History at a Glance

Establishment Town of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925, by Gus Edward, a local attorney.  

First Settlers

The first settlers were Indians, who were then captured by the Spaniards, they were then followed by freed slaves following the Civil War. In 1888, a group of Cocoa men bought the entire track of land. It was only when a prominent attorney arrived that the area started to develop

City Founder

Gus Edwards

First Bridge In 1920, bridge construction to Cocoa Beach started, and it was completed in 1922

Lots cost - 1922

$100 each

Access By the masses, on July 4th, 1922, when road access was given to the new casino
Bus Tours Gus Edwards bought a bus in 1924 and offered tours to the beach
Racing on the beach Racing on the beach was welcomed in 1924, with cars driving up to 180 miles per hour on the beach - then known as the world's greatest speedway
Electricity Came in 1925
Roads S.R. A1A - funding was approved in 1932, then known as Route 104
Population 1939 49 residents
Naval Air Station October 1939 - New Banana Naval Air Station was commissioned
Water 1947 - water lines were installed
Police 1947 - one part-time police officer protected the town
Naval Air Station Banana River Base - 1948 re-named as Patrick Air Force
Missiles To the North of the City - May 11, 1949, President Harry Truman created a Long-Range Proving Ground for missiles at Cape Canaveral
Population 1949 246 residents
Telephone Came in 1951
Lots Cost $750 - $900
Sewage 1954 - Overflowing septic tanks became a problem - a sewage treatment plant is to be constructed
First Town Manager 1955 Rodney Ketcham, also acted as Town Clerk
Incorporation Town incorporated into City in 1957
First Motel 100 Rooms - Starlite Motel 1956
Hospital 1957 - Committee recommended construction
First Bank and Store 1957
First School Cocoa Beach Elementary School 1958
Beach Driving Part of beach closed to driving - drunk driver struck and killed a 4-year old girl while driving 70 miles per hour
First Rocket Flight with Human May 5, 1961 - Alan Shepard - Freedom 7
First Comprehensive Plan 1961
Cocoa Beach Pier 1962 - constructed for $150,000
First Orbit 1962, 75,000 people came to Cocoa Beach to see Friendship 7 with Astronaut John Glen - Orbit of the Earth
Cape Canaveral City incorporated in 1962
Bridge Expansion S.R. 520 bridge expanded to 4 lanes in 1962
Surfside Playhouse Constructed in 1963
Schools Dredge and Fill area and Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School was constructed in 1963
Recreation Complex Dredge and Fill area and Complex built in 1966, Golf Course opened in 1968
TV Show "I Dream of Jeanie" Show aired in Hollywood, story based on Cocoa Beach 1965
Municipal Pool Dedicated in 1966
Schools Roosevelt Middle School opened in 1967
Population 12,000 people in 1968
First Armed Robbery 1968 Gunmen robbed United National Bank - criminals were apprehended
Beach Driving Banned in 1969
Space Apollo 11, July 16, 1969, 1st lunar landing
Founder 1969 First Mayor Gus Edwards dies
Recession May 29, 1970 - Thousands laid off at Kennedy Space Center - lasted through 1971
Population 1970 - decrease in population to 9,442
Roads S.R. 528 - new - road cleared permit issued
Density Clashes between residents and Commission on density issues
Unemployment Rate 14.3% in 1975
Population 12,000 in 1975
Speed Limit Lowered to 35 mph on A1A from 45 mph, Mayor's wife had died in car accident
Time Capsule 1975 - Buried at Fischer Park to be re-opened on July 4, 2076
Indian Mounds Found in 1976 - at South Orlando Avenue between Fourteenth Street and Fifteenth Street
Hurricane 1977 - Space Coast most destructive weather - extensive erosion and damage to nearly all of the City's beachfront structures
Space Space Shuttle Columbia maiden voyage
Fire Station New Fire Station South Orlando Avenue completed in 1984
Population 12,800 in 2003
Hurricanes 2004 - 4 in one Season - Four hurricanes have made landfall in August and September. All of them hit Florida. Three passed through Brevard County.
Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Charley, Major damage by Hurricane Frances - Cocoa Beach incurred an estimated damage of $40 Million, Major damage by Hurricane Jeanne