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cocoa-Greg-Ellingson                                                                                                              Photo Credit: Greg Ellingson

Welcome to Cocoa!

Several stories circulate among old timers as to how the town got its name. One says that the mail used to come by river boat and was placed in an empty tin box labeled Baker’s Cocoa. The box was nailed to a piling in the river next to downtown.

Founded by early settlers, mostly fishermen, before the Civil War. The area was first called Indian River City.

The city was chartered in 1895. In the winter of 1894-1895, it experienced a second economic setback when the “Great Freeze” destroyed the citrus crop.

During the second decade of the 20th century, population growth and economic development accelerated. The state business directory of 1911-1912 set the population at 550.

The town was a typical little Florida fishing village. Then the U.S. government started buying up all the land across the Indian River on North Merritt Island. This was in the Sputnik Cold War era of the 1950’s.

Following the development of the space industry the population rose dramatically. It quadrupled from 3,098 in 1940 to 12,244 in 1960. The area also became integrated with the tourist industry for the first time.  Thousands visited the area to witness the launches from Cape Canaveral.

Total fun to visit!

You can spend days in the area because there is so much fun stuff to do.


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