Rockledge /ˈrɒklɪdʒˌ-ˌlɛdʒ/ is the oldest city in Brevard County, Florida. The city's population was 24,926 at the 2010 United States Census, and is part of the Palm Bay−Melbourne−Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
|City of Rockledge|
|Motto: "Preserving The Past, Planning The Future"|
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Rockledge was officially founded on August 7, 1887, making it the oldest incorporated municipality in Brevard County. The name Rockledge, attributed to Gardner S. Hardee, an early settler, comes from the many ledges of coquina rock that line the Indian River. Other sources refer to a man named Cephas Bailey Magruder, who built his home after settling in the area in 1876 near the Indian River. Magruder called his home "the rockledge home" and the name was eventually attributed to the whole town. It was originally referred to as Rock Ledge; the two-word name persisted through the 19th century. Early industry in the area was based on the citrus trade and accommodation fortourists traveling to South Florida via the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway of the Indian River.
Towards the early part of the 20th century, Rockledge was known as a resort town. In the winter months, the population would rise from 200 to almost 2,000 people. Up until about 1911, access to Rockledge was via boat and rail. Steamboats in the Indian River connected with Henry Flagler's trains to bring people to the North. Small boats, sailboats, and small launches frequently stopped to unload freight and passengers. Most of the tourists in this time were wealthy and would use the boats to connect to the rail system at that time. After World War I, the automobile allowed the average person to travel to the area and their encampments dotted the area. The Dixie Highway was completed in 1915 and spanned most of Florida. In the 1920s, US1 was paved and replaced the Dixie Highway.
President Grover Cleveland and his wife visited the city in 1888.
The town had several large hotels in the late 19th century to the early 20th century that catered to Northern tourists escaping cold winters. Condominiums are located at the previous site of Hotel Indian River.
The City of Rockledge functions under a Council-Manager government. The Mayor and City Council members are elected to three-year terms. There are six City Council members whose terms are staggered to allow election of two council seats each year. The city holds municipal elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November each year.
While the Mayor and the City Council act as the legislative body of the City of Rockledge, the actual operation of the city and its functions lies with the City Manager and his departmental support staff consisting of Assistant City Manager/Finance Director, City Clerk/Public Relations Officer, Building Official, Fire Chief, Chief of Police, Director of Public Works and Director of Wastewater Treatment and Water Reclamation.
The Chairman of the City Council appoints members of the City Council to serve on subcommittees and to represent the City Council on other governmental bodies that require the city's input.
In 2013, there were 237 city employees.
The public schools in Rockledge are operated by the Brevard County Public School Board. Local schools include Hans Christian Andersen Elementary; Golfview Elementary; John F. Kennedy Middle School; Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School; and Rockledge High School.
Private schools include St. Mary's Catholic School, Rockledge Christian School,Trinity Lutheran School, and Rockledge Montessori School.