Melbourne Historical TrailMelbourne Historical Trail


1....Print this file.

2....At its end, click on "rules" to see a copy of the trail rules, print it, and then click where indicated at the end of the 3-page rules and patch order form to get back to the list of Florida trails.

3....If you want a hand-drawn map showing the locations of all of the sites, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Steve Rajtar, 1614 Bimini Dr., Orlando, FL 32806.

4....Hike the trail and order whatever patches you like (optional).

WARNING - This trail may pass through one or more neighborhoods which, although full of history, may now be unsafe for individuals on foot, or which may make you feel unsafe there. Hikers have been approached by individuals who have asked for handouts or who have inquired (not always in a friendly manner) why the hikers are in their neighborhood. Drugs and other inappropriate items have been found by hikers in some neighborhoods. It is suggested that you drive the hike routes first to see if you will feel comfortable walking them and, if you don't think it's a good place for you walk, you might want to consider (1) traveling with a large group, (2) doing the route on bicycles, or (3) choosing another hike route. The degree of comfort will vary with the individual and with the time and season of the hike, so you need to make the determination using your best judgment. If you hike the trail, you accept all risks involved.

Melbourne Historical Trail

Copyright 2006 by Steve Rajtar

(From Interstate 95, drive east on US 192 (New Haven Ave.) past US 1 and southeast on Front St. past Claude Edge Front Street Park and the Girl Scout House to park in the lot on the east side of Front St.)(0.0 mile so far)

Southeast end of Front St.

1....Hector's Island

A wave of conservatism and morality swept through Australia in the 1870s and a law was passed requiring the marriage of then-unmarried couples who were living together. Cornwaithe John Hector refused to do so, and left the country.

He sailed here and traded his boat for an island, filled in and connected to the mainland during the 1880s to extend Front St. This area was also known as Hatterman's Point, Stewart's Point, and Vorkeller's Point.

Hector started a small store in 1878 and was one of the most energetic and popular settlers. Local legend has it that the early settlers drew straws to determine who would name the town that grew up here. Hector won, and named it after the city he had left in Australia.

The post office was established at the south end of Front St. on June 17, 1880, in Hector's trading post. He served as the first postmaster. He also organized Melbourne's first community band.

The first bridge across Crane Creek to Hector's Island was built by the county in 1886. It was followed by a railroad bridge in 1893 and another county bridge in 1906. A 1,400-foot dock extended into the river from the Riverside Hotel.

(Walk northwest 225 feet on Front St.)(0.1)

East side of Front St., south of New Haven Ave.

2....Site of Scott House

On this site was the home of river captain Will M. "Scotty" Scott, until it was condemned and burned down in 1972. It had survived the great fire of 1919, which burned the Front St. business section but left the homes. After the fire, the businesses moved west of the railroad.

(Continue northwest on Front St. to the intersection with Melbourne Ave.)(0.1)

Northwest corner of Melbourne Ave. and Front St.

3....Site of Edge Block

In 1920, a 50 x 60 foot two-story building constructed of reinforced concrete was completed here. Downstairs was the store of Claude Edge, upstairs was his home. Edge had moved here from Lemon City in 1901, and in 1907 had opened a general merchandise store on Front St., one of 11 that were destroyed by the fire on February 18, 1919.

(Continue northwest on Front St. to the intersection with New Haven Ave. and look to the east.)(0.1)

New Haven Ave., crossing the Indian River

4....Indialantic Causeway

The first bridge from Melbourne across the Indian River was built in 1919-21 by Ernest Kouwen-Houven, an early promoter of Indialantic-By-The-Sea. It was 16 feet wide and included a steel draw which operated by hand, taking 14 minutes to open and close. It was replaced by a steel and concrete bridge in 1947.

(Cross to the north side of New Haven Ave.)(0.1)

North side of New Haven Ave., across from Front St.

5....Trysting Steps

The tree-shrouded wooden stairs leading up to the Bluff Walk provided access from the homes above to the businesses below. They were known as the Trysting Stairs because they were a popular place for young people to meet in the evenings. The wooden steps were later replaced by concrete ones.

(Walk west 50 feet on New Haven Ave.)(0.1)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Front St. and Brecht Ave.

6....Site of Wright Cabin

Peter Wright moved to the Melbourne area in about 1867 and became the largest landowner in the area as well as a trader, boatman, and postal carrier. He and his wife, Leah, built their home here in about 1880. Peter carried the mail from Titusville to Melbourne aboard his catboat "Nelly", and his brother Dick carried it by boat from New Smyrna to Titusville. Peter moved to Rockledge in about 1906, and later moved to Cocoa where he operated a livery stable.

(Continue west 250 feet on New Haven Ave.)(0.2)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Brecht Ave. and US 1 (1218 E. New Haven Ave.)

7....Lee House

This is a Queen Anne style house, built in 1905 by John B. Lee from Albion, New York, as a winter residence for himself and his wife, Nannie McBride Lee. They named it The Terrace and soon moved in as permanent residents. Some of the interior details were handled by Claude Beaujean, a local carpenter and boat builder.

This became a center of social activity and the site of ice cream socials and other events held by the ladies of the Congregational Church. Along with the ice plant and the Melbourne Hotel, it was a hurricane shelter because of its sturdy construction. In 1975, it was purchased after a period of vacancy and restored the following year to the turn of the century look it originally had. In 1981, it was made into a restaurant known as Nannie Lee's Strawberry Mansion.

(Continue west on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with US 1, and look across to the northwest corner.)(0.2)

Northwest corner of US 1 and New Haven Ave. (1900 S. Harbor City Blvd.)

8....Melbourne Hotel

This hotel opened on September 23, 1924, with an arcade going around the building, with a lovely garden in the back. Flower shows and teas were held there during the tourist season. The Melbourne State Bank opened an office in the hotel in 1924.

Sidney Platt began working in the hotel in 1925 and served as its manager from the early 1930s until 1969.

It was later remodeled as the 1900 Building.

(Walk north on US 1 to the intersection with Strawbridge Ave., cross to the northeast corner, and look west across the street.)(0.3)

Northwest corner of US 1 and Strawbridge Ave. (1824 S. Harbor City Blvd.)

9....United Church of Christ-Congregational

This church was founded on December 8, 1889, as the First Congregational Church of Melbourne, and at the time was the southernmost Congregational church in the U.S. Early services were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, alternating with the Methodist Brethren. This sanctuary opened on July 2, 1893, and Rev. J.C. Williams served as the first minister. The land for the church was donated by W.H. Powell. The church was renamed in 1964.

Strawbridge Ave. is named for Emma Strawbridge, the owner of the Carleton Hotel.

(Continue north 100 feet on US 1.)(0.3)

East side of Dixie Hwy., between Strawbridge and Palmetto Aves.

10....Dutch Kitchen

Alberta and Ethel Ditchfield of Allentown, Pennsylvania, moved to Florida in 1924 and opened their first restaurant here in August of 1936 and named it the Dutch Kitchen. In 1938, they gave up on it and opened the Sip and Bit Barbecue a block to the north.

(Walk south on US 1 and east on Strawbridge Ave. to the intersection with Riverview Dr.)(0.4)

Northeast corner of Strawbridge Ave. and Riverview Dr. (1825 S. Riverside Dr.)

11....Site of Carleton Hotel

Emma Strawbridge of upstate New York recruited carpenters from her home state to build a large hotel here in about 1887. The three-story hotel located here on the bluff offered its sportsmen guests the sights of Indians paddling in with venison, egret plumes, and alligator hides from the swampy wilderness of the headwaters of the St. Johns River. It was owned and operated by Emma and her sister, Jennie.

It and the smaller Idlywilde Hotel next door to the north burned in 1904 and was replaced by a second one, owned by John Ferguson and managed by his wife, Lillie Robinson Ferguson, until 1915. They sold it to L.G. MacDowell in 1917. It burned again in March of 1925.

This was later the site of a car wash, and then a law office.

(Walk north on Riverview Dr. 75 feet past Palmetto Ave.)(0.5)

East side of Riverview Sr., between Palmetto and Lincoln Aves. (1811 S. Riverview Dr.)

12....Stewart House

This home was built in 1893 by Theodore Mismer. The next house to the north (1809 S. Riverview Dr.) was built for Elizabeth Eaton in 1894. Next was built by the Phillips family, who had a pineapple plantation to the east. Riverboat crews often worked on the homes during this period between sailings.

(Continue north on Riverview Dr. to the intersection with Lincoln Ave., and walk east to the gazebo in Indian River Bluff Overlook Park.)(0.6)

Riverview Dr., between Lincoln and Palmetto Aves.

13....Bluff Walk

Along with an area along Crane Creek, this was the choicest residential area in the late 1880s. The Bluff Walk was a popular place to stroll on balmy evenings.

(Walk west to Riverview Dr., then north and west on Riverview Dr. to the intersection with US 1, then north 100 feet on US 1.)(0.8)

East side of US 1, between Riverview Dr. and Hibiscus Blvd.

14....Green Gables

In 1894, William T. Wells and his family visited Melbourne and decided to make it their home. They bought 152 acres and built a house in 1897 here at the north end of the bluff which they called Green Gables, and it had the second indoor bathtub in Melbourne.

Wells built an auditorium resembling an upturned ark and brought the Chautauqua here. They also invested in The Canary Inn, a building that served as a private school, ballroom and meeting house.

(Continue north on US 1, cross west at the light, and walk south 125 feet past Silver Palm Dr.)(1.0)

West side of US 1, between Silver Palm Dr. and Seminole Ave.

15....Site of High School

Melbourne's first high school was founded by W.T. Wells in 1897, and the first classes were held in R.W. Goode's building on New Haven Ave. Later that year, Wells built a high school at this location. It closed in 1899 because there were few students ready for high school.

(Continue south on US 1 100 feet past Seminole Ave.)(1.0)

West side of US 1 between Seminole Ave. and Tangerine St. (1604 S. Harbor City Blvd.)

16....Florida Power and Light Company Ice Plant

This two-story Masonry Vernacular style building was erected in 1926-27 to serve households, businesses and local fishermen. It had a 50-ton capacity and cost $150,000 to build out of a steel frame, tile block and stucco.

This was the most modern and one of the final ice plants constructed by Florida Power, which later found that it was more profitable to generate power than it was to produce ice. After a 1941 reorganization of Florida Power, this building was leased to City Ice and Fuel Co., a Chicago company which continued to produce ice in it until 1977. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1982.

(Walk south on Tangerine St. (the right-hand fork just south of the ice plant) to the intersection with Fee Ave.)(1.1)

Intersection of Tangerine St. and Fee Ave.

17....Fee Avenue

This street is named after the Fee family. Frank Fee moved here from Niles, Ohio, in 1884 and opened a hardware company under the name of Fee and Stewart. The Fees started the Melbourne State Bank on April 3, 1893, which closed during the Depression. Dr. William Fee was the first doctor to practice medicine in Melbourne.

(Walk west on Fee Ave., south on Livingston St., and west 200 feet on Palmetto Ave.)(1.5)

North side of Palmetto Ave., between Livingston and McQuaid Sts. (620 E. Palmetto Ave.)

18....Grace Baptist Church

A portion of the church building is the old First Methodist Church building erected in 1904 on New Haven Ave. near the railroad tracks. After the Baptists built a new one in the 1920s, this structure was used for a time by the Presbyterians. It was formerly called Emmanuel Baptist Church.

(Continue west on Palmetto Ave., then walk north on McQuaid St. and west on Fee Ave. 300 feet past Melody Ln.)(1.7)

Northeast corner of Fee Ave. and Hickory St. (540 E. Fee Ave.)

19....Melbourne Public Library

After starting in Campbell's Bazaar, the library moved to a building on the corner of New Haven Ave. and Vernon Pl., and then across the street to the display room of the Ford Motor Co. The books were moved upstairs in the same building in 1922, to the office of Dr. I.K. Hicks. They were later placed in storage in a feed store on Melbourne Ct.

The first permanent library building was located on the corner of Palmetto Ave. and Waverly Pl., now the site of a SunTrust parking lot. The library cost $2,500 to build and had 3,000 books.

The original portion of the present library building was erected in 1954, with enlargements in 1959 and 1974.

(Continue west on Fee Ave. to the intersection with Hickory St.)(1.8)

Southwest corner of Hickory St. and Fee Ave. (1626 S. Oak St.)

20....Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

The area's Catholics assembled at Gabriel Gingras' home in 1881. Father O'Boyle had begun visiting here periodically from Daytona since 1880. Father Michael J. Curley began coming here by train, riding a bicycle to each of the towns.

The first church building was dedicated in 1931, and was followed by a rectory in 1939 under the supervision of Father Francis J. Finnegan. The present sanctuary was built in 1957.

The first Catholic school in the county was established here in 1953 by Father Robert Brush.

(Walk north on Hickory St. to the intersection with Hibiscus Blvd.)(2.0)

Northwest corner of Hickory St. and Hibiscus Blvd.

21....Holmes Regional Medical Center

This medical facility opened as the four-story Brevard Hospital in 1962 with 180 beds.

(Walk west on Hibiscus blvd., south on Apollo Blvd., west on Fee Ave., south on Fletcher St., and west on Strawbridge Ave. past Babcock St. to the intersection with Peachtree St.)(2.9)

Northwest corner of Strawbridge Ave. and Peachtree St. (50 W. Strawbridge Ave.)

22....Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

The sanctuary of the Holy Trinity Church was moved in 1897 from the Crane Creek site to the corner of Fee Ave. and US 1, donated by William T. and Nora Stanford Wells. In 1959, a new church was built here and in 1963, the old building was moved again in two sections to this location, next to the new sanctuary. The stained glass windows date to 1897.

A parochial school was started here in 1955 by Father Alex Boyer. Six classrooms were available in 1956, but the church delayed opening its school for a year to allow the county to use them to help ease its severe overcrowding in the existing schools.

(Walk east on Strawbridge Ave., south on Babcock St. to the intersection with New Haven Ave., and cross to the southeast corner. Walk east 185 feet on New Haven Ave.)(3.1)

South side of New Haven Ave., between Babcock and Bryan Sts. (19 New Haven Ave.)

23....Sloan House

This home of William Preston "Doc" Sloan was built in 1926 with lumber from James W. Marshall's sawmill. It was designed by Mattie Mae Sloan and built by George Fowler. Sloan was a well-known bootlegger during the Prohibition Era, running his operation from this home with booze brought in from the Bahamas. This house is reputed to be haunted, with unexplained movements of glasses and chandeliers.

Exactly two months after the housewarming party, two-year-old Cora Elizabeth Sloan was playing with matches, caught fire, and died from her burns. It is said by some that her spirit still resides here.

For his illegal activities, Sloan served ayear and a day in the Atlanta Penitentiary. The family moved to Ft. Pierce by the start of World War II. The house was used as housing for naval personnel, and later as the clinic and hospital of Dr. Pennington. It became Wilma McLeod's Brevard Convalescent Home, and later was converted to Miguel's Posada del Rey Restaurant.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with Bignonia St. and look north across New Haven Ave.)(3.3)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Platt and Stockton Sts.

24....First United Methodist Church

This congregation was organized in 1887 by Rev. Black of the Georgianna Methodist Church on Merritt Island. In 1888, its first sanctuary was built on New Haven Ave., just west of the railroad tracks at a cost of $1,000. The first resident pastor was Rev. Louis J. Hale of Ohio, who moved here with his wife in 1893.

In 1904, the building was moved a block west to the corner of New Haven Ave. and Municipal Ln. (then called Orange St.) Another building was erected in the mid-1920s at the corner of Strawbridge, Waverly and Palmetto Aves., where Sun First National Bank was later built.

The new sanctuary at this location hosted its first service on April 6, 1958.

(Walk south on Bignonia St. and east on Melbourne Ave. 550 feet past Franklin St.)(3.6)

South side of Melbourne Ave., between Franklin and Oak Sts.

25....Site of Goode Cabin

Richard and Jessie S. Goode moved here in 1877 from Scotland and Evanston, Illinois, bought the previous Thomas Mason homestead, and built a log cabin near here. They homesteaded 513 acres, going west to the Florida Institute of Technology. The land cost him $3.85. The Goodes donated to the town a little red schoolhouse built of pecky cypress for $25, located east of Riverview Dr. and south of Line St.

(Continue east on Melbourne Ave., then walk south on unpaved Helen St. to the intersection with Roxy Ave.)(3.8)

Roxy Ave.

26....Meyers' Subdivision

In 1919, there were several subdivisions being developed in Melbourne, including those of Strawbridge, W.H. Camp, Powell, three named Wells, Hodge, Campbell, W.I. Metcalf, Maxwell, Burgess and Meyers. The latter had long, narrow lots unlike those of the others. This is the last remaining street of that subdivision.

Oak St. was first named Margaret St. Developer W.H. Meyers named it in 1915 after his first wife. Roxy and Helen Sts. are named after his daughters.

(Walk north on Helen St. to the intersection with Melbourne Ave.)(3.9)

Southeast corner of Helen St. and Melbourne Ave.

27....Site of Meyers Cottage

In 1924, developer W.H. Meyers presented a small cottage here to his second wife, Countess Marie Larisch of Bavaria. She wanted to come to this country and ran an ad in a New York newspaper stating that she would marry anyone who would pay her expenses to get here. Meyers did, but did not get the wealth he expected. He treated her poorly, she left for New York, and then returned to Europe.

(Continue north on Helen St., then walk east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with Livingston St.)(4.2)

Southwest corner of New Haven Ave. and Livingston St. (635 E. New Haven Ave.)

28....Ruth Henegar School

The first school building here was built in 1919-21, and the first high school class of 13 graduated in 1921. The east building designed by William Christian for the high school was completed in 1926, and the west building for the primary grades was opened in 1927. The west building for the primary grades was the location of Brevard Junior College during the late 1960s.

On March 12, 1963, the school complex was renamed the Ruth Henegar School after Hazel Ruth Henegar, who served for over 26 years as a high school teacher, assistant principal and pricipal. It closed in 1975 and has been preserved as a cultural center.

(Look across to the northeast corner.)(4.2)

Northeast corner of New Haven Ave. and Livingston St.

29....First Baptist Church of Melbourne

This congregation organized on December 16, 1921. First pastor Rev. Stuart H.B. Mayles held services in the Carter Building. The first service in the new sanctuary was held on March 30, 1924. The Baptist Tabernacle on the corner of New Haven Ave. and McQuaid St. was acquired in February of 1945 for a Sunday school, and on August 22, 1963, Hampton Hall was dedicated in memory of R.L. Hampton.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with Grant Pl., and look north across the street.)(4.3)

North side of New Haven Ave., across from Grant Pl. (712 E. New Haven Ave.)

30....Site of Campground

From 1919 to 1923, this was the Tin Can Tourist Campground. The Tin Can Tourists were an organization headquartered in Tampa which existed to provide "fellowship" for its members.

New Haven Ave. was named for Lucy H. Boardman's home town.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave., then walk south 200 feet on Waverly Pl.)(4.4)

East side of Waverly Pl., between New Haven and Melbourne Aves. (2015 S. Waverly Pl.)

31....Melbourne Times Office

In 1894, the Melbourne Times were started by Emmett David Oslin in a small shop on Front St. The four-page newspaper was printed with a hand-operated press and subscriptions cost $1 per year. In about 1914, it moved to the Myles Building west of the railroad tracks, and moved a few doors to the west in about 1918.

A two-story concrete block building was built in about 1920 on Vernon Pl., and the newspaper was located there until 1927, when it merged with the Melbourne Journal. They then moved to a building on Waverly Pl. just north of this one.

(Continue south on Waverly Pl., then walk west on Melbourne Ave. and south on Grant Pl. until the pavement ends, and look southeast across Crane Creek.)(4.6)

South side of Crane Creek, across from Grant Pl.

32....Site of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

An Episcopal church began in 1884 when services were held in the Goode House dining room by Rt. Rev. John Freeland Young.

The first acre of this tract of land was donated in 1886 by Lucy Boardman for the construction of a church and rectory. She also provided $1,000 for the construction of the Holy Trinity Church. It was a tiny frame building constructed by C.J. Gingras and C.T. McBrice of Georgia pine.

It was the first church built in Melbourne. Its first service took place on December 27, 1886, when it was dedicated by Rev. William Porcher DuBose. Two years later, Boardman donated the adjoining 92 acres, previously owned by Wright Brothers. The church was first reached by boat, then by crossing a plank and rope bridge built here in the early 1890s.

(Walk north on Grant Pl. and east on Melbourne Ave. 50 feet past Vernon Pl.)(4.8)

South side of Melbourne Ave., between Vernon Pl. and Melbourne Ct. (823 Melbourne Ave.)

33....Allen House

This home was built in about 1889, and in 1904 Helen Allen sold it to Richard Lawrence and his family.

(Continue east on Melbourne Ave. to the intersection with Melbourne Ct.)(4.9)

Northeast corner of Melbourne Ave. and Melbourne Ct.

34....Holmes Park

This park was created in 1942, with city deveopers planting 43 orange trees, bougainvillea and other exotic plants. Most have since disappeared.

(Continue east on Melbourne Ave. 50 feet past the railroad bridge.)(5.0)

South side of Melbourne Ave., between Henley Ct. and US 1 (1003 E. Melbourne Ave.)

35....Site of Post Office

Postmaster Alma P. Martin moved the post office in June of 1913 from Front St. to this location. In 1925, it was moved a few hundred feet to the west.

(Walk west on Melbourne Ave. to the intersection with Melbourne Ct. and cross to the northwest corner.)(5.1)

Northwest corner of Melbourne Ave. and Melbourne Ct.

36....Site of Goode House

In 1884, Richard Goode built the 12-room Goode House, the area's first hotel. It was a less formal establishment than the Carleton House. In 1906, the town's first telephone switchboard was located in the front room with Maxie Goode as the operator. It was closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday so the Goodes could go fishing.

The hotel was bought by C.J.F. Campbell, who enlarged it to be the Bellevue Hotel. It had a cement pool and a water wheel and pulley carried the guests' luggage to the third floor. In 1920 it was renamed as the Orange Spot Inn, owned by Harry Balsley of Detroit.

(Continue west on Melbourne Ave., then walk north on Vernon Pl. to the intersection with New Haven Ave.)(5.3)

Southeast corner of New Haven Ave. and Vernon Pl.

37....Site of Public School

In the 1890s, Melbourne's students attended school here, with Irene Von Steuben as their teacher.

(Walk east on New Haven Ave. 180 feet past Municipal Ln.)(5.4)

South side of New Haven Ave., between Municipal Ln. and Melbourne Ct. (919 E. New Haven Ave.)

38....Myles Building

This building was erected in 1913, with the Midway Hotel on the second floor. Downstairs were a billiard parlor and restaurant. After repeal of Prohibition, the billiard parlor became Shorty's Bar.

When the local school became overcrowded in 1916 to 1920, classes were held here. This was also for a time the home of the Melbourne Times newspaper.

(Look north across the street.)(5.4)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Municipal Ln. and Melbourne Ct. (916-18 New Haven Ave.)

39....Geiger-Kempfer Block

This was built in the early 1920s, and was the home of C.J. Denham's Dry Goods and Gents Furnishing Store. It also included Kempfer's Market and Grocery, owned by William H. Kempfer of Deer Park.

(Continue east 75 feet on New Haven Ave., and look north across the street.)(5.4)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Municipal Ln. and Melbourne Ct.

40....Site of Gem Theatre

A theater was established here in 1914 by J.B. Johnston. Mr. and Mrs. C.F.J. Campbell bought it in 1916.

(Continue east 25 feet on New Haven Ave.)(5.4)

Southwest corner of Melbourne Ct. and New Haven Ave.

41....Campbell Park

William C. Campbell donated this land to the city in 1928 for use as a park. It was previously part of the Peter Wright homestead. Wright had sold it to English recluse Thomas Mason, who sold it for $110 to Richard W. Goode.

The Flatiron Building was erected in about 1924, a portion of the land was dedicated as a street, and the triangular area became the home of trees, horseshoe pitchers and checker players. It later hosted band concerts, auctions, political rallies, marbles and gopher races.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with Depot Dr. and look to the north.)(5.4)

Depot Dr., between New Haven and Strawbridge Aves.

42....Site of Florida East Coast Railway Station

The railroad station was a long, low wooden building along the railroad tracks. The first train arrived in Melbourne on July 3, 1893.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. 75 feet past Depot Dr.)(5.4)

Northeast corner of New Haven Ave. and Depot Dr.

43....Site of Brown House

On this site was the three-story frame hotel known as the Brown House. In it was the store of George M. Brown, later occupied by the grocery store of John B. Rodes. He moved out of there in 1920 to Melbourne Ave. two doors west of the railroad.

The Brown House was known in the 1920s as the Commercial Headquarters, owned and managed by Sadie Shepherd and her sister, Evelyn Horne. The building was torn down during the 1960s.

(Continue east 75 feet on New Haven Ave.)(5.4)

North side of New Haven Ave., between Depot Dr. and US 1 (1002 E. New Haven Ave.)

44....Huggins Store

The first wooden frame building here was constructed in about 1898 by Charles Stewart, who had moved here ten years earlier. He and Frank Fee owned a hardware store in this building, later covered with tile and brick. The business expanded to include farm supplies, furniture, a bank and an undertaking parlor. Fee sold out his interest to Stewart and moved to Fort Pierce.

Harvey Huggins bought the building and opened his hardware supply store in August of 1936. He continued its operation until 1949.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with US 1.)(5.5)

Southwest corner of New Haven Ave. and US 1

45....Site of Service Garage

In the 1920s, a 50 x 50 foot garage was built here of concrete and owned by Jack Raymond. He sold Texaco products.

(Walk south on US 1 across Crane Creek and west on Prospect Ave. to the intersection with Stone St.)(5.9)

North side of Prospect Ave., across from Stone St. (1070 Prospect Ave.)

46....Fish House

In 1875, Peter Wright acquired this land from the U.S. government, then sold a part of it to Edward R. Bradley. By 1919, it was owned by John A. Brechwald, likely the one who erected the present building. He kept it until 1926. In 1941, it was sold by John F. Cochran to F.E. "Pop" Steele. The restaurant was run from 1947 until 1969 by brothers Ed and Henry Jorgensen. It was later called Haywood's Seafood Center, and in 1974 became the Fish House.

(Continue west on Prospect Ave., then walk south 20 feet on Lipscomb St.)(6.0)

West side of Lipscomb St., between Prospect and Brothers Aves. (2310 1/2 Lipscomb St.)

47....Brothers House

This was the home of Wright and Mary Silas Brothers, constructed in about 1892. He arrived in Melbourne by 1877 with two other former slaves, Balaam Allen and Peter Wright. They were reluctant to leave their white former owner, who was financially unable to support them. They sailed beyond the last southern outpost and each staked out a homestead of 160 acres.

Wright and Mary grew citrus on a 7.5-acre tract ner Crane Creek and in 1892 gave birth to William Rufus Brothers, the first black child born in Melbourne.

At the corner of Brothers Ave. and Race St. was a black school built in1920-21, and the Melbourne Vocational School attended by blacks beginning in 1930. It offered a high school education focusing on agriculture for the boys and home economics for the girls. After it burned down in December of 1953, they attended school at the old naval base at the Melbourne Airport until 1958. The remaining portion of the school, the band room, was made into a recreational building for Brothers Park at that location.

(Walk south on Lipscomb St. to the intersection with Brothers Ave.)(6.1)

Southwest corner of Lipscomb St. and Brothers Ave. (2416 Lipscomb St.)

48....Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church

This church was organized in 1885 in the dining room of Wright and Mary Brothers. The other founding members were Balaam and Salina Allen and Robert and Carrie Lipscomb. Its first sanctuary was built in 1885 at the northern end of Lipscomb St. and Rev. A.G. Smith served as the first pastor. Electricity was installed in 1918.

The present sanctuary was built in 1964. The solid brass church bell acquired in 1928 weights about 1,000 pounds. It was moved here from the old church by a crane.

(Walk west on Brothers Ave., south on Canal St. and west 185 feet on Line St.)(6.4)

North side of Line St., between Canal and Grant Sts.

49....Line Street Cemetery

This cemetery was established by the Brothers, Ford and Stone families. After about 80 years of non-use, among the weeds, trees and garbage were discovered the tombstones of Alice Chambers, Franklin Johnson, Carrie E. Lipscomb, John H. Whitfield, and Wm. W.W. (likely William W. Whitfield).

(Walk east on Line St. to the intersection with Lipscomb St.)(6.6)

Northeast corner of Line and Lipscomb Sts.

50....Site of Black School

A school for black children was built here in 1909 with two rows of seats and two students in each seat. It was attended by about 16 students. Before 1909, they attended classes in a small shack near Midway Colony on S. US 1. The school burned down in 1953.

(Walk south on Lipscomb St. to the intersection with Mill St.)(6.9)

Northeast corner of Lipscomb and Mill Sts. (2729 Lipscomb St.)

51....Macedonia Baptist Church

This church began as a Sunday school under an oak tree between the homes of William R. Brothers and Bettye Murray in 1889, and was officially organized in 1891. Since the railraod would not reach Melbourne for two more years, Pastor Rev. Parson Miller transported the lumber for the sanctuary by boat from Titusville.

The first church, measuring 20 feet square, was built in 1891 on E. Brothers Ave. by 12 members, including J.E. Austell. Electricity was installed in 1918. The present sanctuary was built here in 1970-75. Beneath the church are the old stone pillars of a portion of the Union Cypress sawmill, which was located on this site. The church bought this site from Dr. James Norris, the area's first black medical doctor.

(Continue south on Lipscomb St. to the intersection with University Blvd. and cross to the northeast corner.)(7.1)

Northeast corner of Lipscomb St. and University blvd. (2929 Lipscomb St.)

52....Site of Union Cypress Sawmill

George Washington Hopkins of Virginia entered the lumber business in Michigan and then in Florence, South Carolina. He then established the Union Cypress sawmill here on land formerly owned by Wright Brothers. The mill had its own doctor and liquor was not allowed in the area. For that, the lumberjacks had to go to Front St.

Race St. was the site of the old mill race. There are still concrete piers on Lipscomb St. where logs were rolled off of flat cars. Trees were brought here by train from Deer Park, 18 miles to the west toward Kissimmee. Cypress came from the area known as Jane Green Swamp. At its peak, the town of Hopkins located here was larger than Melbourne.

The mill was double, with one section for cypress and another for pine. The pine section was destroyed by fire in 1923. Mr. Hopkins died in January of 1925. Hopkins had a post office until 1942, when postmaster John E. Gessner retired and nobody applied for his job.

(Cross to the southeast corner and walk east on University Blvd. to the intersection with Colbert Cir.)(7.2)

South side of University Blvd., between Lipscomb and Monroe Sts. (1101 E. University Blvd.)

53....Stone Junior High School

This school was named after John Stone, its first supervisor. The original name considered for this school was Hopkins, the former name of this area. It began as a high school, reduced to the first nine grades in 1957, and in 1969 became a middle school for students from Stone, Gemini, Harbor City, Meadowlane, Palm Bay, Ruth Henegar and University Park Elementary Schools.

(Continue east on University Blvd., then walk north on the east side of US 1, east on Jernigan Ave., and north 135 feet on Riverview Dr.)(7.8)

West side of Riverview Dr., between Jernigan Ave. and Riverview Park (2612 Riverview Dr.)

54....Wallace House

This home was built in 1898-1900 by Dr. William O. Wallace of Indiana. He was a fisherman and musician, and organized and directed Melbourne's first orchestra. On this property, he kept live alligators, turtles and fish for nature study.

(Continue north 300 feet on Riverview Dr.)(7.8)

East side of Riverview Dr., between Jernigan Ave. and Riverview Park

55....Site of Little Red Schoolhouse

John Goode built and donated a 9 x 12 foot school in 1883 in this area known as "Tarheel". In 1889, his son, Richard Goode, built another one-room school next to his home in Fountain Heights, also on S. Riverview Dr. Maude Goode and Mary Valentine taught both white and black students in it.

(Continue north on Riverview Dr. across the bridge at Riverview park, and look to the west.)(8.1)

East side of US 1 at Irwin St. (2501 S. Harbor City Blvd.)

56....Midway Colony

In 1922, a tent city was started here on 15 acres along the river, known as the Midway Camp owned by Art Radcliff. Its first building was a peanut stand, and grew to 140 cottages, a swimming pool, a 1,200-foot long fishing pier and a recreation hall. It had its own power plant.

(Continue north on Riverview Dr., then walk west on Prospect Ave., north on Irwin St. and west 75 feet on River Dr.)(8.5)

North side of River Dr., between Irwin st. and US 1 (1216 River Dr.)

57....Couch House

Two years before this home was completed in 1941 for Roy O. and Florence Couch, the Melbourne Times said that this $15,000 house would be the "last word in modern construction". Couch founded Couch Manufacturing Company, which produced turbine pumps. He was also active in civic affairs.

In 1968, the property was bought by Florida Institute of Technology, which converted it to Robert's Hall, a dormitory for members of the crew of its rowing team. The 3.5 acres of grounds was made into a park known as the Anchorage.

(Continue west 175 feet on River Dr.)(8.6)

South side of River Dr., between Irwin St. and US 1

58....Site of Crenshaw Hotel

This was built in 1926 by Harry Crenshaw, opening as a hotel and apartments in April of 1926. On February 2, 1928, it became the Melbourne Hospital, run by Dr. and Mrs. I.M. Hay from St. Augustine. After nine years, it again became the Crenshaw Hotel and apartments. It was restored in May of 1980 by W.C. Hersom.

(Continue west on River Dr. to the intersection with US 1.)(8.6)

Northeast corner of US 1 and River Dr.

59....Melbourne Yacht Club

The yacht club was formed in 1886 with J.F. Bergin as its first commodore.

(Walk north on US 1 across Crane Creek to the intersection with New Haven Ave.)(8.8)

Southeast corner of US 1 and New Haven Ave.

60....Site of Indialantic Building

Also called the Lock Davidson Building, it was the home of Alberta's Restaurant which was opened in 1944 by Alberta and Ethel Ditchfield. They owned the former F.C. Powell house next door to the east, then moved into living quarters in the rear of the restaurant. In 1954, they gave up the restaurant and moved to Orlando.

(Walk east 150 feet on New Haven Ave. and look north across the street.)(8.8)

North side of New Haven Ave., between US 1 and Brecht Ct.

61....Site of Campbell's Bazaar

In 1894, the first mayor's wife sold trinkets here. The east side of the building was later the home of the Steward Hardware Company.

(Continue east on New Haven Ave. to the intersection with Front St.)(8.9)

Southwest corner of New Haven Ave. and Front St. (1229 E. New Haven Ave.)

62....Former Post Office

This two-story building became the post office on October 1, 1897. It was owned by postmaster Richard W. Goode and was near Harry Goode's Outdoor Shop. Richard Goode also operated a real estate office here. He was killed in Chicago in 1912 by an elevated train and was succeeded as postmaster by Edwin P. Branch.

(Walk southeast on Front St. to the point of beginning.)(9.1)


A Guide to National Register Sites in Florida, (Florida Department of State 1984)

African Americans in Florida, by Maxine D. Jones and Kevin M. McCarthy (Pineapple Press, Inc. 1993)

Black Florida, by Kevin M. McCarthy (Hippocrene Books 1995)

Brevard County, by Elaine Murray Stone (Windsor Publications, Inc. 1988)

Crossroad Towns Remembered: A Look Back at Brevard & Indian River Pioneer Communities, by Weona Cleveland (Florida Today 1994)

Florida Historical Markers & Sites, by Floyd E. Boone (Gulf Publishing Co. 1988)

Florida Historic Stained Glass Survey: Sites of Historic Windows in Public Facilities in the State of Florida, by Robert O. Jones (Florida Members of the Stained Glass Association of America 1995)

Florida: The Long Frontier, by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (Harper & Row 1967)

Florida's History Through Its Places: Properties in the National Register of Historic Places, by Morton D. Winsberg (Florida State University 1988)

Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, (University of Florida Press 1989)

Historic Brevard, (Brevard County Historical Commission 1989)

Historic Homes of Florida, by Laura Stewart & Susanne Hupp (Pineapple Press, Inc. 1995)

Melbourne: A Century of Memories, by The Melbourne Area Chamber of Commerce Centennial Committee (National Printing, Inc. 1980)

Melbourne Bicentennial Book, by Noreda B. McKemy and Elaine Murray Stone (Brevard Graphics, Inc. 1976)

Melbourne, Florida Postal History 1880-1980, by Fred A. Hopwood (Kellersberger Fund 1980)

Melbourne Sketches: A Souvenir of Melbourne on the Indian River, by Louis J. Hole (1980 reprint of 1895 publication)

Tales of Old Brevard, by Georgiana Kjerulff (The Kellersberger Fund of The South Brevard Historical Society, Inc. 1972)

Click here for a copy of the trail rules.

Hosted by