In the 1800's, the Indian River, on the western boundary, served as a major 'highway'. Trading schooners were floating general stores and 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. Decades later, Orchid Island grapefruit became recognized worldwide for producing the finest quality grapefruit.
Developer Robert Haines III, of Avon, Connecticut, bought the farms just after the 1990 census stating "Ten grove owners were the only residents of the town on Orchid Island between Windsor and County Road 510, so a single new resident would have raised the population by 10 percent". When the 600 acres of Orchid Island property was purchased it made national news as the second smallest town in Florida.
Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club has grown into one of Florida's most scenic and desirable places to live.