A Brief History of Melbourne, Florida

  • November 13, 2012
  • Bradley Taylor

by Brad Taylor

beach photo in melbourne beach floridaMany of you know that Olympus Web is headquartered in Melbourne Florida. Most of our clientele is outside of the area so I decided to commission a short article about the city of Melbourne Florida.

Located in the Brevard County Florida, Melbourne is an important city in the Florida Metropolitan statistical area. The city is named Melbourne in honor of its first postmaster Mr. Cornthwaite John Hector who spent most of his life in Melbourne, Australia. As a modern city Melbourne, Florida was founded by former slaves after the civil wars during the year 1867 and the city was formerly known as “Crane Creek”.

During the later part of late 1800s the Indian River Lagoon attracted many settlers and in the area two communities grew side by side, one in Melbourne, and the other of Eau Gallie. For the next half a century the two communities progressed with increasing popularity, but maintained a distinctive character. But it was during the year 1969 that the two cities consolidated into the Modern city of Melbourne, Florida. The history of the city in all these passing years has been a journey towards progress.

The Front Street located down the Lagoon edge was among the first commercial areas of the city. But later with the introduction of the railways commercial interests shifted westward. The street was located just next to the Melbourne harbor and for many years was the most important commercial destination in the city.

The introduction of the railways brought in a considerable amount of change in the city of Melbourne. The tracks reached Eau Gallie first and later reached Melbourne in the year 1893. This was due to the fact that building the railroad bridge over Eau Gallie River consumed a considerable amount of time and the first train reached Melbourne on 3rd July 1893. This made Melbourne connected with Florida on one side and with Miami on the other and that increased the importance of the city by a considerable degree.

The Melbourne Naval Air Station was established during the Second World War and started operating as a training unit during the year 1942. The original station was located within the area of modern Melbourne international airport and was primarily used for training of newly appointed pilots. Like most other cities in this part of the world history of Melbourne, Florida is a steady journey in the path of progress and since the city was first established by three former slaves it has steadily grown in population and now with a population of more than 75,000 it is a very prominent city in this part of the country.  This figure does not account for immediately surrounding populations of town like Palm Bay, Indialantic  Indian Harbour Beach, and Grant. The combined population of the area is right under one quarter million people (roughly 235,000)


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