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Edgewater in Volusia County, Florida, is a charming Intracoastal waterfront community that has grown alongside the Indian River. Hardwood hammocks and farmlands and Interstate 95 are to the west. Edgewater is small-town Florida that thrives with business and recreation. Edgewater is known as “The Hospitality City”; it invites you to enjoy a high quality of life, with the best boating and fishing in the state, unspoiled natural surroundings, sports facilities, and the opportunity to excel in business. Edgewater Landing is a sought after riverfront retirement community, listed among the best in the country.
The diverse ecosystem along the Indian River Lagoon is known as the underwater rain forest. Some of the most stunning estuaries and wildlife in the country can be seen here. Nature lovers can spot over three hundred species of birds in the dense woods. The river is home to over six hundred and eighty species of fish, friendly dolphins, and the famous manatee. Several small, undeveloped islands that separate the shoreline and river’s channel from the accessible backwaters and the Atlantic Ocean are an environmentalist’s dream come true. The locals enjoy over one hundred and forty-six acres of parkland for picnicking, fitness trails, swimming, and fishing. Tennis, football, racquetball, baseball, etc. are popular pastimes. The Riverwalk along scenic Riverside Drive is a favorite with walkers, bicyclists, and nature lovers.
Vicinity of Edgewater
Originally called Hawk’s Park, after its founder, Dr. John Milton Hawks who settled here in 1871, it grew as a favorite of northerners as a winter resort. The first winter visitors and settlers arrived by steamboat, landing at a wharf across from a lodge called Bayview House, now a historical site known as Menard-May Park. Riverside Drive, then called the Strand, was an Indian Trail. Dr. Hawks planned for a Town Hall, a library, and a cemetery on land he donated to the City. The early structures included a general store, a crabmeat factory, a post-office, and a hospital. In 1924, the Florida State Legislature changed the name to Edgewater.
Today Edgewater is no longer a winter resort community. Twenty three thousand people live in twenty-five square miles of the city that is home to many leading businesses and companies. The original occupations of orange groves, poultry farming, vegetable gardens, and beekeeping continue to thrive along with paint, building, boating, and garment industries. Edgewater was incorporated as a municipality in 1951 and in 1957 a new residential area Florida Shores was annexed into the city. Many people attracted by the sunshine, job opportunities, and recreational facilities moved to Edgewater in the 1980s, creating infrastructure deficiencies. The City’s 1990 Comprehensive Plan has ensured the planning for proper public facilities and services to support planned development and growth. This has improved facilities and infrastructure and growth is now occurring at a more manageable pace.