Historical Society Produces Mini-Documentary Series


The Historical Society of Indian River County has announced the release of several new historical mini-documentary videos.

With a focus on the original bridges connecting the mainland to Orchid Island, Indian River Bridges engages the viewer with stories about the old Winter Beach bridge and the bridges that were formerly at the site of today’s Barber Bridge in Vero Beach.  This video features interviews with several children from the bridgetenders families who share their personal recollections of being raised in small houses perched atop those original bridges.

The Hallstrom House & Farmstead brings to life this historic landmark located on Old Dixie Highway south of Vero Beach.  Built by Swedish immigrant Axel Hallstrom on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, this large brick home dates back to the early part of the 1900’s. The video depicts the interior of the home and its grounds. Hallstrom’s daughter Ruth lived in the home until her death in 1999 at the age of 95.

 Indian River Farms Company was the land and water management company that engineered the canals and lateral ditches to drain 55,000 acres of very wet pine flatwood and created the plat for Town of Vero. Today the Indian River Farms Water Control District is over 100 years old and continues to provide primary drainage and stormwater control for the south eastern part of our county. This video features interviews with Marvin Carter, grandson of Robert D. “R.D.” Carter who was hired in 1911 as the engineer for the drainage project, local citrus grower Bobby Lindsay, and David Gunter who is Superintendent of the Indian River Farms Water Control District.

The narrative for the documentaries is written by County Historian Ruth Stanbridge and produced by the Historical Society using the talents of local videographer Nick Verola, Verola Studios.  Funding for the videos was made possible through an Indian River County tourist development grant. All completed videos in the Vero Beach Historical Series may be viewed from the home page of the Historical Society website http://www.irchistorical.org/  The Historical Society has additional videos in production that will be released in the coming months.

For over 30-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 Historical Society office is located in the 1903 Vero Beach Railroad Station on 14th Avenue in historic downtown Vero Beach. In addition to the railroad station property, the organization owns, operates and maintains 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; initiating the Rails to Trails project for the Trans-Florida Railroad from Sebastian to Fellsmere in north County; implementing the countywide historic marker program; and successfully securing registration of local historic properties on the National Registry of Historic Places.

For more information on becoming a member or to volunteer with the Historical Society, call 772-778-3435 or email indianriverhisto@bellsouth.net.

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