Melbourne Village

  • Brevard County
  • Year Founded: 1957
  • Founded by: Virginia Wood, Elizabeth Nutting, and Margaret Hutchinson

Story of City’s Founding

Three women, Virginia Wood, Elizabeth Nutting, and Margaret Hutchinson, came from Dayton, Ohio, following the end of World War II to the area of Melbourne, Florida. Their goal was to build a community from scratch for people wanting to establish a lifestyle that was simple and close to nature. This social experiment was an intentional community, a response to the hardships of the Great Depression. The founders were influenced by the concepts and teachings of Ralph Borsodi, who also lived in Melbourne Village from 1950 to 1960. Many early residents cleared their land, built their own houses, and ran small home businesses, from organic gardening to raising chinchillas, to help support themselves and their families. There was a community store run on the honor system. Early families overcame the lack of construction materials for civilian use immediately following World War II by purchasing and relocating surplus military barracks from nearby bases. Two of these barracks still remain, one being the Original Melbourne Village Hall and the other a private residence. The Town of Melbourne Village was incorporated in 1957 out of concern of being annexed by Melbourne or included in the incorporation of West Melbourne.