The History of Melbourne Village

 

The American Homesteading Foundation (AHF) is the founding organization and developer  of this unique,  intentional community in Brevard County, Florida. The AHF is a not-for-profit corporation chartered first under the laws of the State of Ohio in 1946 and more recently in Florida in 1977.
 
The founding members of the organization had an idealistic vision of a community which would share resources, barter with one another, and engage in productive enterprises.
 
In the late 1940s ranch land was bought and subdivided in generous residential lots with winding streets and many parks. Lots and memberships were sold. Today there are about 300 member homesteads in the Village.
 
Today, the AHF functions much like a homeowners association. It manages a recreation  hall, swimming pool, offices and about 52 acres of parkland. It sponsors recreation and social events including 4th of July parade, Halloween party, Easter egg hunt, game nights, Christmas dinner, and flea market.
 
The AHF works closely with the Town of Melbourne Village. The latter provides security with a 24/7 police department, issues building permits, and maintains the roads and drainage infra structure.

 

More historic photos coming as we scan them...come back soon.

Much has been written about the history of Melbourne Village.  For details about  the early days see one of these valuable resources.

 

Thanks to the Kjerulff Family and

AHF Historian Hugh Nicolay

Early Meeting

Early Meeting

Live In Melbourne Village 1948 Early Morning Board Meeting.jpg The three founding mothers are present at this early morning meeting: Margaret Hutchinson, Virginia Wood, and Dr. Elizabeth Nutting. Others present are George Tynan, Louis Jessaph, Alice Carr, Barton Myers, Wayne Taylor.

Live In Melbourne Village V Wood 542 Hammock.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village V Wood 542 Hammock.jpg

Virginia P. Wood steps out of the first home built in Melbourne Village (542 Hammock). This house no longer stands, but you can drive past the Seiler home on Live Oak which is a very similar and remains unchanged today.

Live In Melbourne Village General Store.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village General Store.jpg

This honor system general store once stood at the spot on Dayton Blvd. where the community bulletin board now stands.

Live In Melbourne Village Inside General Store.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village Inside General Store.jpg

The general store carried only the barest of necessities along with home made and home grown goods for sale or barter.

Live In Melbourne Village 1955 Directory.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village 1955 Directory.jpg

Elizabeth Nutting, a founder of Melbourne Village, points to a lot for a visitor. This directory is on display in the AHF Hall.

Live In Melbourne Village Ralph Borsodi.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village Ralph Borsodi.jpg

Ralph Borsodi (1888-1977), lived in Melbourne Village from 1950 to 1960. He founded the School for Living in Suffern, New York in order to investigate and promulgate homesteading. His ideas were the driving force behind the founding mothers of the American Homesteading Foundation and ultimately, Melbourne Village. He started the University of Melbourne, serving as chancellor of the school until 1957. His books were influential in the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s.

Live In Melbourne Village Man with Vegetables.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village Man with Vegetables.jpg

This man was truly living off the land in the early days of Melbourne Village. This photo is an inspiration to many Villagers today.

Live In Melbourne Village Store.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village Store.jpg

This crowd of Villagers look happy to wait in line for their turn at the counter. The Melbourne Village General Store stood on Dayton Blvd and Savannah Dr where the community bulletin board now stands.

Live In Melbourne Village  Future Site.jpg

Live In Melbourne Village Future Site.jpg

Agrarian theorist Ralph Borsodi standing with Elizabeth Nutting next to a sign advertising the future site for the University of Melbourne, or what is now known as Florida Institute of Technology.

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