The Federal Writers Project P.5.0. j
The American Guide l*
West Palm Beach, Florida /?
By Consultant Indian 3Rver County LU
K.s & _* February 25, 1936
1000 words Walter Sansbury
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
Indian River county was organized from a part of St. Luoie
in 1925. The 1930 census gave it an area of 407 square miles with
a population of 6724. uhe county is comparatively flat with a few
small rises in the vicinity of uslo and Winter Beach. In the
western part of the county is Lake Wilmington. The Sebastian
River passes through the north eastern section, but goes into
Brevard county before emptying into the Indian River. The latter
river cuts through the eastern Aide of the county isolating a
narrow strip of land between it and the Atlantic ocean. The river
is bridged at Wabasso, Quay (Winter each) and Vero Beachm thus
giving access to the ocean, The county is mainly flat woods with
muck soil around Lake Wilmington and sandy soil through the
coastal section. The mean temperature from November to February
is 48 degrees and from February to November about 80degrees.
Citied and Towns
Sebastian, located ain the north eastern part of the county,
was incorporated in 1925 and had, a population of 386 in 1930 .
fellemere, with a population of 356 in 1930, is located
west of Sebastian.
Wabasso, south of Sebastian, was incorporated in 1925 and
had 300 people in 1930.
Quay is a small community, unincorporated, south of Wabasso.
Gifford, further south, has an entirely negro population
and is ~ot incorporated. ,
F, E. c. Page 2
Walter Sanebury Indian River County
Vero Beach is the largest community in the county, it
grew in size of population from 793 in 1920 to 2268 in 1930.
it is located south of Gifford,
Oslo is a small unincorporated community south of vero
The region has not been exploited for mineral resources
if any. Numerous artesian wells are available giving sulfur
water, This water has the usual therapeutic value attributed
to sulfur water.
The flatwwods lands of the county are made available for
cultivation by the Indian River Drainage District. As in many
other f'lorida counties, the land in the interior would be
inundated by heavy rains but for the drainage system.
Citrus products are one of the most important crops in the
county. Sugar cane is grown and other products of the usual
farming type. A small amount of logging is engaged in. A County
fair is held annually at which the products are exhibited. 'his
fair usually takes place in Yebruary, weather permitting.
Plora and Yauna
Unusual plants of tropical varieties may be seen at the
MacKee Jungle Gardens. They are located five miles south of
Vero Beach on Federal Highway Do. 1 and the admission price is
iist ori cal
The boom of 1926 saw the arise of numerous subdivisions
thrro.hout the co'-nt;7. -'elsmre ';rrdens, north of ?ellsmere.;
P EC. Page 3
Walter Sansbur7 Indian River County
Broadmoor, west of V'ellsmere; Homewood, south of Iellsmere;
Grassland, in the center of the county; and Orchid, Enos,
and Stanwood all on the ocean are among the boom communities
that have practically faded from view. Vero Beach saw a large
increase in population due to the boom, and though a large
portion of the increase was lost, the bity did grow in size.
The boom program resulted in many better roads throughout the
There are a few legends of treasure along the coast. Some
of these were investigated by interested individuals but no
great finds ever resulted.
Thepopulation of the county is about 80 per cent white
and 20 per cent negro. Gifford, on federal highway vo. 1, is
The Ylorida East Uoast RAilway connects the eastern coast
towns and has a branch line to Iellsmere. The coastal towns are
also connected by the Florida Motor Lines busses. A municipal
Airport is located at Yero Beaoh. Local trarspuitation is by
Hotels and Markets
The principle hotels at Vero Beach are the Vero Del Mar
and The Royal Park, the latter of which is open only during the
season. A small hotel is found at Sebastian called the Sebastian
Inn and at Wabasso is the Wahasso Inn.
There are no cooperative markets. The Indian River Fruit
Growers Association, the iTee Gold .'ruit Packers 0o. and the
Blue fGoose Packing ao. are the principle cooperative selling
P.O E C. Payge 4
Walt er Sansbury Indian River County
organizations for citrus fruits.
Manufacturing and Industry
imports and Exports
There is a sugar mill south of Fellsmere. The grinding
period,when the sugar is made, is taring February and March.
Visitors are welcome. They should turn west at Sebastian over
State Highway No. 167 for about eleven miles to Fellsmere.
Here it is necessary to turn south for some seven miles to the
mills. The raod is passable, but not too good.
The principle exports are sugar, citrus and fish. imports
are of a general nature.
public tennis and shuffleboard courts are available in
Vero teach. A public park is located near the center of the c
city. Canoeing is possible on the Indian River and bathing
facilities are to be found across the bridges at Wabasso,
Quay or Vero Beach on the ocean. Salt water fishing is found
along the ocean also. Fresh water fishing may be had, free to
residents, but with an annual fee of five dollars for non-
residents. Hunting in season is possible. A game preserve
extends one mile north and south of State highway No, 50.
The hunting fee is ten dollars per year. Fishing contests are
conducted during the season. Tennis matches and shuffleboarA
tournaments are carried o0 at the public courts.
Commercial fishing is conducted along the Indian River. This
river is part of the Intercoastal Waterway connecting Jacksonville
with Miami via an inland route.
. : . .. .
* 'Indian River County
Indian River county is out by two.principle highways*
Federal highway :o. 1 passes through Sebastian, Wabasso, Quay,
Gifford, vero Beach and Oslo and is paved the whole distance.
The road is a little too far west after leaving Sebastian to
observe the Indian River. At Sebastian the traveller may t*rn
west over State Highway i.o. 167 to Fellsmere. About seven miles
south of rellsmere is the sugar mill, The road to v'ellsmere is
paved but south to the Sugar M il may be rather bad. A graded,
unpaved, road leads notth from F'ellsmere and then west to
-nsansville. rom there it is possible to go by paved road to
At Vero -each, the tourist may turn east across the Indian
river to Rio I.Mar and the Atlantic Ocean where ocean bathing is
available. Some five miles south of vero Beach on the federal
+i?.hway ic the clee Jungle gardens, admittance one dollar.
State highway io. 30 passes through the center of the
county, east and west, from vero .each to Yeehaw, a small
hamlet. The road is paved and continues on to Lake Wales and
the bok Singina Tower about eighty miles from vero Beach,
Ft Eo: cGo
Most of this material was received from Oaptai
anton, Box 912, vero beach, la. We sudbwitted a
to him and he
fro~n -nulletin ?"eW
in f rrr~~iaon was
26 by this
Swere'., i "
were ^^**' :
Vol. 1; Dept.
Jst z'elr. each,
_ioad Map; Rand McNally &
( !"i ft gprienth
Boo 29; 1926;
c J.. a