On Canova Drive in New Smyrna Beach, a grave lies in the middle of the street. The memorial is dedicated to Charles Dummett, a teenager who died in 1860.
The son of Douglas D. Dummett, a landowner, and Leandra “Anna” Fernandez, an enslaved woman, Charles Dummett died when he was just 15 years old. While the exact cause of his death remains a mystery, most accounts attribute it to a hunting accident.
The elder Dummett was said to be so saddened by the loss of his son that he built the young man’s grave right where his body was found. It’s remained there ever since. In the 1950s, developers who were working in the area decided to build a road around the memorial instead of embarking on the long legal process of getting permission to move it.
According to a 2019 article in the Daytona Beach News Journal, an anonymous artist added a statue of a dog to the gravesite. It has since been removed by the local historical society.