Orchid's History


In the 1800's, the Indian River, on the western boundary, served as a major 'highway'. Trading schooners were floating general stores that visited settlements along the river on a monthly schedule.  In 1903, A.B. Michael, one of the original Orchid Island settlers, planted the first ten acres of citrus trees while continuing to raise beans and tomatoes as a money crop. The few families, who lived on the strip of fertile land bordered by the ocean and State Road 510, produced the Indian River grapefruit which in later decades was recognized worldwide as the finest quality grapefruit being grown. 

The Town of Orchid was incorporated in 1965 and in 1986 the residents sold the town to the Deerfield Groves Corporation, and it provided, well, more grapefruit.

Yet it was inevitable that the real estate boom on Indian River County's barrier island would reach the Town of Orchid and in 1988 developer Robert Haines III, of Avon, Connecticut, created a limited partnership that raised $20 million and bought the farms with plans to transform it into a residential community. Then the farms were purchased, the ten grove owners were the only residents on Orchid Island between Windsor and County Road 510. When the 600 acres of Orchid Island was purchased it made national news as the second smallest town in Florida.

Robert Haines III's limited partnership built the Arnold Palmer golf course, the three story West Indies style Beach Club, four tennis courts and by 1990 had sold 10 home sites.

In 1994, billionaire Galen Weston of Canada, who had developed Windsor just north of Orchid, bought the property. Immediately the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club began it's climb, slowly at first, then more rapidly. Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club has now grown into one of Florida's most scenic and desirable places to live.