One of the first hotels in the Rockledge/Cocoa area was built in 1881 by A.L.Hatch and was known as the Rockledge House. It caught fire and burned down in 1884 and rising from its ashes, a grander hotel was built. The hotel was purchased by Joseph Wilkinson who renamed it the Hotel Indian River in 1885. The positioning of hotel in a charming location along the river added to its popularity among tourists. A seasoned and experienced manager by the name of J.M.Lee was hired and with his experience of running big hotels in Jacksonville turned the hotel into a showcase. It was advertised as the finest and largest hotel on the East Coast of Florida between St. Augustine and Key West. The stationary from the hotel read that the Indian River Hotel had 300 rooms, had its own telegraph office and its motto was "The Tropical Health and Pleasure Resort of America".
A highlight in history is when President Grover Cleveland visited the area and had a picture taken of his entourage at the front of the hotel. Rockledge hotels in this time period became the pride of Brevard County during the 1880's and 1890s.
The Indian River Hotel was sold in 1910 to SF Travis of Cocoa and two New Jersey men who put the establishment in "first class shape." The hotel had a major remodeling and on January 24, 1924 and was formally opened as The New Hotel Indian River where an estimated 400 people celebrated the grand opening. Architecture of the building was of Spanish style which was popular for this time period.
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