About This Place
Melbourne /mɛlbərn/ is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. As of 2009, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 78,323. The municipal area is the second largest by size and by population in the county. Melbourne is a principal city of the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1969 the city was expanded by merging with nearby Eau Gallie.
The city was named Melbourne in honor of its first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, an Englishman who had spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia.
Evidence for the presence of Paleo-Indians in the Melbourne area during the late Pleistocene epoch was uncovered during the 1920s. C. P. Singleton, a Harvard University zoologist, discovered the bones of a Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) on his property along Crane Creek, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Melbourne, and brought in Amherst College paleontologist Frederick B. Loomis to excavate the skeleton. Loomis found a second elephant, with a "large rough flint instrument" among fragments of the elephant's ribs. Loomis found in the same stratum mammoth, mastodon, horse, ground sloth, tapir, pessary, camel and saber-tooth cat bones, all extinct in Florida since the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago. At a nearby site a human rib and charcoal were found in association with Mylodon, Megalonyx and Chlamytherium (ground sloths) teeth. A finely worked spearpoint found with these items may have been displaced from a later stratum. In 1925 attention shifted to the Melbourne golf course. A crushed human skull with finger, arm and leg bones was found in association with a horse tooth. A piece of ivory that appeared to have been modified by humans was found at the bottom of the stratum containing bones. Other finds included a spear point near a mastodon bone and a turtle-back scraper and a blade found with bear, camel, mastodon, horse and tapir bones. Similar human remains, Pleistocene animals and Paleo-Indian artefacts were found in Vero Beach, 30 miles south of Melbourne, and similar Paleo-Indian artefacts were found at Helen Blazes, ten miles southwest of Melbourne.