2210 South Front Street Melbourne, Florida 32901 (321) 725-9054
Fax: (321) 729- 8400 E-mail: email@example.com
For more about Melbourne's history, click HERE
History of Melbourne, Florida
The area along the Indian River that now includes
Melbourne was once the ancestral home of the
native Ais Indians, and was visited briefly by
Ponce de Leon in 1513 as he searched for gold.
Early settlers were drawn to the area's fertile soil,
abundant wildlife and the protected natural harbor.
The "Village of Melbourne" was formed in 1888, and
until the arrival of the railroad in 1893, mail and other
supplies were delivered by river boat. A fire in 1919
destroyed much of the town, which was rebuilt
to the west, near the train depot. Ferry boats,
such as the one pictured above, were an important
form of transportation from the mainland to
the barrier island from the 1880's through the 1920's.
The Orange Spot Inn (above) was built in 1883 on
the site of what is now the Melbourne Harbor Place
apartments, and was famous for its water wheel
(foreground) which pumped water to the hotel.
It became the winter address for many northern
visitors who came to play tennis on the spacious
grounds, with a sweeping view of Crane Creek
and Melbourne Harbor. The Inn burned in 1927,
when its hot water boiler exploded.
While the railroad provided a new form of
transportation and commerce, Melbourne's ties to
the water have not diminished. The present marina,
built in 1984, continues to enjoy the protected natural
harbor and a rich variety of wildlife, birds, and fish.
The Downtown Melbourne Association sponsors
a "walking tour" of the Historic Downtown District,
along tree-lined streets and parks that still evoke
the area's colorful and diverse history.