The Aviles Building in downtown Cocoa

Cocoa was first settled around 1860 by fishermen and their families. The settlement didn't see a commercial structure erected until about 1881 and it's first survey in 1882 named the place Indian river City (which name was rejected by the US Postal Service as being too long for a postmark). There are several ideas as to how the name Cocoa came about but it is recorded as having become pretty much permanently associated with the area by 1884.

At first, Cocoa thrived on the citrus business, producing so much fruit that the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Indian River Railroad reached town in 1890, right after the business district burned... Then came the winter of 1894-1895, which brought a deep freeze that destroyed the citrus crop. The population dropped way off, down to 382 by 1903.

That seems to have been where the population bottomed out because the numbers have risen regularly ever since. Then came the space industry...

Today, Cocoa is the largest supplier of water in the county with more than 200,000 customers.