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The pattern of community development which occurred in Vero Beach provides insight into some important aspects of Florida's history. Although the coastal waters in the region attracted fishermen, settlement of this area did not occur until the 1880s. During that decade the problem of transportation which had deterred settlers was solved by railroad construction. In 1891 a post office named Vero was established at the home of Henry Gifford who had settled on the site in 1880. When the railroad was extended south to Lake Worth, a depot was built at Vero. With the railroad came tourism and a growing interest in the area. At that time, large scale drainage of swamp land such as that which surrounded Vero was being undertaken in Florida. An example of the way in which investors took advantage of the newly recognized potential of swampy areas may be found in creation of the Indian River River Farms Company.
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In 1909 Henry T. Zeuch of Davenport, Iowa, visited the Vero area. He saw land that could be drained and sold to citrus farmers and cattle raisers. A corporation, the Indian River Farms Company was chartered in 1912 with stockholders who were chiefly residents of Zeuch's home town. In 1913 the town of Vero was plated at the Company's direction. In 1915 the Vero Woman's Club was founded, an act which signified the vitality of the new community. A club house, located near this marker was built the next year on land donated by the Indian River Farms Company. The planned drainage program was completed in 1917. In that year, maintenance and extension of the drainage area was given over to the State of Florida. The name of the community was changed to Vero Beach in 1925, when the town became the county seat of newly created Indian River County. The Indian River Farms Company was dissolved in 1936. Vero Beach has remained the center of this productive citrus growing region.
Sponsored by Vero Beach Woman's Club in cooperation with Department of State.