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Brevard County History

The earliest inhabitants of present-day Brevard County were, of course, our Native American inhabitants.  They resided in the area that is Brevard County as far back as 12,000 years ago.  These early people were nomadic.  However, their descendants would become less nomadic, choosing to stay in the area and live off of the land.  They would become the Ais and the Timucuans .

Early Spanish explorers would sail the coast of Florida, and gave Cape Canaveral its name.  There are well-documented accounts of European shipwreck victims, such as Jonathan Dickinson , who walked and lived among the Native American Tribes in the area.

Despite a few meager attempts at settlement, the Brevard County area remained largely Native American, as all of the settlement attempts failed.  However, beginning in about 1835, settlement would occur.  So would a war with the Seminole Tribe .

Brevard County was created by an act of the Florida Legislature in 1854, and signed into law by the governor in early 1855.  At the time of its formation, Brevard County encompassed all of St. Lucie County and stretched all the way to the Dade County border.  It took on its present day shape and size in 1905.

It is widely believed that the county was named for Thomas W. Brevard, the Florida Comptroller at the time of the creation of Brevard County.

Cape Canaveral was chosen as the site for the headquarters for the space program in 1949.  At the time, what is now known as the Kennedy Space Center was called the Joint Long Range Proving Grounds.  Shortly thereafter, the United States Air Force would take possession of Banana River Naval Air Station and rename it Patrick Air Force Base in honor of Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick, the first chief of the Army Air Corps.  After the death of President John F. Kennedy, a huge proponent of the space program, the center would be renamed Kennedy Space Center .

Port Canaveral is the world's first quadruple modal port - sea, land, air and space.