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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
This congregation was organized in 1911 by Rev. Calloway. The present sanctuary was dedicated on November 25, 1973.
This church organized in 1925. The present building was dedicated on August 10, 1986, while Rev. Henry R. Jackson, Sr. was the pastor.
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.
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.
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.
This stucco building has a Mission style parapet over an arcade inset. It was built in the 1920s.
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.
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.
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.
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