Historical walk reveals secrets of Melbourne


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PHOTO BY GEORGE WHITE

 

Looking for an adventure in Melbourne? Check out the Downtown Melbourne History-Eco Walking Tour, operated by Melbourne History Eco Tours, LLC. 

“Melbourne has a beautiful, historic downtown, but most people don’t know any of the history behind it,” said Sheryl Alberga, who started the walking tours a year ago. “I thought an ongoing walking tour was needed downtown as an added activity for shoppers and restaurant-goers.” 

Alberga, who has been the chairperson of the Melbourne Beach History Center for 14 years, is well-versed in Melbourne history. Official town historical books serve as references for the tour. Alberga has also worked in the environmental field in Brevard for 20 years, so she is familiar with the fauna, flora and Indian River Lagoon problems. This served as her inspiration for adding the eco portion of the tour.  

PHOTO BY CORY DAVISThe tours last for one hour and can be tailored to seniors, adults and children. For example, in March, Alberga will conduct a tour for residents of Fountains Senior Living where she will shorten the walking time to accommodate the elderly, stopping for rest along the route. She tailors content slightly depending on the audience, speaking to seniors “more about the silent film actress Janet Gaynor than about Jim Morrison of The Doors.”

The tours leave from Holmes Park, 914 E. Melbourne Ave., where manatee statues reside. The cost is $15 per adult and free for children younger than 12. There is a two-person minimum. 

“I have gotten very good feedback about this tour,” Alberga said. 

Here is just a sampling of the many questions that are addressed about the Indian River Lagoon and Melbourne during the tour:

  • What plants are invasive or medicinal? 
  • Which plants were used in baby diapers and which were used as torches? 
  • Where was the first downtown? 
  • How can you help the Indian River Lagoon?
  • What happened to the piano player? 
  • Who were the original settlers of Melbourne who arrived in 1867? 

For more information, go to MelbourneHistoryEcoTour.com, email historyeco@yahoo.com or call 321-609-0289.