The history of Brevard County can be traced to the prehistory of native cultures living in the area from pre-Columbian times to the present age. The geographic boundaries of the county have changed significantly since its founding. The county is named for Judge Theodore W. Brevard, an early setter, and state comptroller. Additional Information can be found at the Brevard Historical site.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,557 square miles (4,030 km2), of which 1,016 square miles (2,630 km2) is land and 541 square miles (1,400 km2) (34.8%) is water. Most of the water is the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Johns River and the Indian River Lagoon. It is one-third the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Located halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, Brevard County extends 72 miles (116 km) from north to south, and averages 26.5 miles (42.6 km) wide. Marshes in the western part of this county are the source of the St. Johns River. Emphasizing its position as halfway down Florida is the presence of two roads that are halfway down Florida's numbering system, State Road 50 and State Road 500.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterway route in Brevard County. It includes the Indian River. Additional waterways include Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, Sawgrass Lake, the St. Johns River, and the Banana River. Dredging for the Intracoastal created 41 spoil islands in the Brevard portion of the Indian River.
There is no major urban center. The county is unofficially divided into three sections: North County, comprising Titusville, Mims and Port St. John; Central Brevard, which includes Cocoa, Rockledge, Merritt Island, and Cocoa Beach; and South County, which includes Melbourne, Palm Bay, Grant-Valkaria, and the South Beaches. The South Beaches is a term that measures direction south from the dividing line of Patrick Air Force Base, and includes South Patrick Shores, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, and Melbourne Beach.
Grant-Valkaria’s population was 3,850 at the 2010 United States Census. Grant-Valkaria is located south of Melbourne, between Palm Bay and Sebastian. Grant-Valkaria was incorporated as a town on July 25, 2006, by joining the two previously unincorporated communities of Grant and Valkaria. The ZIP code is 32949 (and portions of 32950, and 32909), and the area code is 321. More information can be found at Wikipedia. A largely rural town in the south end of the county, the town includes older homes, newer homes on acre-plus lots and the county-owned Habitat Golf Course, a 6,836-yard (6,251 m), par-72 course near the Valkaria Airport.
Key Businesses/Major Employers
Residents and businesses enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in Brevard County. The location of the Town provides commercial access on US Highway 1 and Babcock Street. Honda R&D Americas makes its home in Grant-Valkaria and is one of the first LEED buildings to be constructed in Brevard County. Ranger Construction, CEMEX, and Pence Land Materials, make up part of the Town’s industrial base. Harris Corporation is nearby and the Town is home to many engineers and technical personnel as well many entrepreneurs and tradesmen who cherish the rural character of the Town. A cattle ranch, family farm, large wholesale nursery, and orange groves maintain the Town’s agricultural past. Antique shops, restaurants, feed stores, boat dealers, plant nurseries, marine supply stores, and equestrian farms and facilities are among the unique, small businesses that call Grant-Valkaria home. Home-based businesses of all sorts are in abundance.
Major recreation areas
Grant-Valkaria offers a multitude of recreational activities. Enjoying 5 miles of Scenic Highway frontage on the Indian River Lagoon, and located minutes from the Sebastian Inlet, Grant-Valkaria is the perfect spot for both in-shore and off-shore fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. In addition, of the approximately 30 square miles that make up the Town, thousands of acres of pine woodlands and oak hammocks are preserved lands which will eventually be part of the Greenway and county trail system, providing access to Old Florida nature for equestrians, hikers and ecotourism. Grant-Valkaria’s lesser traveled country roads are a favorite for cyclists. The equestrian community is very active and numerous equestrian facilities are located in Town. Grant-Valkaria also boasts the Habitat Golf Course, the Valkaria Airport, Valkaria Tropical Gardens, 3 boat launching parks with numerous ramps. A community park is located near the Town Hall. The town also has the historic Bensen House and Grant Grocery, now being used as a restaurant.
Little Known Facts
* Part of the Town is a residential island in the Indian River Lagoon which can only be reached by boat. It is called Grant Farm Island. There are 56 homes on the island cars are not allowed on the island. According to an historian, four Civil war deserters lived on Grant Farm Island during the war.
* During Prohibition, bootlegging boats loaded with liquors from Cuba and the Bahamas would run through the Sebastian Inlet nightly and would meet in Grant to load custom-built Cadillacs that would drive the contraband north.
* Just south of the Habitat Golf Course between Valkaria and Grant, there are 2 straight lines of cleared forest interspersed with concrete bunkers. Aliens? No, it was the Valkaria Missile Tracking Annex that was part of a tracking station in the 1950s used to track ICBM missiles under development. Read about MISTRAM. Additional material, created by a local resident, can be read here.