Melbourne Beach in Brevard County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Smith Family Homestead
Inscription. Under the United States Government Homestead Act of 1862, brothers Robert Toombs Smith and Charley Smith laid claim to 158.79 acres on Mullet Creek in 1887. They discovered the property while searching the Indian River Lagoon shoreline by sailboat for land to homestead. They improved the land by clearing it by hand, building a permanent structure made of palmetto cabbage logs with thatched roof, and planted crops. In 1899, a two-story Florida Cracker “I” house with a wrap around porch on three sides was built on the site. The house, made from heart pine, featuring lapboard siding and tongue and groove floors rests on coquina pilings. A separate kitchen structure was attached. More than 15 years later on March 17, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the deed to their homestead. Today, the property is known as Honest John’s Fish Camp. Honest John Smith was the son of R.T. Smith, and their descendants currently own the homestead. Also located on the site is a sugar cane mill, barn/net house and railroad depot used as a packing house for citrus grown on the property. Access to these areas is restricted.
By Jamie Cox, April 16, 2017
1. Smith Family Homestead Marker
Erected 2008 by Brevard County Historical Commission, The Brevard County Tourist Development Council and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-641.)
27° 56.319′ N, 80° 29.546′ W. Marker is in Melbourne Beach, Florida, in Brevard County. Marker is at the intersection of State Road A1A and Old Florida Trail, on the left when traveling north on State Road A1A. Touch for map. Marker is located at the entrance to South Beach Community Park. Marker is in this post office area: Melbourne Beach FL 32951, United States of America.
By Jamie Cox, April 16, 2017
2. Marker Wide View Facing South along A1A
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bensen House (approx. 2.1 miles away); Possible Vicinity of Juan Ponce de Leon’s Landing (approx. 5½ miles away); Moore's Point (approx. 6.1 miles away); Roseland (approx. 7.1 miles away); Site of Survivors’ and Salvagers’ Camp (approx. 8.1 miles away); Sebastian (approx. 8½ miles away); Old Melbourne Beach Town Hall (approx. 8½ miles away); Myrtle Cottage (approx. 10 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Melbourne Beach.
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2017, by Jamie Cox of Melbourne, Florida. This page has been viewed 83 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 16, 2017, by Jamie Cox of Melbourne, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.