family did well enough that in 1872, he built this house on top of a middens pile, archeological speak for an ancient garbage dump. Thursby built a dock on the St. Johns and the site became known as Blue Spring Landing. In time, it became a regular stop for steam ships plying the River hauling tourists, mail and goods, including Thursby's oranges, to Jacksonville until the railroads came along in the late 1870s and 1880s. Thursby died in 1890, but the family apparently continued to prosper. A son, John Thursby, moved in and added the third story to the house some time between 1900 and 1910. The house is open for self-guided tours and gives a glimpse of what life was like in Florida a 150 years ago.



Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.