History at a Glance


EstablishmentTown of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925, by Gus Edward, a local attorney, originally from Georgia.
First Settlers
The first settlers were Indians, who were then captured by the Spaniards, they were then followed by freed slaves following the Civil War. In 1888, a group of Cocoa men bought the entire track of land. It was only when a prominent attorney arrived that the area started to develop
City Founder
Gus Edwards
First BridgeIn 1920, bridge construction to Cocoa Beach started, and it was completed in 1922
Lots cost - 1922
$100 each
AccessBy the masses, on July 4th, 1922, when road access was given to the new casino
Bus ToursGus Edwards bought a bus in 1924 and offered tours to the beach
Racing on the beachRacing on the beach was welcomed in 1924, with cars driving up to 180 miles per hour on the beach - then known as the world's greatest speedway
ElectricityCame in 1925
RoadsS.R. A1A - funding was approved in 1932, then known as Route 104
Population 193949 residents
Naval Air StationOctober 1939 - New Banana Naval Air Station was commissioned
Water1947 - water lines were installed
Police1947 - one part-time police officer protected the town
Naval Air StationBanana River Base - 1948 re-named as Patrick Air Force
MissilesTo the North of the City - May 11, 1949, President Harry Truman created a Long-Range Proving Ground for missiles at Cape Canaveral
Population 1949246 residents
TelephoneCame in 1951
Lots Cost$750 - $900
Sewage1954 - Overflowing septic tanks became a problem - a sewage treatment plant is to be constructed
First Town Manager1955 Rodney Ketcham, also acted as Town Clerk
IncorporationTown incorporated into City in 1957
First Motel100 Rooms - Starlite Motel 1956
Hospital1957 - Committee recommended construction
First Bank and Store1957
First SchoolCocoa Beach Elementary School 1958
Beach DrivingPart of beach closed to driving - drunk driver struck and killed a 4-year old girl while driving 70 miles per hour
First Rocket Flight with HumanMay 5, 1961 - Alan Shepard - Freedom 7
First Comprehensive Plan1961
Cocoa Beach Pier1962 - constructed for $150,000
First Orbit1962, 75,000 people came to Cocoa Beach to see Friendship 7 with Astronaut John Glen - Orbit of the Earth
Cape CanaveralCity incorporated in 1962
Bridge ExpansionS.R. 520 bridge expanded to 4 lanes in 1962
Surfside PlayhouseConstructed in 1963
SchoolsDredge and Fill area and Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School was constructed in 1963
Recreation ComplexDredge and Fill area and Complex built in 1966, Golf Course opened in 1968
TV Show"I Dream of Jeanie" Show aired in Hollywood, story based on Cocoa Beach 1965
Municipal PoolDedicated in 1966
SchoolsRoosevelt Middle School opened in 1967
Population12,000 people in 1968
First Armed Robbery1968 Gunmen robbed United National Bank - criminals were apprehended
Beach DrivingBanned in 1969
SpaceApollo 11, July 16, 1969, 1st lunar landing
Founder1969 First Mayor Gus Edwards dies
RecessionMay 29, 1970 - Thousands laid off at Kennedy Space Center - lasted through 1971
Population1970 - decrease in population to 9,442
RoadsS.R. 528 - new - road cleared permit issued
DensityClashes between residents and Commission on density issues
Unemployment Rate14.3% in 1975
Population12,000 in 1975
Speed LimitLowered to 35 mph on A1A from 45 mph, Mayor's wife had died in car accident
Time Capsule1975 - Buried at Fischer Park to be re-opened on July 4, 2076
Indian MoundsFound in 1976 - at South Orlando Avenue between Fourteenth Street and Fifteenth Street
Hurricane1977 - Space Coast most destructive weather - extensive erosion and damage to nearly all of the City's beachfront structures
SpaceSpace Shuttle Columbia maiden voyage
Fire StationNew Fire Station South Orlando Avenue completed in 1984
Population12,800 in 2003
Hurricanes2004 - 4 in one Season - Four hurricanes have made landfall in August and September. All of them hit Florida. Three passed through Brevard County.
Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Charley, Major damage by Hurricane Frances - Cocoa Beach incurred an estimated damage of $40 Million, Major damage by Hurricane Jeanne
Fire Station
2016 New Fire Station constructed. 
City Hall Damage
2017 Hurricane Irma peeled off City Hall roof, major damage, eventually repaired.