Melbourne, Florida may be home to some of the greatest BBQ restaurants in the state, but there are also many things that new residents or visiting tourists may not be aware of. Were you aware that Melbourne was divided into two regions before 1969? Here are 4 interesting facts about Melbourne, the prime city on the Space Coast.
When someone hears of Melbourne, they’ll automatically think of the more famous city of the same name on the other side of the world. One comes to wonder why they both share a common name. Well, legend has it that the name was coined by the city’s first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, who was an Englishman hailing originally from Melbourne Australia.
However, a more commonly believed explanation for the city’s confusing name is that it was drawn out from a couple of random straws which had different names inscribed on them.
The region where Melbourne, Florida lies is commonly referred to as the Space Coast, where the city neighbors Rockledge, Cape Canaveral and Palm Bay. But have you ever wondered why it is called as such? If you think it is due to the close proximity of the Kennedy Space Centre, you’re half right. Though that is one of the reasons, another reason why the area is known as the Space Coast is because NASA launched a large number of their space shuttles from the region, the last one being on July 8th 2011.
The Area Code
Melbourne, Florida’s area code is 321, but that’s not a random number. Do you notice that when the area code is pronounced individually as 3, 2, 1, it resembles the blast off sequence that occurs before a space shuttle launches. The area code pays homage to the vast number of space shuttles launched through the area, and was the brilliant idea of one local resident.
The story goes that as the region was getting much more populated than was expected, the need for a new area code was evident. The resident found out that, by sheer luck, the area code 321 was not yet assigned to any region (though it was a prospective area code for a Chicago region). The area code was petitioned and implemented on November 1, 1999 and the rest is history.
Before 1969, Melbourne, Florida wasn’t exactly in the same form as it is today. In fact, the district of Eau Gallie, a part of Melbourne city, was a completely different region back then. However, seeing that both the communities of Melbourne and Eau Gallie were evolving at the same pace, the city authorities decided to merge the two regions into a whole city for easy governance. So if you ever wondered why Eau Gallie is a little different in retrospect compared to the rest of the city, there’s your answer.
Melbourne Also Extends to an Island
A small portion of the city also extends beyond the Florida mainland area onto a barrier island which is separated by the Indian Lagoon. The two are connected through a series of high rise bridges with 4 lanes.