Book captures DeLand history in postcards

BEACON PHOTO / BARB SHEPHERD CO-AUTHORS – Bill Mancinik, left, and Randy Jackson show off the book they created using Mancinik’s writing skills and knowledge of DeLand’s history, along with the postcards of Jackson. It is on sale at various DeLand stores for $17.50 plus sales tax.

When 70-year-old DeLand businessman and local Bill Mancinik saw his friend Randy Jackson’s collection of DeLand postcards, Mancinik knew the collection needed to be shared.

Each postcard offered a glimpse of history.

“Color postcards mean something,” said Mancinik The tag. “It’s something that comes back to you from the past. I like that idea.”

Inspired by a book another friend put together with postcards that celebrate Key West, Mancinik and Jackson spent three years putting their book together, Postcards from Historic DeLand, Florida (and vicinity).

The book is a labor of love for his hometown, Mancinik said, but also a reminder that the town looked very different.

“This is what my hometown looked like,” he said. “These are things I grew up with 71 years ago, and these are things I loved as a kid.”

Proceeds from the sale of the postcard book will benefit the West Volusia Historical Society.

“It’s not supposed to be a business venture. More like a love letter to our (often forgotten) past,” Mancinik said. The tag.

Jackson began collecting historic DeLand postcards about 40 years ago, he said. Like many collections, it started with a postcard and snowballed.

“I would say we have about 400,” Jackson said.

This also includes some duplicates.

“Many of DeLand’s common postcards were of College Arms [Towers], lots of duplicates of the Stetson buildings and the fountain,” Jackson said. “There are cards that are hard to find. Some from the old downtown, some from the downtown stores.

Combine Mancinik’s layout and explanatory text with Jackson’s postcards, illustrations and graphic design by Bobe Kenemer, and the group has created a book that celebrates DeLand’s past.

Postcards from historic DeLand is available for purchase at The Muse Book Shop, Museum of Art — DeLand store, West Volusia Historical Society, The West Volusia Beacon office and other places.

STORYED PAST – At left, an excerpt from DeLandites Bill Mancinik and Randy Jackson’s new book, Postcards of Historic DeLand. The book features postcards like these that show some of DeLand’s landmarks, including downtown DeLand, Lake Beresford, the St. Johns River, and Stetson University. The postcards are all from Jackson’s postcard collection, which he estimates at nearly 400.

A word from Bill

As a native of DeLand for 70 years, I am always grateful to newcomers who adopt our community as their own. They see the unique appeal of the area the same way my ancestors did.

The debate over growth and its demand on local resources can sometimes cloud the story of our community. There was a time when DeLand was truly the idyllic little town that characterized turn-of-the-century Florida.

Citrus blossoms in the spring, cool natural springs in the sweltering summer heat, and the occasional winter chill were as regular as clockwork. Houses were erected on the many vacant lots. Existing neighbors complained about the growth, then became lifelong friends.

If it was boring, it was at least predictable. People knew each other. You could walk into a restaurant (a special event) and pretty much know everyone inside.

Fortunately, there are records from that time. Many books and personal memories are kept for everyone’s enjoyment. Postcards from most communities in the United States are also preserved

Of course, DeLand is no exception.

—Bill Mancinik

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