The history of Indialantic dates back to 915 when Ernest Kouwen-Hoven moved to Melbourne and purchased a strip of beachside land lying between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. He envisioned this property as becoming an exclusive beachside resort and indeed it did. This one-square mile became known as "Indialantic-by-the-Sea" The first map of this area was recorded in 1916.
Back then the only means of access to Indialantic was by boat or ferry. In 1919 Kouwen-Hoven began construction of a wooden bridge across the Indian River from Melbourne to Indialantic. It became known as the "Kouwen-Hoven's Folly" because of predictions it would never be completed. Kouwen-Hoven financed the construction by issuing his own bonds at 8% interest and using his land in Indialantic as an incentive for prospective buyers. The bridge was finally completed in 1921 and used for many years. Lighted by kerosene lanterns, the bridge was often set afire when they were blown or knocked over. It was not uncommon for drivers to travel with hammers to pound loose nails back into the wooden planks.
In 1941, a new concrete and steel swing bridge was begun. Construction, delayed with the onset of World War II, was completed in 1947. This bridge was used until the existing high-rise was completed in 1985.
Even though a large portion of the population is retired, Indialantic still features a diverse population consisting of young couples with children, professionals, business people, artists and students. Indialantic stores and businesses cater to all the basic needs plus more exotic demands. Restaurants vary from fast food and family establishments to ethnic and gourmet dining. Residents and tourists can enjoy the public beach area from Miami to Watson. Swimming, fishing, boating and surfing are favorite pastimes. Threatened and endangered sea turtles nest along the shore from May through October.
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