Historic Markers Across Florida

First Bridge across the Indian River

Marker ID:  
Location: Western end of Melbourne Causeway, Melbourne
County: Brevard
Waymark: None


Ernest Kouwen-Hoven, a land developer and prompter of Indialantic-By-The-Sea in 1918~ 1919, realized that if the sea side town was to become a resort-residential community, a bridge must be built from the mainland to the peninsula. He contracted local carpenters, set up sawmills in various parts of the county and built the first narrow, wooden bridge across the Indian River in 1919. It was completed in 1921.

It was 16 feet wide, the steel draw was operated by hand, and it took a total of 14 minutes to open and close the bridge. Kouwen-Hoven collected a toll of 10 cents from motorists using the bridge, and enforced a speed limit of 10 miles per hour.

In 1947 the first concrete and steel bridge (with causeway) was completed. The old wooden bridge was tom down.

Sponsored by: Ramada Inn - Melbourne