Local History

Law & Order In Indian River County

I had the pleasure of sitting down with several local attorneys in the conference room of Stewart, Evans, Stewart & Emmons, P.A., to discuss a brief history of law in Indian River County.

Catching Up With The Past

“I grew up on my aunt’s stories,” says Ellen Elizabeth Stanley, referring to her Aunt Jeanne Mary Morrell. At that point, young Ellen was already a fourth-generation genealogist in the making.

Surprising Finds Of The Super-Sleuths

Digging up family history is an avid pastime for many people in Indian River County, thanks in part to the unique resources and colorful leadership of the Main Library’s Archive Center and Genealogical Department.

Cool It! How A/C Transformed Vero Beach

Summers in Florida are not at all like they used to be. Global warming aside, we tolerate August with few of the cooling rituals – mostly sweating and self-fanning – that for decades defined Southern living.

When The Jungle Went To War

“Vistas of supreme charm. Cool green isles in nature’s own cathedral. Royal Palms.

Nurturing Nature At The ELC

As many of you already may know, the Environmental Learning Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Bygone Days Of The Beach Buggy

For three generations of guys and their gals, a free-spirited weekend of fun in coastal Florida happened aboard a stripped-down and often souped-up beach buggy.

When Vero Beach Was “In The Mood”

Love is a prominent theme for February, and with that in mind, the next time you drive by or pay a visit to the Heritage Center in downtown Vero Beach, imagine what it must have been like back at the height of World War II when our town was brimming with strapping young sailors.

The Man Who Dried Out Vero Beach

The new year is a time for fresh starts. Of course, the measure of newness, just like time, is relative.

Eggnog And Elephants At Tripson’s Dairy

If you happen to have some holiday eggnog in your refrigerator, now would be an excellent time to pour yourself a glass.

Indians vs Eagles: Remembering Thanksgiving In The ’50

Like so many small cities across the country, Vero Beach has always had an obsession with local football, including a rivalry with neighboring towns that dates back to the 1920s and peaked during the ’50s.

The Mysterious Past Of Prange Island

Amid a thicket of trees, where night-blooming Princess of the Night cacti meander over bark and root like a prickly sci-fi creature, lie suggestions of lives once lived: housing supports, stairs to nowhere, an old cistern, the remnants of a dock and, closer to another nearby shore where dolphin and mullet frolic, the foundation of a trough that might once have been used to clean citrus.

A Home Filled With Priceless Memories

One would be hard put to find a house on the barrier island that remotely resembles the aqua-colored one in Old Riomar. This rambling, multi-era “beach cottage” is perhaps best defined for what it has not: concrete block, drywall, irrigation and air conditioning. But most of what it does have is also distinctive, most notably the sash-weight windows and good heating.

When The Peacock Showed Its Feathers

When Master Commandant Lewis Warrington awoke on the morning of April 29, 1814, the first thing he would have noted was that his ship, the U.S.S. Peacock, was riding a few miles off the shore of the Spanish colony of East Florida. No doubt he observed the low-lying land mass through his telescope and made some remark about it. “A land full of mosquitoes and Indians,” he might have said to his second-in-command, First Lieutenant John Nicolson, echoing America’s current attitude towards Florida. “The Spanish are welcome to it.”

Forgotten In Fort Pierce

In the last few years of her life, broke and ailing African-American folklorist, anthropologist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston, once one of America’s most celebrated literary figures, went almost unnoticed. Fired as a librarian at Patrick Air Force Base, she left Eau Gallie, a $5-a-week rental cottage, a bird bath and a dog named Spot and arrived in Fort Pierce in 1957 in a beat-up Willys station wagon, with a typewriter that she would later pawn for groceries.

Power To The People

Despite the recent, sometimes heated debate over the future of the Vero Beach power plant, there is nothing new about the supply of electricity being a matter of concern – and contention – in Indian River County.

A Tradition Turns Twenty

In the autumn of 1992, members of the Garden Club of Indian River County gathered to create a series of Christmas ornaments illustrating Vero Beach icons, with proceeds funding the Garden Club’s many programs.

Unearthing Our Ice Age History

Sometime next year, successive waves of archeologists, paleontologists and volunteer worker bees will start descending the banks of the Main Relief Canal behind the county administrative complex for an exacting, mostly teaspoon-by-teaspoon dig in the dirt. The quest: to find fossils and artifacts to complement a dispersed collection of earlier findings from the Old Vero Site – most notably, human bones found alongside remains of extinct Ice Age animals in an excavation conducted nearly a century ago.

Revisiting A Very Different Vero Beach

“We have to be careful how we tell the prom story.” Knowing giggles ensue. The humorist is Cornelia Perez, but the friends having a laugh first knew her as Cornelia Auxier, daughter of Herschel and Lucy Auxier, one of the early Vero Beach families.

Return To Eden

This is the story of the garden that refused to die.

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