On the morning of Dec.
22, 1888, a group of 23 qualified electors gathered
to create the "Village of Melbourne" by a spoken
vote, gaining the benefits provided to towns under
Florida law. By evening, those pioneer settlers had
elected their first officers and had settled on a
corporate seal. It depicted a pineapple plant, along
with a crane and a palmetto tree.
Up to that time, the small community located on a
natural harbor of the Indian River Lagoon had been
known as "Crane Creek." The name reflected the
importance of the harbor, formed where a freshwater
creek flowed into the saltwater lagoon. At the time,
barge traffic north and south along the lagoon was
vital for the latest arrivals on the peninsula.
The City of Melbourne is located on east central
Florida's Space Coast. Melbourne is about an hour's
drive south of the Kennedy Space Center, and 1-1/2
hours due east of Disney World. The City is in the
southern portion of Brevard County. Interstate-95
runs through the county from north-to-south. Access
roads from the west include the Beeline Expressway
and State Road 192, which runs through Melbourne to
the beaches. Nearby incorporated communities include
Palm Bay, West Melbourne, Indialantic, Melbourne
Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, and Satellite Beach.
Also nearby is Vero, an unincorporated community.
While most of Melbourne is located on the Florida
mainland, a small portion is located on a barrier
The Indian River Lagoon separates the mainland from
the island. The island is a narrow strip of land
that separates the Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean.
In prehistoric times the Lagoon was connected to the
Ocean. Today, the only connection is by way of a
handful of inlets, including the manmade Sebastian
Inlet at the southern end of Brevard County.
Spanning the Indian River Lagoon to connect the
mainland to the barrier island are a pair of
four-lane, high-rise bridges -- The Melbourne
Causeway and the Eau Gallie Causeway.