Fellsmere’s History of Agriculture, Land Sales, and the start of Women's Voting Rights in the South

Dated: September 6 2023

Views: 354

Nestled in the heart of Indian River County, Fellsmere is a town steeped in history, with a rich tapestry of stories waiting to be told. Join us on a journey through its intriguing days of yore, covering its agricultural roots, land sales, and its historic and pivotal role for women's voting rights.

Fellsmere's history is closely intertwined with the agricultural industry. In the late 19th century, the area was largely uninhabited, with marshy lands and untamed wilderness. However, the vision of one man, E. Nelson Fell, would transform this desolate land into a thriving agricultural hub. In 1910, Fell and his associates founded the Fellsmere Farms Company with the goal of draining the marshes and converting the land into arable farmland.

To achieve their ambitious plan, the Fellsmere Farms Company created a special drainage district. They dug canals, built dikes, and drained thousands of acres of land. This bold undertaking turned Fellsmere into a haven for agriculture, particularly citrus groves, and vegetable farms. The fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for farming.

With the successful transformation of the land, the company began selling parcels to eager settlers. The promise of fertile soil and the opportunity for a prosperous life attracted many newcomers. Fellsmere quickly grew into a thriving community, with schools, businesses, and homes taking root.  Fellsmere's fortunes continued to rise during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. This period saw a surge in real estate transactions, with people from all over the country flocking to Florida in search of their own piece of paradise. The town of Fellsmere experienced a real estate frenzy, as land sales and development projects reached their peak.

Beyond its agricultural and land sales history, Fellsmere holds a special place in the annals of women's suffrage in the United States. In 1915, before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote nationwide, Fellsmere made history by allowing women to vote in municipal elections—a progressive move that foreshadowed the broader suffrage movement.  Fellsmere's election in 1915 was a landmark event, as it marked the first time in Florida that women were allowed to cast their votes in a municipal election. The decision to include women in the electoral process was a testament to the town's progressive spirit and the recognition of women's contributions to the community.

Fellsmere is a town that embodies the American spirit of progress, resilience, and equality. From its humble beginnings as untamed marshland to its role in the agricultural boom and women's voting rights movement, Fellsmere's history is a testament to the vision and determination of its founders and residents.

As a real estate brokerage firm, AMAC understands the importance of knowing the history and heritage of the places we serve and take pride in serving this historic community helping individuals find their own piece of Fellsmere's rich heritage.  Whether you're interested in buying property in Fellsmere or simply exploring its fascinating history, we invite you to become a part of this vibrant and enduring story

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Kyle Von Kohorn

Born and raised in Vero Beach, FL, Kyle Von Kohorn is remarkably well-acquainted with this lovely coastal town and its satellite communities. After earning his degree in Business Administration at ....

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