The City of Cocoa Leisure Services
The City of Cocoa Leisure Services division handles the administration and marketing of Facility Rentals, Park Permits, Parade / Special Event Applications, Tenant Leases and several annual Special Events.
The City of Cocoa was founded by fishermen very early in Florida’s history. An authentic, historical account states that the first families arrived in Cocoa around 1860. A post office was established at Magnolia Point two miles north and the first commercial building in Cocoa was erected in 1881 or 1882. First plats of the new settlement were made in 1882 under the name “Indian River City” on land owned by Captain R. A. Hardee. The name Indian River City was unacceptable to the U.S. Postal authorities who claimed it was too long for use on a postmark.
In 1925, the Cocoa Tribune published several accounts, supplied by readers, of the town’s naming. A Mrs. Ruby Myers credited Captain R.C. May with the choosing of the name Cocoa at a town meeting in 1884. Those attending the meeting focused on a local product or characteristic feature of the area; e.g., citrus plants and Cedar Key. It was stated that at Captain May’s suggestion, the group finally chose for its association with the Cocoa plant. The name was forwarded to Washington, D.C. where it was officially adopted.
Another version suggests that while a group of citizens were seeking a name for the town, an old woman received inspiration from a box of Baker’s Cocoa and her suggestion was adopted. Still another version suggests that along the bank of the Indian River lived an old woman who would supply hot cocoa to the sailors as they traversed the Indian River. As they passed, they would call out “cocoa, cocoa” until the woman supplied them with refreshment. Whatever its origin, by 1884 the name Cocoa had become permanently associated with what was then an infant settlement.
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