When people talk about visiting the Vero Beach and Sebastian areas they mostly refer to the beaches and possibly the historical fact about the treasure ships which sunk just off the shores. However, there is more historical value to Indian River County than just Pelican Island Nature Preserve and the various treasure museums - Mel Fisher’s and McLarty treasure museums. There is an entire historical world in the small community of Fellsmere, Florida. Though it is a small area, it is full of historical landmarks waiting to be seen and stories to be told.
Let’s take a journey through some of those old stories and see if you can find a piece of history when visiting the area:
Located on the corner of Fellsmere Road and Cypress Street at 22 W. Fellsmere Road, the City hall has been a historical site since 1910. E. Nelson Fell purchased more than 118,000 acres and began developing the areas of Broadmoor and Fellsmere. City Hall is the center of all historical development in the area.
This two-story brick building is located on the west side of Orange Street, between Fellsmere Road and California Avenue. The Fellsmere School was building in 1915 and was designed by architect F.H. Trimble. The school closed in 1964 and all students were transferred to Vero Beach High School. Since then the building has been used as a city hall and police station.
Site of Demonstration Farm
Located on the east end of 101st Street just east of Willow Street at 10129 130th Avenue, you will find the nearly ten acre site of Demonstration Farm. Everything from staple crops, sugar cane, strawberries, vegetables, grapefruit, king oranges, tangerines, persimmons and figs have been grown at this location.
Located at the corner of Broadway Street and New York Avenue at 107 N. Broadway Street is the Fellsmere Inn. This hotel was built around 1915. Historical records show the building has been moved three times on the same lot. Early in Fellsmere history, local doctors had set up their practices behind the Fellsmere Inn.
This 20 by 40 foot bank building is located on the northwest corner of Colorado Avenue and Broadway Street. It was built in June of 1913 and cost only $6,000 to build. The building was designed and made with white lime pressed brick with a marble floor, accented with red tiles.
Marion Fell Library
Located on the east side of Cypress Street between New York and Colorado Avenues at 63 N. Cypress Street is the Marion Fell Library. This is the first Woman’s Club building and was dedicated on May 1, 1915. The building was also home to a library, community church and the Dixie Playhouse.
Fellsmere Brookside Cemetery
The Fellsmere Brookside Cemetery, also referred to as the Old Sebastian Cemetery, is located on the west side of Watervliet Street just north of Fellsmere Road. It is home to the graves of the Count and Countess of Nuremberg, Germany who lived on Maple Street in Fellsmere. You will find the gravestones of black residents separate from the others just over a small bridge on the western edge of the cemetery.
Many of these locations are within walking distance of each other and make for a fun afternoon walk. However, if walking is not your thing, each location has a spot to park your car to explore the historical sites. Just remember many of these historical sites remain private property and can only be viewed from the outside.