Brevard County Collection

Dublin Core


Brevard County Collection

Alternative Title

Brevard Collection


Brevard County (Fla.)
Cocoa Beach (Fla.)
Melbourne (Fla.)
Merritt Island (Fla.)


Collection of digital images, documents, and other records depicting the history of Brevard County, Florida. Series descriptions are based on special topics, the majority of which students focused their metadata entries around.

The first known inhabitants of present-day Brevard County were the Paleo-Indians, who were a group of semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherer people that resided there between 10,000-12,000 years ago. Archaic Native Americans, who were primarily fishermen, appeared in the area around 3,000 B.C.E.

By the time that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León arrived on the shores of Melbourne Beach in 1513, the area was being inhabited by the Ais and the Jaega. After the Trinite was shipwrecked near present-day Cape Canaveral, its French survivors, who were originally traveling from Fort Caroline in Jacksonville, established a new fort. Despite these new settlers, the area was slow to develop any permanent European settles due to mosquito infestation and attacks from Native American tribes. The Spanish abandoned the area, but European diseases still managed to obliterate the native population. In 1763, the Spanish relocated the last remaining natives to Cuba. Creeks migrated from Georgia and the Carolinas to replace the native population, and soon formed the new Seminole tribe.

In 1844, St. Lucie County split from Mosquito County. The first permanent settlement was established near Cape Canaveral in 1848. In the 1850s, a new settlement developed at Sand Point and later became known as Titusville. In 1855, the county was renamed in honor of Theodore Washington Brevard, Florida's Comptroller from 1854 to 1860. Susannah (now Fort Pierce) served as the county seat for Brevard. Brevard County made little to no contributions during the Civil War.

In 1864, the county seat was moved to Bassvile, which is now in Osceola County. The county seat was moved to Eau Gallie in 1874 and then to Lake View in 1875. Brevard's first major growth took place with the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway into Titusville in 1886 and into Melbourne in 1894.

In 1905, the southern part of the county separated to form St. Lucie County. More growth came to the county with the advent of the automobile and the first major land boom began in the 1920s, only to be halted by the Great Depression. During this period, Brevard's economy consisted mostly of fishing, citrus, and tourism.

In 1940, the Naval Air Station Banana River (now Patrick Air Force Base) was established, fostering further development of the area. The Long Range Proving Ground, later renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center, was opened in the 1950s.


Cepero, Nancy Lynn
McFarland, Tom

Has Part

Cocoa Beach Collection, Brevard County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Melbourne Collection, Brevard County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
Merritt Island Collection, Brevard County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Collection, Merritt Island Collection, Brevard County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.






Brevard County, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Collection, Courtenay, Merritt Island, Florida


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"Historical Commission History Summary." Brevard County Government.
Zimmerman, Vera. "THE FIRST SETTLERS, 10,000 BC to 1820." Brevard GenWeb.
Eichhorn, Betty. "Brevard County Boundaries (1821 - present)."
Shofner, Jerrell H., Jim Ball, and Vera Zimmerman. History of Brevard County. [Melbourne, Fla.]: Brevard County Historical Commission, 1995.

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