Southward, along the east coast of Florida, stretches a series of long, palmetto-covered islands that beat back the thundering surf of the Atlantic Ocean. Located about midway on this coast, between the Indialantic Bridge in the north and Sebastian Inlet in the south, is the community of Melbourne Beach. Since the historic arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon in the New World on April 2, 1513, at a site now believed to be within the bounds of Melbourne Beach, the area has experienced more than four centuries of progress, struggle, and success. Discover within these pages how the area’s residents have made Melbourne Beach the strong and vital community it is today through a fascinating compilation of stories and recollections. Meet such colorful residents as bean farmer R.T. Smith, who had “In Beans I Trust” printed on his stationery, and the forward-thinking real estate developer Ernest Kouwen-Hoven.