Melbourne, Florida facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Melbourne /ˈmɛlbərn/ is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 76,068. The municipality is the second-largest in the county by both size and population. Melbourne is a principal city of the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1969 the city was expanded by merging with nearby Eau Gallie.

History

Early human occupation

Evidence for the presence of Paleo-Indians in the Melbourne area during the late Pleistocene epoch was uncovered during the 1920s. C. P. Singleton, a Harvard University zoologist, discovered the bones of a mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) on his property along Crane Creek, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Melbourne, and brought in Amherst College paleontologist Frederick B. Loomis to excavate the skeleton. Loomis found a second elephant, with a "large rough flint instrument" among fragments of the elephant's ribs. Loomis found in the same stratum mammoth, mastodon, horse, ground sloth, tapir, peccary, camel, and saber-tooth cat bones, all extinct in Florida since the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago. At a nearby site a human rib and charcoal were found in association with Mylodon, Megalonyx, and Chlamytherium (ground sloth) teeth. A finely worked spear point found with these items may have been displaced from a later stratum. In 1925 attention shifted to the Melbourne golf course. A crushed human skull with finger, arm, and leg bones was found in association with a horse tooth. A piece of ivory that appeared to have been modified by humans was found at the bottom of the stratum containing bones. Other finds included a spear point near a mastodon bone and a turtle-back scraper and blade found with bear, camel, mastodon, horse, and tapir bones. Similar human remains, Pleistocene animals and Paleo-Indian artifacts were found in Vero Beach, 30 miles (48 km) south of Melbourne, and similar Paleo-Indian artifacts were found at Lake Helen Blazes, 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Melbourne.

Settlement

Hotel Carleton, Melbourne, FL
The Hotel Carleton c. 1907

After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived, and Melbourne was founded in 1867 by former slaves.

The first settlers arrived after 1877. They included Richard W. Goode, his father John Goode, Cornthwaite John Hector, Captain Peter Wright, Balaam Allen, Wright Brothers, and Thomas Mason.

The city, formerly called "Crane Creek", was named Melbourne in honor of its first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, an Englishman who had spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia. He is buried in the Melbourne Cemetery, along with many early residents in the area. The first school in Melbourne was built in 1883 and is on permanent exhibit on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology. By 1885, the town had 70 people. The Greater Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1885 and is still active.

In the late 1890s, the Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home opened and it is still in business. The oldest black-owned business in the county is Tucker's Cut-Rate plumbing. It opened in 1934.

In the early 1900s, houses were often built in the frame vernacular style.

In 1919, a fire destroyed most of the original downtown along Front Street. At the time, it was rebuilt west of US Hwy 1.

During the Jim Crow years, black people were required to enter movie theaters via a different entrance from whites and sit in the balcony. Gas stations had signs for rest rooms labeled "Men", "Women", and "Colored." This persisted until integration in the late 1960s.

In late 1942 the Naval Air Station Melbourne was established as a site to train newly commissioned Navy and Marine pilots for World War II. The program ran until 1946, and the land that was used for that program makes up most of what is currently the Melbourne International Airport.

In 1969, the cities of Eau Gallie and Melbourne voted to merge, forming modern-day Melbourne.

Postwar

In the 1950s, Babcock Street was extended north to intersect with US 1. The Melbourne Shopping Center was constructed on Babcock, the area's first strip mall. Consumers were sufficiently attracted to this new mall, that the traditional downtown, off New Haven, suffered. Urban blight there was successfully attacked there in the 1980s.

A board was created by the legislature to spend a 10% tax on electric bills. This was used by the Melbourne Civic Improvement Board to build the Melbourne Auditorium, the first library and fire station, and various parks. The board was dissolved when Melbourne was merged with Eau Gallie in 1969.

Streetlights were gradually added until, by the early 1960s, streets east of Babcock Street had lights. Lights were added to streets west of Babcock after the early 1960s.

In 1989, the city elected its first black councilman.

A 2009 Halloween street party sponsored by a downtown restaurant attracted an estimated 8,000–10,000 people. This overwhelmed the downtown area. Street parties were curtailed until public safety issues were addressed.

On 18 February 2017, president Donald J Trump held his first post-inauguration rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International drawing a crowd of 9,000.

Geography

Melbourne is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Orlando on the Space Coast, along Interstate 95. It is approximately midway between Jacksonville and Miami. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.6 square miles (102.5 km2), of which 33.9 square miles (87.7 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (14.8 km2) (14.42%) is water.

The east-west street named Brevard Drive was historically the "center" of town; with addresses called "north" and "south" of this street. The north-south Babcock Street provided the same centerline for "east" and "west" directions.

Melbourne Beachside has a small presence on the South Beaches barrier island. It is often confused with Melbourne Beach, a separate political entity.

Climate

Crane Creek (Melbourne, Florida) 1
Crane Creek

Melbourne, Florida has a humid subtropical climate or Köppen climate classification Cfa – typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states. Although Melbourne is classified as a Humid Subtropical climate (8 or more months with a mean temperature of 50 °F (10 °C) or higher), Melbourne is located far enough southward that it lies close to the broad transition zone from subtropical to tropical climates (all months have a mean temperature of 64.4 °F (18.0 °C) or higher). Melbourne averages 2,900 hours of sunshine annually. Melbourne has the typical two season climate commonly found in humid subtropical climates – a hot and wet season (late May through October) and the warm and dry season (November through April).

Melbourne averages 49 inches (1,200 mm) of rainfall annually, much of it coming in convective thunderstorms in the late May to early October time period. The record rainfall occurred on August 20, 2008, when Tropical Storm Fay dropped 18.21 inches (463 mm). Melbourne can sometimes have moderate to severe drought conditions from late fall through spring, with brush fires occurring and water restrictions put in place. The National Weather Service located at Melbourne International Airport averages 2.9 days per year with frost, although several years might pass without a frost in the city of Melbourne or at the ocean beaches. According to the National Weather Service, there is no record of snow or snow flurries in the city of Melbourne in that last 150 years.

Climate data for Melbourne, Florida (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(31.7)
92
(33.3)
93
(33.9)
97
(36.1)
99
(37.2)
101
(38.3)
102
(38.9)
101
(38.3)
98
(36.7)
96
(35.6)
91
(32.8)
93
(33.9)
102
(38.9)
Average high °F (°C) 71.4
(21.89)
73.6
(23.11)
76.8
(24.89)
80.4
(26.89)
85.1
(29.5)
88.6
(31.44)
90.0
(32.22)
89.7
(32.06)
87.7
(30.94)
83.5
(28.61)
78.1
(25.61)
73.2
(22.89)
81.5
(27.5)
Average low °F (°C) 50.5
(10.28)
53.3
(11.83)
56.9
(13.83)
61.0
(16.11)
67.7
(19.83)
72.1
(22.28)
73.1
(22.83)
73.6
(23.11)
73.2
(22.89)
68.3
(20.17)
60.4
(15.78)
53.8
(12.11)
63.7
(17.61)
Record low °F (°C) 17
(-8.3)
27
(-2.8)
30
(-1.1)
35
(1.7)
47
(8.3)
55
(12.8)
60
(15.6)
60
(15.6)
57
(13.9)
41
(5)
30
(-1.1)
21
(-6.1)
17
(-8.3)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.22
(56.4)
2.38
(60.5)
3.21
(81.5)
2.06
(52.3)
3.16
(80.3)
6.43
(163.3)
5.73
(145.5)
7.18
(182.4)
7.05
(179.1)
4.89
(124.2)
2.93
(74.4)
2.36
(59.9)
49.59
(1,259.6)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.4 7.5 7.8 5.9 7.4 12.7 12.2 14.2 13.6 10.8 8.4 8.0 115.9
Source: NOAA

Flora

Tropical flora typical of more southerly locations may be grown in the Melbourne area (coconut palms, royal palms, Christmas palms, and bananas), but may be damaged or killed when subjected to infrequent light freezes.

Environment

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the city to reduce pollution of the Indian River Lagoon, which it borders; about 80% of the city's landmass drains in the direction of the lagoon. The city must reduce run-off by 44,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of nitrogen and 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) of phosphorus. The city responded by banning the use of fertilizer before flood and storm warnings.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 99
1900 131 32.3%
1910 157 19.8%
1920 533 239.5%
1930 2,677 402.3%
1940 2,622 −2.1%
1950 4,223 61.1%
1960 11,982 183.7%
1970 40,236 235.8%
1980 46,536 15.7%
1990 59,646 28.2%
2000 71,382 19.7%
2010 76,068 6.6%
Est. 2015 80,127 5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
Melbourne Demographics
2010 Census Melbourne Brevard County Florida
Total population 76,068 543,376 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +6.6% +14.1% +17.6%
Population density 2,246.4/sq mi 535.0/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 80.9% 77.6% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 75.1% 53.7% 57.9%
Black or African-American 10.3% 10.1% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 8.9% 8.1% 22.5%
Asian 3.1% 2.1% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.3% 0.4% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 3.1% 2.6% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.2% 1.7% 3.6%

As of 2010, there were 38,955 households out of which 12.6% were vacant. As of 2000, 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.82.

In 2000, the city the population was spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The per capita income for the city was $19,175. In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $34,571, and the median income for a family was $42,760. Males had a median income of $32,242 versus $22,419 for females. In Melbourne, about 8.6% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Languages

Melbourne,florida
A visitor welcome sign for Melbourne.

As of 2000, 90.39% of residents spoke English as their first language, while 4.69% spoke Spanish, 0.84% spoke French, 0.73% spoke German, and 0.55% spoke Arabic as their mother tongue. In total, 9.60% of the total population spoke languages other than English.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

In February or March:

  • The Annual IndiaFest is held in February or March.
  • Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street hosts its annual Founders' Day on the first Saturday in February from Noon-5pm.

In April:

  • The Melbourne Arts Festival, held in April, draws from 50,000–60,000 visitors

In August:

  • The Annual India Day is held in August.

In September:

  • The Melbourne Area Pilots Association hosts a General Aviation Day at Melbourne International Airport in September

In October:

  • The Melbourne Main Street Fall Festival was expected to have an attendance of 30,000 in October, over two days.
  • The Melbourne Oktoberfest has been held each October since 1977; most recently, this was held at the Wickham Park Pavilion

In December:

  • Christian churches have been producing a "Bible on Parade" since 1990, each participating church portrays a book of the Bible, a spokesperson said in 2011, that it may be the only one of its kind in America

Museums and points of interest

Historic sites

JamesWadsworthRossetterHouse
Rossetter House
Williamhgleasonhouse
Gleason House
Roesch House Front 1
Roesch House

There are three places on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Florida Power and Light Company Ice Plant (1927) located at 1604 South Harbor City Boulevard
  • William H. Gleason House at 1736 Pineapple Avenue
  • James Wadsworth Rossetter House (c. 1860s) at 1320 Highland Avenue
  • Hell 'n Blazes Brewing Company (1893–1898) at 1002 E New Haven Ave in what was originally Fee & Stewart Hardware

The following places also are historic:

  • Henegar Center (1919) located at 625 East New Haven Avenue
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (1886) at 50 West Strawbridge Avenue
  • Melbourne Bone Bed at Crane Creek
  • Nannie Lee House – Strawberry Mansion (1905) at 1218 East New Haven Avenue
  • Roesch House (c. 1901) at 1320 Highland Avenue
  • Winchester Symphony House (1890s) at 1500 Highland Avenue
Walking historic tours

EAU GALLIE Arts District has an established historical walking tour that includes over 20 historical buildings or locations in the arts district.

Museums

  • Foosaner Art Museum at 1463 Highland Avenue
  • Historic Rossetter House Museum at 1320 Highland Avenue
  • Liberty Bell Memorial Museum at 1601 Hickory Street

Performing arts

  • Melbourne Civic Theater

Groups

  • Brevard Symphony Orchestra
  • City of Melbourne Pipes and Drums
  • Strawbridge Art League and Gallery

Buildings

  • Henegar Center for the Arts
  • Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
  • Melbourne Auditorium located on Hibiscus Boulevard

Parks, recreation, and attractions

The city of Melbourne contains over 554.72 acres (2.2 km2) of city park land, including 17 community parks, 13 neighborhood parks, and five smaller city parks.

One of the many forms of recreation is local fishing in places such as Lake Washington.

Namesakes

Melbourne Square, in the city of Melbourne, is located on US 192 west of downtown, is the largest shopping area in Brevard County. In the 1960s, the motto of Melbourne was, "Crossroads to the Universe".

EAU GALLIE SQUARE in the Eau Gallie Arts District is a public green space with live oaks and band shell that serves as the center of many community events.

Images for kids


Melbourne, Florida Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.