Offroading in the GDC
heard the stories about fast talking con men selling swamp
land to unsuspecting Yankees, right? Well,
some of those stories are true.
Click the map to see a larger
A huge area of Palm Bay (the city next
to Melbourne) was bought in 1959 by some enterprising brothers
from Miami, split into lots and developed to the extent of digging
canals for drainage and paving roads. Miles and miles and miles
of roads. With street signs. The name of their business was the
General Development Corporation, so locals just call that area "The
The map shows roughly the boundaries
of the actual populated part of Palm Bay (in yellow) and the
(then) unpopulated GDC area.
But don't think that because
you have a map you can find your way around easily - there
is no pattern or plan to the way the roads are laid out. There
are places where the same streets intersect each other several
Street layout in the GDC.
A typical street
in the GDC.
Since there were roads, these lots
were sold as "developed" land to people who never
actually saw them. If
they had seen them they would have probably noticed that
they were miles away from the nearest store, gas station
or houses, and had no water, electric, telephone, or tv cable
available. Add to that the joy of scorpions, snakes, panthers,
alligators and bugs and you have the Florida retirement home
you always dreamed of!
Of course, there are some people who
like to live that way. Personally, if Pizza Hut won't deliver,
it's too far out for me!