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Brevard County History

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History

The Paleo-Indians were the first settlers in Brevard County some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. They relied on fishing and hunting for sustenance and evidence of their activities can still be found today. In 1523 Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed near Cape Canaveral and claimed the coast for this king.  He named the site Cabo de Canaveral, which translates to Cape of Canes, reportedly the oldest name of a place in America.  On Merritt Island other early visitors reported seeing flamingos, wild turkeys, parrots, panthers, deer, bears and other wildlife. Settlements were well established by the early 1700s and by 1905 Brevard County arrived at the basic configuration it has today.

Sports

If you enjoy outdoor life Brevard County has 107 parks, recreation centers, sports facilities and boating facilities for your enjoyment. There are numerous opportunities for sports and outdoor recreation that can be enjoyed year-round.  Brevard is a convenient location for the recreational boater with over 30 boat ramps and two dozen marinas. Fishing is very popular -- especially the saltwater variety.  Sport fishermen catch mackerel, sailfish, marlin, wahoo and tuna from Brevard County waters. If you don’t own your own boat, charters are available.  The Cocoa Beach Pier, which stretches out 840 feet above the ocean, is a good place to cast your line if you don’t have a boat—or even if you do. And, of course, wind surfing, surfing, swimming, diving and boating along the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean beaches keep water-friendly folks in a state of barely controlled bliss. Other active sports fans enjoy Brevard’s facilities. Hiking and biking entertain some. If tennis is your game, the Space Coast Professional Tennis Council lists over thirteen tennis clubs and many of the parks and recreational facilities offer tennis courts. There are numerous leagues and programs for tennis enthusiasts of all levels. If ice-skating is your sport Brevard County has an Olympic size ice complex offering public skating, hockey lessons and leagues. Golfers can enjoy any of twenty-four courses throughout Brevard County.  Our year round climate makes golfing a year round sport.  You’ll be surprised at how affordable golfing can be in Brevard. Baseball is big in the late winter and early spring when Big League ball players train and compete here.  The Florida Marlins (from the Miami area) train right here in Brevard County; the Los Angeles Dodgers do their spring stint in Vero Beach (in Indian River County just south of Brevard County.) For professional football, residents can travel up the coast to see the Jacksonville Jaguars play. If you haven’t seen indoor football played you don’t want to miss our Orlando Predators. For professional basketball, it’s the Orlando Magic, who play less than an hour’s drive from home. Brevard is famous for its beautiful beaches. The coastline in Brevard is the longest in Florida…72 miles. Two great rivers, the Indian River and the Banana River, run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, separating the mainland from the barrier islands and the beach.  Many of the parks feature swimming pools for the competitive or recreational swimmer.  Oceanfront parks along Brevard’s beaches offer shower and restroom facilities, covered pavilions, playgrounds as well as lifeguards on a seasonal basis. Some parks have hiking trails and nature walks as well. To complement all the activities, Brevard hosts excellent medical care and specialized services. The hospitals integrate with residents and the business community with clinics, mobile service vans, and programs geared to implementing good health habits and improving productivity.  Our local hospitals sponsor  Healthplex Centers featuring state of the art exercise equipment, swimming, walking tracks, gymnastic equipment, etc. with memberships available for full-time as well as part-time residents.

Shopping

You can shop till you drop. The Merritt Square Mall hosts 100-plus stores and four anchor department stores. Miracle City Mall in Titusville offers anchors  J. C. Penny plus several other stores. Also in the Titusville area the Searstown Mall is a retail store combined with a cinema complex.  The Melbourne Square Mall sports five anchor department stores and numerous specialty shops. The charming downtown sections of Melbourne, Cocoa and Titusville offer one-of-a-kind-shops. Historic Cocoa Village is not only the site of restaurants and specialty stores but also host four arts and crafts activities throughout the year.

Employers

School Board  of Brevard County 9,064
Harris Corporation 6,500
United Space  Alliance (USA) 6,500
Health First 6,100
Health First 4,000
Brevard County Board of  Commissioners 3,137
Space  Gateway Support 3,000
Wuesthoff Health System 2,500
NASA at KSC 2,018
Northrop Grumman Surveillance  & Battle Mgmt. 2,000
The Boeing  Company 1,800
Sea Ray Boats, Inc. 1,293
MC Assembly 1,200
Rockwell Collins, Inc. 1,120
Parrish  Medical Center 1,100
Lockheed Martin Astronautics  Launch Operations 975
Brevard  Community College 964
Florida Institute of  Technology (Florida Tech) 950
MIMA 885
Computer Sciences Raytheon  (CSR) 725

Arts

The Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra is a talented group of 100+ Brevard County students from the fourth grade to Junior College level.  Now in its 16th year, it benefits greatly from the high level of music instruction in Brevard County Schools.  The fully professional Brevard Symphony Orchestra is the orchestra in residence at the King Center for the Performing Arts.  They offer classical and Pops Concerts throughout the year. The Space Coast Pops also presents a full season of concerts throughout the county.  In addition, we benefit from The Choral Society, Community & Municipals Bands, Chamber Music Society and Jazz Society. We really are playing your song in Brevard. The Maxwell King Center for the Performing Arts is a $12.5 million cultural facility with a 2,000-seat theater and 800-seat theatre.  The King Center hosts symphonies, opera, ballet, Broadway musicals, jazz, comedy, children’s events, and much more.In addition, there are numerous Community Theatres in Brevard – many performing in historic facilities, as well as, many children’s theatre groups.

All of Brevard’s communities host Art galleries and historical displays.Art and cultural festivals are scheduled year round. Additionally, dozens of historical homes and sites have permanent and rotating exhibits. Art leagues and Writer’s Guilds are very active in Brevard.

Business

Brevard County has a history of pro-business government, planned and controlled growth and a dedication to the preservation of the environment.  We have created a pleasant, productive workplace.  New businesses are welcome and supported by offering inexpensive resources, tax incentives, a healthy economic environment, and a comfortable lifestyle.  In Florida, people keep more of what they earn as a result of Florida’s long-standing fiscal conservatism and tax strategies which help firms to recruit executive, professional, and scientific personnel.  There is no state income tax and Florida has a low corporate income tax rate of 5.5% with no inventory tax, no unitary tax, and many sales tax exemptions.  Compared to other metropolitan areas, Brevard County has a competitive tax structure.  Businesses enjoy relatively low property and sales taxes, with no local personal or corporate income tax.

Tourism

Brevard County is a popular vacation destination and a great place to call home!  With year round average temperatures of 74 degrees, the Atlantic Ocean and nearby rivers provide abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation.  With our beautiful beaches, Kennedy Space Center and cruises from Port Canaveral, we attract millions of people each year to visit our area.  Visitors and Residents alike enjoy the spectacular view of regular space launches.  With our abundant waterways you can enjoy watching porpoises playing in the surf, manatees slowly swimming by and a wide variety of birds enjoying our beautiful weather.  Brevard County is a wonderful place for nature enthusiasts, a fun place to vacation, a growing clean industrial location, and a cultural haven.

Colleges

Brevard Community College (BCC) serves all sections of the county with campuses in Cocoa, Melbourne, Titusville and Palm Bay.  The full two-year curriculum is also offered for home-based learners via WWBC TV 68.  BCC maintains a strong reputation for its academic programs.  It’s an important part of the 28-member system of state-supported, two-year community colleges.  The closest of the state’s 10 major four-year schools is the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, which maintains a branch in Brevard County.  Highly respected academically, Florida Institute of Technology (a.k.a. FIT), a four-year private university is located on 175 landscaped acres in Melbourne.   There are several ways to obtain a 4-year college degree without ever leaving Brevard County.

Religion

Brevard County is a very diverse county, which is reflected in the wide variety of churches and denominations that have found a home here.  With hundreds of congregations, some nondenominational, there is a place for you in our community.  Many of the churches offer day care affiliated elementary, middle and high schools.  Rest assured that you will find a church or synagogue and new friends compatible to worship with.


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