Vero Beach Centennial
After much debate and quite a bit of rancor among citizens and politicians alike, Indian River County was born in 1925 through state legislation that carved both Indian River to the north and Martin to the south out of St. Lucie County, leaving three separate counties in the place of one. Local legend has it that the forced Sunday closing of the four-month-old Vero Theatre (later the Florida Theatre and now Theatre Plaza) on 14th Avenue in 1925 was the reason many Vero Beach citizens and officials demanded the creation of a new county.
Just about every community, town or city had its origins with pioneer families who, sometime in the past, decided to put down roots in a particular location. They may have settled because nature provided a means of survival (farming, hunting, fishing), but as their communities grew and economies developed, those families diversified by providing services that catered to their neighbors. Then a second wave of settlers came with skills and enterprises further fueling the growing community.
Vero’s beginnings are rooted deep in ancient history. The first indications that people visited the area thousands of years ago were discovered when human bones were uncovered in 1915 and 1916. And from 2014 to 2017, four archaeological excavations further explored this presence and the importance of the Old Vero Site. When did these people first arrive? This question, like Vero Beach, is 100 years old.
Long before the first people of European origin settled in what is present-day Vero Beach, an ancient people known as the Ais roamed the coast.
And, according to the research of two scholars, it was on a large shell midden near what is Pelican Island National Wildlife Sanctuary in Indian River County that the Ais located their capital, known as the paramount town of Jece.