Scenic USA - Florida

Cocoa Village

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Cocoa Village - Brevard County, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   As the sun begins to peek through a cloudy Art Gallery - Delanoy Ave, Cocoa, FL sky formed over the Atlantic Ocean, Floridians are reminded every day of their special gift of sunshine. Not many days in central Florida are experienced without some period of sun. Sailboats, moored just off the shore from Cocoa Village, bring back to mind the earliest ties to the Indian River when riverboats were Cocoa's only connection to the outside world. This historic section of town, spread out along the riverbank, dates back to the late 1800s.
   It's unclear how the town of Cocoa earned its name, but it was decided early on that the moniker Travis Hardware (1885) - Delanoy Ave, Cocoa, FL Indian River City was too long for the U.S. Postal Service. However, the name Indian River City would have been most fitting as these early residents relied heavily upon the river. Local fisherman enjoyed the bounty of the broad river and the citrus industry moved out tons of produce by barge. River transportation was key for early expansion before the railroad extended its routes to the south.
   Today, Cocoa Village is one of the Space Coast’s most popular destinations, especially for those cruising out of Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach visitors, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge birders and anglers. Riverfront Park Amphitheatre - Cocoa, FL Its cozy tree-lined streets and century old buildings add a tone of nostalgia to the village atmosphere. The Myrtice Tharpe Square pays tribute to one of Cocoa's most devoted councilpersons. Her efforts spurred a revival of the historic village, drawing in patrons to art galleries, restaurants, area shops and the playhouse. The S.F. Travis Hardware, one of the most familiar Cocoa landmarks, got its start in the 1885. A hardware store that prides itself on having just about everything, is a place where people gathered for 125 years. Because of its sprawling layout and unique niches, a salesperson accompanies each customer to where items of interest are located. This may have been the place where the Cocoa name was born. A tale still circulates that a civil leader spied a tin of baker's cocoa and offered it as the city name. Another anecdote tells of a woman who sold hot cocoa to local fishermen, calling cocoa ... cocoa to them from the riverbank.

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