Fellsmere Historical Trailtop rated web hosting - web hosting compare prices


1....Print this file.

2....At its end, click on "rules" to see a copy of the trail rules, print it, and then click where indicated at the end of the 3-page rules and patch order form to get back to the list of Florida trails.

3....If you want a hand-drawn map showing the locations of all of the sites, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Steve Rajtar, 1614 Bimini Dr., Orlando, FL 32806.

4....Hike the trail and order whatever patches you like (optional).

Fellsmere Historical Trail

Copyright 1999 by Steve Rajtar

(From Interstate 95, drive west on Fellsmere Rd. (CR 512) and north on Orange St. to park in the unpaved municipal lot at the southeast corner of Orange St. and Colorado Ave.)(0.0 miles so far)

Southeast corner of Orange St. and Colorado Ave.

1....Site of Early Development

This area was about to be developed when, in 1896, the Sebastian and Cincinnatus Farms Railroad was constructed from the coast to a point ten miles west, near the headwaters of the St. Johns River. Thousands of acres were drained by the Cincinnatus Farms Co. to turn swampland into farmland. Farms of five and ten acres were sold to midwesterners, who could reach their land only by the railroad. The project ended when torrential rains in 1907-08 covered the land with three feet of water.

(Walk south on Orange St. to the intersection with Fellsmere Rd., cross to the southwest corner and walk west 175 feet.)(0.2)

Southeast corner of Fellsmere Rd. and Cypress St. (22 W. Fellsmere Rd.)

2....City Hall

In 1910, E. Nelson Fell bought 118,000 acres in what was then St. Lucie County, and began the development of Broadmoor and Fellsmere. He also planned Grassland, but that never got farther than the planning stages. Broadmoor was located about five miles west of Fellsmere and had nine business blocks and 57 residential blocks. Its post office opened in April of 1915.

Heavy rains hit the area around Broadmoor and Lake Wilmington. Sixteen inches fell over a two-day period, eliminating Broadmoor. The post office building was never found.

Fellsmere had about 12 houses in 1912. By the beginning of 1913, it had grown to a population of 503, with 61 buildings. The Fellsmere Railroad's two daily trains connected in Sebastian with the Florida East Coast Railway. It took 45 minutes to make the ten mile run, with a stop at River Bridge. Fellsmere's first newspaper was the Fellsmere Farmer, which began publication in 1912.

(Walk east on Fellsmere Rd. and south 225 feet on Orange St.)(0.2)

West side of Orange St., between Fellsmere Rd. and California Ave.

3....Fellsmere School

The two-story brick Fellsmere School was built in 1915-16, replacing the classes held in the second floor of a store building. Architect F.H. Trimble designed this structure. After the school closed in 1964 and the students were transferred to Vero Beach, the building was used as the city hall and police station.

(Walk north on Orange St. and east on Fellsmere Rd. to the intersection with Hickory St.)(0.5)

Northwest corner of Fellsmere Rd. and Hickory St. (12 N. Hickory St.)

4....Fellsmere Community Bible Church

The Fellsmere Union Church movement began in July of 1911. This was built in 1913 as the Union church, and later was known as the Community Church.

(Walk north on Hickory St., east on Oregon Ave., north on Elm St., east on New York Ave., north on Willow St., and east 400 feet on Lincoln Ave.)(1.4)

South side of Lincoln Ave., between Willow St. and Grant Ave. (1023 Lincoln Ave.)

5....Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church

This congregation was organized in 1911 by Rev. Calloway. The present sanctuary was dedicated on November 25, 1973.

(Continue east on Lincoln Ave. 400 feet past Grant Ave.)(1.6)

North side of Lincoln Ave., east of Grant Ave. (1056 Lincoln Ave.)

6....Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

This church organized in 1925. The present building was dedicated on August 10, 1986, while Rev. Henry R. Jackson, Sr. was the pastor.

(Walk west on Lincoln Ave., north on Grant Ave., west on State St., north on Grant Ave., west on Booker St., and north on Willow St. to the intersection with 101st St., and look to the east.)(2.2)

East end of 101st St., east of Willow St. (10120 130th Ave.)

7....Site of Demonstration Farm

Nearly ten acres was set aside here in muckland for a demonstration farm. Four foot deep ditches 100 feet apart were dug, and the muck ranged from two to eight feet deep. One section was used for farm and staple crops, including sugar cane. Another was reserved for strawberries and vegetables. The third section was for grapfruit, king oranges, tangerines, persimmons and figs.

(Walk south on Willow St., west on Wyoming Ave., south on Pine St., and west on New York Ave. to the intersection with Broadway St.)(3.2)

Northeast corner of Broadway St. and New York Ave. (107 N. Broadway St.)

8....Fellsmere Inn

This hotel was built in about 1915, and was moved three times on the lot. It was enlarged almost to the point of being considered rebuilt.

In the early days of Fellsmere, the local doctors had their offices in a building behind the inn.

(Walk south on Broadway St. to the intersection with Oregon Ave.)(3.4)

Northeast corner of Broadway St. and Oregon Ave. (31 N. Broadway St.)

9....Fellsmere Historical Church

Early members of the Methodist Episcopal Church held their early services in a tent and occupied the pulpit in the Union Church on the first Sunday of each month. They reorganized in 1922 and then built this sanctuary out of lumber from a recently demolished apartment house. It was completed and dedicated in April of 1924. The bell came from the Community Methodist Church of Daytona Beach.

The building was rededicated as the Fellsmere Historical Church on November 12, 1994.

(Cross to the west side of Broadway St.)(3.4)

West side of Broadway St., across from Oregon Ave.

10....Fellsmere Estates Corporation Office

This stucco building has a Mission style parapet over an arcade inset. It was built in the 1920s.

(Walk north on Broadway St. to the intersection with Colorado Ave.)(3.5)

Northwest corner of Colorado Ave. and Broadway St.

11....Bank Building

A 20 x 40 foot bank building was erected here by June of 1913. It cost $6,000 and was made of white lime pressed brick with red tile and a marble floor.

(Walk west on Colorado Ave., north on Orange St., west on New York Ave., and south 250 feet on Cypress St.)(3.8)

East side of Cypress St., between New York and Colorado Aves. (63 N. Cypress St.)

12....Marion Fell Library

The Woman's Club organized as the Fellsmere Library Association to maintain the library presented by Marion Fell. The first Woman's Club building, dedicated on May 1, 1915, also housed a library, community church and the Dixie Playhouse.

(Walk south on Cypress St., east on Colorado Ave., and south on Orange St. to the point of beginning.)(4.1)

(Drive south on Orange St., east on Fellsmere Rd. past I-95, and north 350 feet on Watervliet St. (a northern extension of CR 510). Park by the cemetery gate and walk northwest 200 feet through the cemetery.)(4.1)

West side of Watervliet St., north of Fellsmere Rd.

13....Fellsmere Brookside Cemetery

In this cemetery are the graves of the Count and Countess of Nuremberg, Germany. They lived on Maple St., but no one knows why they moved to Fellsmere or what their source of income was.

This cemetery is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Old Sebastian Cemetery. Gravestones of black residents are near the back, over a small bridge at the western edge.

(Walk southeast to the parking area and the end of the trail.)(4.2)


Black Florida, by Kevin M. McCarthy (Hippocrene Books 1995)

Crossroad Towns Remembered: A Look Back at Brevard & Indian River Pioneer Communities, by Weona Cleveland (Florida Today 1994)

Florida's Hibiscus City/Vero Beach, by J. Noble Richards (Brevard Graphics, Incorporated 1968)

Florida's Historic Indian River County, by Charlotte Lockwood (MediaTronics, Inc. 1975)

Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, (University of Florida Press 1989)

Stories of Early Life Along Beautiful Indian River, by Anna Pearl Leonard Newman (Stuart Daily News, Inc. 1953)

Click here for a copy of the trail rules 1