On a lazy stroll down Canal Street, you will find boutiques, galleries, jewelry and antiques shops, even cozy cafes with tasty pastries. But you’ll be hard-pressed to locate the actual canal that gave the downtown street its name. That’s because it’s under the street. As the city edges toward its 250th anniversary next summer, there are new efforts to bring New Smyrna Beach’s history, both above and below the ground, into the light. The origins of its original European settlement, the Turnbull Colony — once named Smyrnéa — can largely only be seen at the New Smyrna Museum of History around the corner. Archaeologists Rebecca Harris and Kate Wright think much more can be found if the public gets involved. They recently opened the Smyrnéa Archaeological Research Institute in the hope of renewing interest in mapping the origins of New Smyrna Beach.
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