The History of Cape Canaveral: The Beginning

history of cape canaveral part one feature
Mar 07 2016

The History of Cape Canaveral: The Beginning

Cape Canaveral, one of the nation’s most famous locations, wasn’t always Cape Canaveral. In fact, it wasn’t always anything at all. Cape Canaveral was non-existent, as it was underwater for most of its history.

Today, as far as 10-15 miles inland, construction crews constantly dig up evidence of marine life. Sea shells inherent to the area and dune lines are easily discovered inland, offering more proof that that for much of history, Cape Canaveral simply didn’t exist.

When Cape Canaveral finally appeared due to receding shorelines and changes in topography, the land shot out from the coast was likely home to an amazing assortment of plant and animal life. There is evidence that wooly mammoths used to live in the area, and it’s likely that Cape Canaveral was home not to just to this extinct species, but to many marine and land species no longer in the world today.

In the 1980s, an excavator discovered a human skull in nearby Titusville. Assuming this to be evidence of a crime, authorities were brought in to examine the area. What they discovered was an entire pond that was able to be drained, leading to the discovery of an ancient burial ground, indicating that early Native Americans had likely inhabited the location 7,000 years ago or more. It is one of Florida’s (and the nation’s) oldest discoveries.

Little is known from those far-off days until Colonial times, when Native Americans were settled in the area. Cape Canaveral is tenanted with hundreds of American Indian burial grounds. Today they are protected, although some no longer exist due to the construction of missile ranges and other installations. Scores of treasures found in these burial mounds are now owned privately or have been sold by the construction crews, but many great artifacts still exist and can be seen at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science at 2201 Michigan Avenue, Cocoa, FL, 32926.

Sharing Great Florida Coast stories from the Cape Winds Resort in Cape Canaveral,

Steve Wright

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