Shipwreck dive expert to speak on “The Quest for the Queen's Jewels”


Shipwreck dive expert Sir Robert Marx will speak on “The Quest for the Queen's Jewels” Sept. 12 at Melbourne Library.

Photo courtesy of South Brevard Historical Association

Sir Robert Marx, renowned underwater archaeologist and pioneer in deep water shipwreck archaeology, will discuss his latest book “The Quest for the Queen's Jewels” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Melbourne Public Library, 540 E. Fee Ave. in Melbourne.

Marx will relate the story of the Spanish Treasure Fleet lost off the coast of Brevard County in 1715, leaving behind a priceless trove of treasures. Much of the treasure still remains, including the dowry of the consort Queen, Isabella Farnese, wife of King Philip V.

The presentation is hosted by the South Brevard Historical Society. SBHS was founded on April 29, 1966 to bring together citizens interested in the history of Florida, particularly Brevard County,

During the last 49 years, the Society has held general meetings monthly from September through June, with speakers on a wide range of subjects related to local history. The Society currently meets at the Melbourne Library on Fee Avenue where, in addition to a presentation, members and guests have an opportunity to share ideas and information. The public is encouraged to attend these free meetings,

Throughout its existence, SBHS has received donations of many historical collections and artifacts. From 1972 to 1984, these items were on display in a museum located in the old Melbourne High School. However, due to the deteriorating condition of the Henegar Complex, the decision was made to close the museum. Since that time, the Society has placed parts of its collection at local libraries.

The placement of historical markers throughout Melbourne was one of the projects undertaken by the SBHS with community support. In addition, SBHS was responsible for the restoration of Melbourne's oldest public school house and its subsequent move to the campus of Florida Institute of Technology. The Society also provides teacher in-service programs, conducting museum and community historic tours, marking historic trails, and holding seminars of Brevard history.

Through a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Kellersberger, the Kellersberger Fund was established by SBHS to publish materials on Florida. The Kellersberger Fund has published 14 volumes of historic significance, with all of the authors being Floridians, nearly all of them Brevard residents.

As SBHS prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the Society continues to grow in membership and share South Brevard's diverse history with its residents.

The speaker for the Oct. 10 meeting will be Ann Raley Flotte, who will discuss the mystery of the 1955 Van Eeghen murders in Melbourne, a story that continues to baffle and fascinate 60 years later.

For future SBHS program or other information, go to

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