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Vero Beach – A Quick Timeline

1870 – Captain Allen W. Estes established the first homestead on the Indian River near Bethel Creek. He was known as the “old hermit of Bethel Creek.”
1891 – Henry T. Gifford applied to build a post office in the area. Folklore states that his wife Sarah gave the name of Vero, which in Latin means “in truth.”
1893 – Henry Flagler’s Florida’s East Coast Railroad began operation through Indian River County, allowing fishermen and small fruit and vegetable growers to ship their products to the north.
1903 – After Henry Flagler opened access to south Florida with his railway, the small community of Vero built their first railway station.
1911 – Herman Zeuch, born in Iowa in 1867, purchased 55,000 acres (220 km2) of land for growing citrus after twelve trips to Florida and three years of planning. After this purchase, Zeuch began draining the land for development.
1912 – Zeuch formed the Indian River Farms Co. and hired a civil engineer from Iowa, William H. Kimball, to continue draining the land. Zeuch and his assistant, Col. R. D. Carter laid out a town site and built the town of Vero over the next few years. Originally, the streets were given names from places in Iowa and Illinois such as Des Moines and Davenport. Within a year, they changed their minds and named the streets after Native Americans.
1915- Vero man and Vero woman discovered. Bones dated back to 14,000 years ago. Which previously predated any research in North America and was previously thought to be 1–2,000 years
1919 – Vero became chartered as an official town. Also during this year, Paul Nisle, a local pioneer started the first newspaper and called it the Vero Press.
1920 – The second bridge across the “Indian River Lagoon” was built at Vero. (First was in Cocoa, Brevard County.) This connected for the first time the barrier island with the main land. There already was established a hotel (1917) and the Riomar settlement of people from Ohio.
1925 – Until this time Vero was part of St. Lucie County. A local group of Vero Beach citizens desired to form a new county separate of St. Lucie County. In May, Indian River County was formed, and Vero Beach became the county seat. Vero’s name was officially changed to “Vero Beach” in 1925.
1926 – A large Electrical Power Plant was built on the south side of 19th Pl., between 12th Ct. and the railroad tracks.
1927 – The Vero Beach Journal purchased the Vero Press, becoming the Vero Beach Press Journal, produced by the Schumann family.
1942 – During WWII, the U.S. Navy purchased 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) surrounding the Vero Beach Municipal Airport as the site for a Naval Air Station. The base was formally commissioned November 1942.
1948 – Major league baseball came to Vero Beach when local businessman, Bud Holman, invited the Brooklyn Dodgers’ to take over an unused Naval air station following WWII. The Dodgers fancied the area, thus Dodgertown was born as their winter training grounds.
1957 – Piper Aircraft began research and development in Vero Beach which was built on part of the grounds of the former naval air station.
1961 – Piper moved its administrative and manufacturing operations here after completing building additions.
1967 – Piper expanded its facility to 11 acres (45,000 m2) and its work force to over 2,000 employees.
1965 – In February, the A1A bridge over the Sebastian Inlet was opened connecting the barrier islands.
1977 – A significant amount of snow fell in Vero Beach, actually blanketing the ground.
1996 – In November, the Indian River Mall opened.
2001 – Vero Beach made national headlines as FBI agents moved into the area following 9/11 when some of the terrorists involved in the attacks were reported to have been trained at FlightSafety, located at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport.
2009 – The Brackett Library opens at Indian River State College’s Mueller Campus.
2009 – On June 22, an all-time record high of 102 degrees was set for Vero Beach.
Recent years – There have been increasing cultural opportunities in Vero Beach. The Vero Beach Theatre Guild started in 1958. The Vero Beach Concert Association began presenting concerts in 1966. Riverside Theatre opened in 1974, and the Center for the Arts in 1986.

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