Historic Markers Across Florida



The Fellsmere Public School



Marker ID: FLHM F-707
Location: 21 S Cypress St, Fellsmere, FL
County: Indian River
Coordinates: N 27° 46.013    W 080° 36.157
  27.76688333    -80.60261666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMMFWD
 



Text:

Side 1
The Fellsmere Public School, the first masonry school building in what is now Indian River County, was constructed during 1915 and 1916 at 22 South Orange Street. The 22,680 square foot, two-story school with a raised basement was designated by Frederick Homer Trimble, a former Methodist missionary architect who had worked in Fuzhou, China. Trimble, who began his architectural career in the United State in 1915 with the Fellsmere School, designed several building in Fellsmere and Vero Beach, and over 150 buildings in South Florida. Trimble also designed the first buildings at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The bid to construct the school was awarded to Arthur F. Sanders, a Fellsmere contractor, on May 4, 1915 by the St. Lucie County School Board. Trimble donated the plans for the Fellsmere school but was paid $100 per month to oversee its construction. The school's construction was delayed for several months before funding was obtained from the sale of bonds. By September 1915 Sanders' crews had constructed the Fellsmere Short Line Railroad from the Fellsmere Farms Railroad north of South Carolina Avenue down to the center of Cypress Street to the school site. A special railcar built in Palatka was used to haul


Side 2
materials to the school on 4x4 heart-of-pine rails spiked to 2x8 crossties. Work began on the school's foundation in October 1915, and was completed in mid-November 1915. The basement was completed mid-December 1915. On January 31, 1916, the school's cornerstone was laid under the direction of the Grand Masonic Lodge. The Fellsmere Public School was completed the same year at a cost of $40,000. The school's doors opened to 136 students on October 2, 1916. Principal Anderson A. Price, Assistant Principal Ina C. Elder, and five women teachers, Miss Jesse M. Hunter (the first teacher in Fellsmere, 1912), Miss Neva M. Hunter, Mrs. A.A. (Lula) Price, Miss Ethel Jones, and Miss Agnes Helseth provided instruction for grades 1-12. The Fellsmere School is the oldest public school building in Indian River County, and remained active as a school until 1982. It was later used as the Fellsmere City Hall and Police Station. It is the birthplace of the annual Fellsmere Frogleg Festival. In 2010, the City of Fellsmere restored the school for use as a City Hall/Government Center/Boys and Girls Club at a cost of $3.060,000. On October 19, 2010, the Fellsmere Public School building was once again re-opened to the public.
City of Fellsmere, Indian River County Historical Society
and the Florida Department of State
2011



Notes:

City: Fellsmere, FL