Two COCOAS... Who Knew?

We had always known of the iconic Cocoa Beach, but did you know there was a different Cocoa, a historical one? Well we didn't and today we experienced them both. Our first stop was the new kid on the peninsula, Cocoa Beach. In 1888, a group of men from Cocoa bought the entire tract of land which went undeveloped until the town of Cocoa Beach was established in 1925.

'A must' was the gnarly, tubular Ron Jon Surf Shop, a surfer style retail store chain founded in 1959 in Ship Bottom, New Jersey by Ron DiMenna. This Cocoa Beach store is currently the largest surfing shop in the world. We just had to see it for ourselves. It was a very cool tourist mecca.


Interestingly, Cocoa Beach was the setting for the 1960's sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, although no episodes were actually filmed there. No wonder it seemed so familiar to me.
The first town of Cocoa was founded by fishermen (around 1860) with the first commercial building being erected twenty years later. As for its name, whatever its origin, by 1884 the name Cocoa had become permanently associated with what was then an infant settlement.
Wanting a history lesson before exploring the town, we visited the Florida Historical Society (established in 1856) which is dedicated to preserving Florida's past through the collection and archival maintenance of historical documents and photographs, the publication of scholarly research, and educating the public about the State's past through a variety of public history projects and programs. And how cool was it that it is currently housed in the old 1939 Post Office?!
A surprisingly delicious lunch was consumed at Ossorio Bakery & Cafe. We absolutely loved this place. Unique food, great service and dining outside- just perfect!
A cool find was the incredible S. F. Travis Hardware Store. For  over 125 years, from the rise and fall of the river trade in the late 1800s, to the birth of the space age, and into the present, this company has been providing hardware products and supplies to generations.

“Hardware stores are the basis of any community,” says its current owner, S.F.'s great-grandson. “It’s where people gather and that’s been our place in our community.”
There was something for everyone. Just look at all the different sized cow bells right next to the samurai swords... right?
There was just something about this display assortment which contained 100 of Ajax Springs' most popular styles and sizes. "This display facilitates instant identification of the desired spring and promotes immediate and efficient product sales. Lightweight yet sturdy, it is best hung on a wall and located adjacent to the Ajax 4-Drawer Cabinet."

And what did I purchase here? The description reads:

What's left of a Kansas City cow after all the steaks are gone? Lots of leather! (Think buckskin, not biker jacket). The Farmer Bundle Repair Bag, 1 lb of scraps in various colors. Ours contained a solid 12" x 8" brown piece and a very large bundle of shades of brown leather thongs 47" long x approx 1/8" square and lots of heavy leather for the price. All that leather fun for only $4.05.
What a really nice day of being surprised by the unknown. We explored two diverse towns with the same name and learned a lot about each of them.

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2 comments:

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Love, love that town! It is so sweet! Lots to see and do there before your cruise!

Cyndy Brown said...

Wow Denise, the photo of you on the beach deserves to be put in a frame. Love the hardware store with the old fashioned ladders.

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