Vero Beach Florida
In 1891, Henry T. Gifford applied to establish a post office in his home town. When the application was received, the U.S. Postmaster "corrected" what he thought was an error and changed "Vero" to "Zero". A copy of the application in the Indian River County Local History file at the Main Library shows Mr. Gifford's correction - the letter "V" drawn with very thick lines.
The early English and Spanish settlers to the area planted extensive acreages of sugar. In the 1800's Captain Thomas E. Richards started growing pineapples and reportedly shipped 14,000 crates of the fruit in 1920. Grapefruit and oranges fared better than either the sugar or pineapple crops. Vero Beach, its area extending from west of the Indian River lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean on the east, was known as a major citrus fruit shipping area before the turn of the century.
In 1903, as Henry Flagler was opening up access to south Florida with his railway, the train station was built in Vero. The first bridge, connecting the mainland with the barrier island, was constructed in 1919, the same year that the city of Vero was incorporated. On June 1, 1925 the city was renamed Vero Beach.
During the 1920's a few Ohio residents discovered Vero's natural beauty and built the Riomar Country Club on the barrier island. Substantial vacation homes surrounded the country club and established the area as a premier winter vacation resort.
In 1948, major league baseball came to town. Bud Holman, a local businessman, invited the Dodgers' to take a look at an unused Naval air station that was turned over to the City of Vero Beach following World War II. The result: Dodgertown.
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