Historic Markers Across Florida



Eau Gallie Bridge to the Beach



Marker ID:  
Location: on west end of Eau Gallie Causeway
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 7.85    W 080° 37.431
  28.13083333    -80.62385
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

The first wooden bridge from Eau Gallie to "Eau Gallie Beach" was started in 1924. F. Grover Fletcher, a pioneer of the Vero Beach area, had the contract for building the bridge.

The bridge was completed and formally opened in February, 1926. Soon after, John R.
Mathers began definite plans to build a bridge from the beach peninsula to the tip of Merritt Island. That bridge, spanning the Banana River, was completed in 1927 and has since been known as "Mather´s Bridge."

The Eau Gallie bridge in the 1920´s and 1930´s was always catching fire. Joe Wickham, who was chief of the volunteer fire department, recalled that during one period the bridge caught fire 16 times within 14 nights. The fire engine´s brakes failed on one occasion as it went across the bridge, and slammed into the palmettos on the east side.

Wickham resigned as fire chief after having his sleep disturbed so frequently within a
two week period.

The present bridge was completed in 1955.

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