Eau Gallie, Florida

Coordinates: 28°07′45″N 80°37′48″W / 28.12917°N 80.63000°W / 28.12917; -80.63000
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Eau Gallie, Florida
Coordinates: 28°07′45″N 80°37′48″W / 28.12917°N 80.63000°W / 28.12917; -80.63000
Country United States of America
State Florida
County Brevard
City Melbourne
First settlerJohn Caroll Houston, IV
Consolidated with Melbourne1969
Founded byWilliam Henry Gleason
Time zoneUTC-5:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4:00 (Eastern)
Eau Gallie Boulevard, December 2019

Eau Gallie (/ˌˈɡæli/)[1] is a section of the city of Melbourne, Florida, located on the city's northern side. It was an independent city in Brevard County from 1860 until 1969.

That year residents of Eau Gallie and Melbourne voted to merge their governments.[2] A subsequent vote resulted in the combined jurisdiction being named Melbourne.[2] The name and identity of Eau Gallie persists in a number of local entities and was used by the Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street, a fully accredited Florida Main Street program since 2010.


Eau Gallie developed as a small coastal town along the Indian River on the Florida East Coast. Brevard County, home of Eau Gallie, was named after the State Comptroller, Theodore Washington Brevard in 1855.

In 1859, the US Army sent John Caroll Houston IV to conduct a Seminole Indian census. Arriving in the Indian River area, Houston fell in love with its beauty. Houston named the area Arlington, for a community near Jacksonville where he had once lived. He took a leave of absence and applied for a soldier's land grant. Houston traveled to the area of Eau Gallie with his sons and 10 enslaved Africans. His wife joined him a year later when he had completed clearing land and building their cabin with their slaves.[3]

The area changed little during the Civil War. Former lieutenant governor, William Henry Gleason founded Eau Gallie in 1869 as he made his way to Arlington from Miami.[4] Gleason acquired land consisting of the entire area from the Indian River Lagoon to Lake Washington (about thirty square miles).[3]

Eau Gallie is commonly said to mean "rocky water", since coquina rocks were found in the area. While eau means "water" in French, gallie is not a French word and may be derived from galet ("pebble" in French). Some attribute it a Chippewa word; however, Chippewa speakers lived along the northern border of the United States and Canada.[5]

A US post office was established in 1871.[6]

The Kentucky Military Institute wintered in Eau Gallie from 1907 to 1921.[citation needed]

In 1920, the population had increased to about 500 people, nearly the same as adjacent Melbourne.[7]

In 1926, ten white men lynched a black man for allegedly raping a white woman. This was the last person lynched in the county. The perpetrators were never brought to justice.[8][9]

For entertainment, the town had a "speedway" for stock car races west of Wickham Road from 1957 to about 1971.[10][11]


Eau Gallie has original historic buildings, live oaks, and native plants located on the Indian River Lagoon. It is anchored by the Eau Gallie Civic Center, Public Library and Pier, as well as Pineapple Park which has a lighted gazebo under ancient live oaks along the Indian River Lagoon, Foosaner Art Museum/FIT, and the Renee Foosaner Education Center.

Eau Gallie is home to the Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street program (EGAD), an award-winning, fully accredited Florida and National Main Street organization.[12]

This area is also home to fine art galleries and long-established businesses, as well as new entrepreneurs that have opened new businesses in the historic little city stimulated by the presence of the Eau Gallie Arts District, which boasts an Outdoor Art Museum consisting of over 30 murals, a mosaic and sculptures. The Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, offers home tours, rental space for private events and hosts their own events.[citation needed]

Historic section[edit]

Eau Gallie contains a historic area with several notable museums and houses. These include: the Advent Christian Church, Foosaner Art Museum, the Ginter Building, the Historic Rossetter House Museum, the James Wadsworth Rossetter House on the National Register of Historic Places, the Karrick Building, the Roesch House, and the Winchester Symphony House.

An area of 14.31 acres (5.79 ha), containing 31 houses, is petitioning for official recognition as a Historic District. The first permanent European-American settler, John Carroll Houston, arrived in 1859.[13]


Eau Gallie Square in the Eau Gallie Arts District is a public green space with live oaks and band shell that serves as the center of some community events.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EAU Gallie Florida Home Page". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Frank J. (2017). "One or ten? The 1967 Battle over unification/consolidation in South Brevard". The Journal of the Brevard County Historical Commission. XVI (2): 25–31.
  3. ^ a b "Florida Frontiers". Florida Historical Society. 3 April 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "Gleason Family". University of Florida. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Eau Gallie means 'rocky water'". Florida Today. Melbourne, FL. 2006. [...] from the French word "eau", meaning water, and the French word "galet," meaning pebble, yielding "pebbly water", a somewhat loose translation of "rocky water. [...] [Francis Reid, reference librarian] discounted the Indian connection, saying Chippewas were concentrated in the north central United States and southern Canada."
  6. ^ "Brevard County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  7. ^ Neale, Rick (August 15, 2020). "Flu". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. p. 12A. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  8. ^ Scruggs, David C. (January 15, 1989). "Scales Of Justice Hung From Tree With 1 Strong Limb". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Florida Frontiers "The Lynching of James Clark"". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Florida Stock Car Racing History". www.karnac.com.
  11. ^ "The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida on September 11, 1971". newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Eau Gallie". Eaugallieartsdistrict.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  13. ^ Cervenka, Suzanne (November 19, 2011). "Neighborhood seeks historic designation". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 2B.
  14. ^ "Biographical Memoirs Home" (PDF). Nap.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  15. ^ Scott, Megan K. (6 March 2011). "Hurston's real home". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1D.


  • Eau Gallie Hiking Trail
  • Noreda B. McKemy and Elaine Murray Stone, Melbourne Bicentennial Book. July 4, 1976. Library of Congress 76-020298.

External links[edit]