The Historic Westside Community has a rich history spanning more than 150 years, according to local historians. Sitting “west of the east coast tracks,” community members were integral in the growth and operation of the Florida East Coast Railroad, which helped to put New Smyrna Beach on the map.
Today residents also take pride in the district’s sense of community. Churches, schools, parks and the Babe James Community Center provide a closeness among children and families unequaled in many communities.
The Black Heritage Museum on Duss Street is one of a few of its kind in the state. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, today the St. Rita Colored Mission Church displays a collection of memorabilia and artifacts to educate citizens of the history and race relations in small-town Florida over the course of the 20th century. Each February, the Museum hosts the Black Heritage Festival to celebrate the area’s culture and history.
Community revitalization efforts include the Washington Street Business Incubator project. The building will provide affordable commercial space for new, locally owned businesses. Click for information on doing business in the Historic Westside Community or please contact the New Smyrna Beach Community Redevelopment Agency at 386.424.2265.