Boulevard Of Oaks
In the heart of Vero Beach, McAnsh Park is a living tribute to the greatest generation
Vero Beach residents may know Victory Boulevard as a pleasant single-family residential street in the northwestern region of the city. It runs through the heart of the McAnsh Park neighborhood, meeting Atlantic Boulevard near 27th Avenue at one end and turning into 21st Street after crossing 20th Avenue at the other end. But do residents know why there are 91 oak trees lining the boulevard? The oak trees were planted during World War II to honor and commemorate the soldiers from Indian River County serving in the war.
In the midst of the Second World War, in October 1943, members of the Indian River Garden Club voted to set aside $25 from their budget to plant an avenue of laurel oaks on Riverra Boulevard to honor the troops deployed in the war.
The minutes of the meeting of the Indian River Garden Club read: “Following luncheon at the Woman’s Club, Oct. 11, 1943, the Indian River Garden Club was called to order by the president, Mrs. S.B. Taylor.” The document continues, “In the absence of Mrs. Wolcott, Civic Chairman, Mrs. Taylor stated that $25 had been set aside for the avenue of trees to be planted as a living monument honoring the boys in the service, the laurel oak having been chosen for the planting. She stated the City Council had granted the club the privilege of planting the trees on the street leading up to the airport from the canal crossing at 21st Street.”
By 1944, the trees were planted, and two years later, the city council wanted the name of Riverra Boulevard changed and gave the Garden Club the task of coming up with the new name. The city council minutes of Jan. 23, 1946, read: “Mrs. George Cox appeared before the Council on behalf of the Indian River Garden Club and asked Council to take action before February 1st on the renaming of Riverra Boulevard. She submitted the Spanish name of ‘Triunfo’ (triumph) and also ‘Victory and Honor.’ The Mayor recommended that this matter be referred to a Special Committee and it was so ordered.”