Between the New Smyrna Beach City limits and Canaveral National Seashore is the unincorporated community of Bethune Beach. Bethune Beach came into existence through the efforts of Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman College. Mrs. Bethune with the help of other Floridians, including George Engram and her friend Eleanor Roosevelt, established the Bethune Corporation. In 1939, the corporation purchased the 189 acres of land between the Ocean and the River from D. F. Ferqua, an architect and contractor, for approximately $150,000. The land was then subdivided into 25 x 50 foot lots and sold. By the mid 70’s, Bethune Beach began experiencing a land boom, which coincided with the development of Orlando. Today, Bethune Beach is a mix of full-time residents, vacation homes and rental properties.
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