North Cocoa Road was once an Indian Footpath

This picture taken of the trail along the Indian River in north Cocoa (now Indian River

Drive) many years ago was once an Indian footpath. Later, horse and buggy, foot, bicycle, and

perhaps a model-T would be seen along this road. Seeing only these things in the early days, you

wouldn’t realize that this once upon-a-time footpath would become the first automobile route along

the east coast from Jacksonville to Miami, and gained renown in the 1920s as the Dixie Highway –

‘From Montreal to Miami.’


During the expanding and boom-time years in Florida’s growth, the Dixie Highway ran

right through the middle of the towns along the way and was a two day trip from Jacksonville to

Miami. In the 1930s, passenger buses stopped in Cocoa, the halfway point, put their passengers up

in the Cocoa House, for the night and continued the trip the next day. In fact, Forrest Avenue and

Florida Avenue through Cocoa and Rockledge was called Dixie Highway.


Florida has always been friendly to newcomers, and who knows how many of our good

citizens wound up here because of the hospitality of the old Cocoa House, with a promising view

of the Indian River from its front porch, or that their auto broke down from the rigors of the rough

trip on that old road.


Much of this information was taken from Those Days Remembered, an article written by Chuck Reed. Article

provided courtesy of the Central Brevard Mosquito Beaters, Memory Book 2010, available at the Florida Historical

Library, 435 Brevard Av., Cocoa Village.

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