Wilbur By The Sea, Florida

[1] Wilbur-By-The-Seais an unincorporated community in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It is one of the two unincorporated areas in Volusia County along the coast that does not have a condominium or hotel (the other being Highbridge); instead, the area uses beachfront homes. Tom Wilbur Bay is a body of water that only has docks on the east side of the bay. The major roads of the area are State Road 441 and CR 4075; both roads border a body of water, Peninsula Drive on the west and South Atlantic Avenue on the east.


During the winter of 1911 Mr. J. W. Wilbur, a large real estate dealer of Boston, Mass. made an extensive tour of the east and west coasts of Florida in search of a location for a winter home for himself and family. He traveled up and down the coast from Jacksonville to Key West and at last found the present location of Wilbur-By-The-Sea. With the river on one side, and ocean on the other, and only 800 feet between the two, he came to the conclusion he had found the spot he was looking for. The high, dry land provided healthful conditions. The river offered boating and fishing, and the broad sandy beach, the surf bathing. Here were all the factors necessary to make up an ideal winter resort. He bought. On his return north he found many of his friends and acquaintances anxious to join him and build winter homes themselves. It was then he conceived the idea of a new winter colony on the east coast. More land was purchased; horses, teams, construction crews and carpenters were hurriedly collected together. Carloads of lumber, brick, and furniture were shipped, and in December 1912, Mr. Wilbur, together with his engineers, and friends started south. Work was started as soon as the party arrived, The dirt flew. Large gangs of men followed in the tracks of the surveyors, building roads and following them came the carpenters, masons, plumbers, etc. constructing the bungalows.

In less than two months' time shell roads had been laid out, and cottages built, a water plant installed, and a steam boat wharf built on the river side. Parks, tennis courts and bungalows had taken the place of the wilderness of two months previous. As one tourist said, "It reminds me of the Arabian Nights story when houses were built in a night." The new town had started. The opening of a wide boulevard with a cement approach, from the beach to the river brought hundreds of tourists in their autos, through this section, and many of them purchased. Mr..Wilbur soon found that he would not have enough land to go around, so he bought more land until he now has between 500 and 600 acres of the finest land on the east coast of Florida. It was in this way that Wilbur-By-The-Sea was started. Great care has been exercised in disposing of the lots and only a good class of people will be received at Wilbur-By-The-Sea. Excellent locations are to be had along the ocean and river fronts, where lots have been carefully laid out and restricted. Bungalows can be built here about 1-3 cheaper than in the north or west, A boat line runs between Daytona and Wilbur-By-The-Sea, making two trips daily. Autos and carriages may be hired at a reasonable cost which enables you to explore the beautiful country roads, or ride along the wide sandy beach.


Wilbur-By-The-Sea is located at 29°07′59″N80°57′31″W / 29.13306°N 80.95861°W / 29.13306; -80.95861, between Daytona Beach Shores and Ponce Inlet. The area of this place is a four-mile circumference around the unincorporated area limit. It is about seven miles south of Daytona, and two and one half miles from the village of Port Orange. A long bridge over the Halifax River at Port Orange connects "Wilbur-By-The-Sea" with the mainland. At "Wilbur-By-The-Sea" is the narrowest point on the entire peninsula, it being only 800 feet from Ocean to River. The land here rises from 20 to 30 feet above the River and Ocean, and is considerably higher than the mainland, thus assuring a healthful climate free from any malarial conditions.