News Flash

Daytona Beach - City Highlights

Posted on: December 13, 2023

Who was Brownie?

WEB_Brownie the Town Dog

Brownie was a friendly stray dog who became a goodwill ambassador for Daytona Beach in the 1940s to early 50s.Brownie

In the early 1940s, Brownie roamed the downtown area before settling at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Beach Street. Ed Budgen, owner of the Daytona Cab Company on Orange Avenue, offered him lunch, eventually christening him "Brownie" due to his brown fur and amiable demeanor.

According to the Halifax Historical Museum, local cab drivers and a nearby restaurant owner offered Brownie scraps. Brownie, a mixed-breed dog, strolled along Beach Street during the day, returning to the cab company's awning at night. He greeted downtown shoppers, played with children and sat with visitors awaiting bus or taxi transportation. Budgen and his cab drivers even constructed a doghouse for Brownie with a coin collection box for donations toward his upkeep.Brownies dog house

Brownie's popularity soared, turning him into a local and national celebrity. He accompanied police officers on downtown patrols, posed for pictures with visitors, and received Christmas cards and gifts from across the country. Brownie's community support included an annual license, designating him the town's goodwill ambassador.

In 1944, Brownie survived a hit-and-run accident, recovering with the community's assistance. In 1952, he underwent extensive heartworm treatment, depleting his bank account. A fundraising plea by a Daytona Beach News-Journal editor replenished his funds. Despite over a decade of support, Brownie passed away peacefully in October 1954 due to old age.

brownie in casketFollowing his death, tourists sent letters, and the remaining funds in Brownie's bank account were used for a casket and headstone. Riverfront Park on Beach Street, today’s Riverfront Esplanade, became his final resting place, where city officials organized a funeral. Mayor John Tamm provided the eulogy to 75 people in attendance. In 2018, a bronze statue of Brownie was erected, commemorating his legacy.

Despite the riverfront park's extensive renovations, Brownie's statue remains near the intersection. A local historian, Eddie James, learned about BrownieP1720466_17 while owning a dog boutique along Beach Street. He maintained Brownie's grave site and established an online "Brownie Museum" to preserve historical records.

Although another dog named Brownie continued the tradition from 1955 to 1970, he wasn’t as popular as the original Brownie. Working at the post office on Beach Street, his gravesite is now next to the building. The memory of Brownie, the beloved town dog, endures as a cherished part of Daytona Beach's history.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Daytona Beach - City Highlights

Daytona Turkey Run photo of classic cars

Daytona Spring Turkey Run, March 22-24

Posted on: February 29, 2024
WEB_Commission Meeting_2024 March 5 RESCHEDULE

City Commission meeting date changed

Posted on: February 27, 2024
Highlight_Easter_Beach_Run_2024

Registration open for Easter Beach Run

Posted on: January 23, 2024 | Last Modified on: October 13, 2022
Midtown Music concerts begin April 15

Midtown Music concerts begin April 20

Posted on: February 22, 2024
Crab  Seafood Festival_April 29 2023

Crab & Seafood Festival, April 27

Posted on: February 13, 2024
WEB_Seaside_Presentation

Seaside Writers Presentation

Posted on: March 1, 2024
WEB_Baseball_League

Registration open for youth baseball

Posted on: January 5, 2024
WEB_2024 Bike week Private Property Masterplan

Bike Week Master Plan

Posted on: February 6, 2024 | Last Modified on: October 13, 2022
Highlight-Cultuvue_2024

Cultuvue 2024

Posted on: February 13, 2024
WEB_SOTC 2024 graphic

State of the City 2024

Posted on: January 31, 2024 | Last Modified on: October 13, 2022
WEB_Mentoring

Back on Track program

Posted on: February 29, 2024
Openings on Board of Adjustment Advisory Board

Residents can serve on Board of Adjustment

Posted on: December 27, 2023
Tish_IIMC_Highlight

City Clerk earns industry designation

Posted on: January 23, 2024
In_The_Works (1)

Stay in-the-know about city projects

Posted on: November 22, 2023
HUD EC

Grant awarded for Midtown

Posted on: January 8, 2024
WEB_Meet your Commissioner Videos_Oct 31 2023

Meet Your Commissioner Videos Available

Posted on: November 1, 2023
WEB_Adopt-A-Drain_July 7 2021

Residents can Adopt-A-Drain

Posted on: April 7, 2023
Daytona Beach Neighborhood Roadway Improvements

Road resurfacing program fully funded

Posted on: October 12, 2021
WEB_First Step Shelter_Jan 10 2023

Contribute to the solution

Posted on: January 10, 2023
FB_Stay Connected

Stay engaged and connected!

Posted on: August 26, 2022