Historical Society Prepares for Centennial Finale

NEWS RELEASE

“Caring for our historic properties is a responsible practice that protects the integrity of our structures as well as our heritage” said Ruth Stanbridge, president of the Indian River County Historical Society. The mission of the Historical Society is to save, preserve, and restore the historical and environmental resources of Indian River County.

In preparation for the Vero Beach Centennial finale on October 26th, the Historical Society’s Railway Station recently received a face-lift.  Repairs, some new planking, pressure cleaning and paint were completed on the wooden decking and the walkways leading to the building. The bottom portion of the building also received cleaning and painting.

“Vero station”, also known as “Vero Beach station”, is a historic Florida East Coast Railway train station. The old station building is located on 14th Avenue in historic downtown Vero Beach. Maintaining this 116-year-old structure is an on-going function of the Historical Society.

On Friday, September 20th , the City of Vero Beach will present a Centennial Certificate to the Historical Society’s 1903 Vero Railway Station.  The station is one of the oldest buildings within the Vero Beach city limits. Stanbridge recalled the purchase of the station as one of the early efforts of the Historical Society.

“There were many of us in the community who felt this old structure played such an important part in the growth and incorporation of the Town of Vero in 1919.  In 1984, with community support and a grant from the Florida Bureau of Historical Preservation, the station became the first preservation project of the Indian River County Historical Society” she said.

The abandoned 1903 Vero Beach Railway Station was purchased for $1.00 from the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). The building was moved to a vacant parcel of land owned by the City of Vero Beach. Ironically, this land had been purchased in 1924 for the relocation of the railway station. The restored station and grounds were opened in 1987 and became the working office and exhibit center for the Indian River County Historical Society. The property became the first in Indian River County to be submitted by the Historical Society and achieve a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stanbridge stated “In addition to the Railway Station, there are now over 30 locations that have been submitted by the Historical Society and subsequently listed on the Historic Register, including one historic landmark.” The National Register of Historic Places is administered by the National Park ServiceUnited States Department of the Interior.

On the official 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Vero in 1919, Saturday, October 26th, the Historical Society Railway Station will be open from 9:00am until 4:00pm and feature displays and historical videos. The station parking lot will have a display of antique cars, the Wells Fargo stage coach, ham radio operators, and volunteers in period dress. Located at 2336 14th Avenue in Vero Beach, the Railway Station is at the end of the Centennial Parade route.

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

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