Come enjoy Melrose Bay Park!
Our little park snuggled up to beautiful Melrose Bay offers peace and quiet just a couple blocks away from all the traffic along Bellamy Avenue (SR 26). Bring your children to play in the water at the sand beach, read a book on a park bench, or come to watch a local rowing team launch their long racing shell to practice on Lake Santa Fe beneath the fading rays of the afternoon sun.
Just sitting here enjoying the view of the Bay and the birds in the trees around you telling their stories, all in the present day twenty-first century, it's hard to imagine the history of this little spot. However, this small tract of land once played a very important role for the Melrose Community.
Although, the Bellamy Road had been built earlier and it's just a couple of blocks away, in the "heyday" of Melrose during the 1880s through the early twentieth century, this was the site of the Melrose docks. Yes, in those times, Melrose was a port. And, travel by water was much easier than by land.
Melrose was connected to the railroad at Waldo via Lakes Santa Fe and Alto plus a couple of canals . The dockmaster, McKendree Lambdin also was the agent for the steamship line. His home, "Bayview" which also served as a hotel, was next door to the docks. As the Lakes and the steamboats provided their principal connection with the railroad, this spot of land played a key role in Melrose happening of the day.
After the boats no longer ran to Waldo, the land reverted to private use. In the 1940s, a Ms. Maggie Steinert owned this site and made it available to all as the Melrose "swimming hole." In 1959, it was purchased by the Melrose Junior Women's Club who deeded it in 1983 to the Melrose Business Association, Inc. which later was renamed the Melrose Business and Community Association, Inc. The MBCA continues to own and maintain the park.
We invite you to come explore not just our park, but our entire community and learn more about this special corner of "Old Florida."
The Melrose Business and Community Association, Inc. has formed a support group, Friends of Melrose Bay Park. If you wish to assist us, the park is maintained entirely by volunteers. We welcome all types of assistance either through actual time spent maintaining the park or by donations to assist with the necessary expenditures.
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Revised January 9, 2013