Learn More About Florida’s Space Coast – Cape Canaveral, FL
Adjacent to the north side of the Port is the John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA. Seven miles to the south of the City is Patrick Air Force Base. This strategic Florida location places the City in the center of America’s space facilities and immediately adjacent to Port Canaveral, the only deep water port between Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. This location also means that the community is an integral part of the retirement-resort-vacation-recreation complex of the north beaches area of Brevard County.
As early as the 1920s, a group of vacationing retired Orlando journalists were appraising the area that is now the city of Cape Canaveral. They invested more than $150,000 in the beach acreage that now encompasses the area of presidential named streets. The group of investors decided to call their development Journalista in honor of their trade. Journalista is now officially titled Avon-by-the-Sea. A seasonal retreat for inland residents was anticipated to become a resort area much as Cocoa Beach had developed to the south, because of the wooden bridge that connected Merritt Island to the beaches.
At the same time, fishermen, their families, a few retirees, and descendants of Captain Mills Burnham, the original official lighthouse keeper of the Cape Canaveral lighthouse, resided in the northern part of the present City. They owned acreage named Artesia, which occupied the general area that is now the Port. More details of the lighthouse history and the early families follow in the Cape Canaveral area history.
Dickson based his faith in the future of the beach in the belief that a port would be developed and that a direct route would be constructed between Orlando and the beaches. Brossier believed that central Florida beach visitors could thereby reach “. . . . . one R.B., declared that his original ambition as a young man was to build a city at Avon-by-the-Sea, but fate had intervened so that, as an older man of 67 years, his last ambition was to help create a beautiful city to be known as Cape Canaveral.
The son, realizing the wisdom of his father’s vision and following his own forethought for a community, set aside several areas to be used for the public good; i.e., land for the Canaveral City Park and the Cape Canaveral Volunteer Fire Department. Ultimately, the Brossier vision was fulfilled when public interest resulted in formation of a Volunteer Fire Department just prior to the incorporation of the City. It followed that a fire department building was constructed, using volunteer labor and donated building material, propelled by the same civic enthusiasm that was producing the plan to incorporate a new city of town.
By 1958 the beach area had grown in population as the Space Program flourished. At that time, the Cocoa Beach city limits were somewhat farther south and an adjacent city could annex an unincorporated area without a vote of the residents. Therefore, property owners were discussion the feasibility of forming a new city or a possible annexation by the City of Cocoa Beach, northward to the Port. Canaveral residents decided the time was right to pursue incorporation to create a city or town. And Canaveral was born.