BY ROBIN MIMNA
Enterprise is one of the oldest communities in Central Florida and is considered an area of special interest in Volusia County.
Founded in 1841, Enterprise was a major stop on St. Johns steamship lines, as the home of Brock House Hotel, a popular winter-vacation destination and, at that time, the Volusia County seat.
Although Enterprise holds a significant place in history, the architectural remains, for the most part, have been destroyed or significantly altered. For decades, residents of Enterprise have fought against the constant sprawl of neighboring Deltona.
However, with county support, tremendous progress has been made by the Enterprise Preservation Society to protect and preserve the community’s remaining historic sites and its cultural identity.
1 The Enterprise Museum, 360 Main St.
This two-story Frame Vernacular building has notable architectural features that include a gable-on-hip roof, a symmetrical façade, brick chimneys and a wood drop-siding exterior wall fabric.
Completed in 1936 for the Enterprise School, the building originally contained classrooms for grades seven through 10. Medwin Peek, a DeLand architect, designed the building.
Peek graduated in 1923 from Harvard University with a master’s degree in architecture. He moved to DeLand in 1926, and his early commissions included DeLand City Hall (which has been demolished) and the Barnhill Hotel (now known as Artisan Inn).
Also attributed to him is the design of the University Terrace Subdivision east of Stetson University and the DeLand Woman’s Club building.
The Enterprise School was built by A.V. Smith and J.A. Hearn, a local construction firm. Construction costs totaled approximately $9,000.
The Enterprise Preservation Society received an ECHO grant from the county, and the building was moved across the street in 2007. Today it serves as the Enterprise Museum.
2 All Saints Episcopal Church, 155 Clark St.
All Saints Episcopal Church is a simple wood-frame structure built in the plan of a modified Latin cross. The church is a typical Neo-Gothic style building, a style that dominated the architecture of Episcopal churches in Florida during the last decades of the 19th century.
Built in 1883, All Saints Episcopal Church is one of the oldest of the original Episcopal missions in Central Florida.
This mission was established by the Rev. Samuel B. Carpenter of the Holy Cross Church. It served several local communicants and the winter visitors at the Brock House Hotel. Today, it is the only structure in Enterprise that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3 All Saints Thrift Shop/ Padgett House, 180 Main St.
This two-story Frame Vernacular building was built in the 1890s in the Neoclassical Revival style and has a prominent location in Enterprise. Notable architectural features include its gable roof, brick chimney, tiered front entry porch with shed roof, and an exterior staircase.
Its original use was a girls’ dormitory for the local children’s home; it now serves as a thrift store for All Saints Episcopal Church.
4 Barnett Memorial Methodist Church, 715 Jacob Brock Ave.
This Masonry Vernacular church has notable architectural features, including a gable roof, exposed rafter ends, a heavy stucco exterior wall fabric, and an entrance porch with a gable roof and four round columns.
According to local sources, this building was constructed in 1929 as the Barnett Memorial Methodist Church. The two-story addition at the rear was built in 1933 using lumber from the Wakefield Preserving Co. Arcade, a woodframe two-story building constructed in 1884 and razed in 1933.
Later, in 1936, the main staircase from the Brock House was placed in the two-story addition.
Jenny Quackenboss and Mother Brooks of Mother Brooks Orphanage — which would later become the Methodist Children’s Home — gave the first $200 for the construction of the church. Before construction, Methodist services were held at the Brock House Hotel, or outside or in members’ homes.
5 Helen’s Store, 105 Main St.
One of the few remaining older commercial buildings left in Enterprise, it consists of two separate structures built in 1930 by Milton Ryan, a businessman in Enterprise and a member of the Volusia County Commission (now called Volusia County Council) who is credited with having the roads in Enterprise paved.
Before the paving, the roads were dirt or shell excavated from the Enterprise shell midden near Green Springs.
The building on the right served as a gas station, and the one on the left housed Ryan’s General Store. The store was run by Helen Snodgrass, and it was affectionately known as “Helen’s Store” until it was sold in the 1960s. Today the building is privately owned.
6 Garfield AME Church, 1580 Enterprise Osteen Road
This one-story Frame Vernacular church building includes a gable roof, corner pavilion tower and entry portico. A brick cornerstone has been incorporated into the front façade of the siding. This building has retained much of its original integrity.
Architectural evidence suggests the church was built in the 1930s. According to the cornerstone, the congregation was organized in 1881 by the Rev. A.A. Fleming. This congregation was one of the earliest African Methodist Episcopal churches in Central Florida.
The building was relocated from Old Titusville Road to its current location near the former community of Garfield, and it was rebuilt in 1948. Garfield, originally called Mossdale, but renamed after President James A. Garfield, was an independent minority community located near the present-day intersection of Garfield Road and Enterprise Osteen Road in East Enterprise.
During the 1890s, the Garfield community included a train stop, a cemetery and a post office. The church has changed hands several times and was sold in May 2023 for $110,000.
7 Old Neal House, 490 Pine St.
This private residence is a two-story Frame Vernacular completed around 1901. Its architectural features include a gable roof, a covered front porch with metal roofing and some of its original double-hung sash windows.
The property was abandoned from the 1970s until the early 1990s, when it was purchased and rebuilt.
The house embodies many of the architectural characteristics of residences constructed in Volusia County during the early 20th century. The building has been known locally as the “Old Neal House,” although there is no evidence that the Neal family built the home.
8 280 Clark St.
Built in 1894, this two-story Frame Vernacular residential building was originally a Catholic church that housed several nuns and a priest. This group was established to minister to the residents of Enterprise and the guests of the Brock House Hotel.
After the train and steamboat service was discontinued to Enterprise, the Catholic parishioners started attending St. Peter Church in DeLand.
The building was sold to Alberta Coy in 1945, and she ran a beauty salon and real estate business there until it was converted to a private residence.
9 Aletha Evans House, 240 Clark St.
This private residence consists of four separate structures that were assembled from other locations in Enterprise in 1905. The exterior has had little alteration since then.
This was the home of Jenny Quackenboss, daughter of Volusia County pioneer George Sauls. Later, it was the home of her daughter Aletha Evans, and it is still owned by her granddaughter Norma Adamczyk, who has served on the board of the Enterprise Preservation Society for many years.
In the backyard, there is a separate original barn that was adjacent to the second Volusia County Courthouse, where Enterprise Elementary School is today.
The building was moved to its current location in the early 20th century. Today it is used as a storage shed.
Source — Volusia County Historic Enterprise Preservation Study: Enterprise Local Area Plan Implementation Program, 2008
Editor’s note: Robin Mimna is a volunteer with the Enterprise Preservation Society.