Florida Guide > State Parks
Sebastion Inlet Park
Sebastion Inlet Park is located at Melbourne Beach on the A1A.
The first known humans to inhabit the area were the Paleo Hunters. Later, the Native Americans who captured the English Quaker, Jonathan Dickinson, lived here. They were the hunter/ gatherers called the Ais Indians.
By 1760 a combination of diseases brought by the Europeans and the general abuse of these peoples meant that there was not one on these Native Americans remained living here. They simply had no immune system to beat any of these illnesses.
11 Spanish ships were sunk in this area in 1715; there was a loss of some 700 crew and only just over twice that amount of men were rescued. If you visit the Mc Carty Treasure Museum, you will find that it has been built on the site of one of the ship wreck survivors camp sites.
The inlet was first dug in 1881. This was the initiative of Captain David P Gibson.
The inlet bisected a barrier island and was close to what is now Sebastion Inlet. This was some quarter of an American mile long.
However, it was not til 1895 that water actually went through this cut through ; this flowed from the Indian Point Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Later that year the inlet was closed by a storm that shifted the sands.
Roy D Crouch was next on the scene. He used his own dredger in 1918 to cut a new channel. Again, this was spoiled by a storm. The following year a permanent inlet was formed at the behest of the fishermen who wanted the access that it afforded.
This was not the end of the story since a one million dollar project re cut the inlet to some 100 feet long and 6 feet wide.
The second world war raised the fears that the inlet could be used by invading Germans and the inlet was not maintained which led to it falling into dis repair and a snd bar formed.
It was not til 1947 that the inlet was reopened and also strengthened with concrete.
We now move forward to 1965 when a 1548 foot bridge was erected. The cost for this was $745000 and was financed from revenue bonds.
Robert Mc Clarty donated 7 acres of land in 1966; a museum has been built and named in his honour. Here you can view many of the artefacts salvaged from the wreck of the galleons and learn about this period of history.
From then to now the jetties were extended in 1971; a recreation area was opened in 1998 with a 3 mile beach; the fishing museum was opened in 1998 and to complement this a new north jetty for anglers was opened in 2003.
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