As a fitting tribute to our county’s history, the Indian River County Historical Society and American Icon Brewery will co-host an event, “Raise A Glass For History”, on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 5:00pm until midnight at American Icon Brewery in downtown Vero Beach. Once the Vero Beach Diesel Power Plant, the brewery’s historic property was the only public source of electricity and water until the late 1950’s.
For over twenty years, the Indian River County Historical Society has contributed to preserving the historical and environmental resources of Indian River County, the Indian River Lagoon area, and the State of Florida.The Society owns, operates and maintains the1903 Vero Beach Railroad Station in downtown Vero Beach and the 1918 Hallstrom House on Old Dixie Highway. Both of these properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are open to the public. Among the many accomplishments of the Historical Society are saving Jungle Trail, an historic 7.5-mile greenway along the Indian River Lagoon; implementing the countywide historic marker program; and successfully securing registration of local historic properties on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Most recently, the Historical Society has produced the Vero Beach Historical Series that highlight Vero Beach Airport, The War Years, The Dodgers, Old Vero Man Dig, and
currently in production is Gifford High School. These videos feature interviews with area residents and historic photographs of Vero Beach and Indian River County.
“Saving and preserving our rich county heritage becomes more important as time passes and more land and properties are being developed” said Ruth Stanbridge, current President of the Historical Society.
As the venu for this Historical Society fundraiser, the old Vero Beach Diesel Power Plant was built in 1926 adjacent to the FEC railway tracks. After a new steam electric power plant was built, the plant was used only as a backup and, almost 40 years after ceasing daily operations, the building was vacated in 1995. In1999 it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
In 2016, the Diesel Plant was sold to real estate developer Michael R. Rechter. Following a $6 million renovation, the building and property were adapted and reutilized as a best in class brewpub/production brewery which opened in 2017. A 1937 generator unit was retained and is now the centerpiece of the American Icon Brewery.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of Mrs. Ruth Stanbridge, founder of the Indian River County Historical Society, the building was preserved instead of being torn down and sold “brick by brick”. Acknowledging the efforts of Ms. Stanbridge, Rechter has named one of the brewery’s new recipes “Ruth’s Indian River Ale”.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $75 per person with profits going to operations and programs of the Historical Society. Tickets may be purchased through www.eventbrite.com and include a beer and hors d’oeuvres.