1896: William S. Brown, of Savannah, Ga., a black settler, received a federal homestead for 60 acres. He developed a farm and a small settlement grew around his farm. The public called the small settlement Brownsville.


1900: The area was officially named Gifford when Henry S. Gifford, one of the settlers of Vero Beach, filed paperwork for a post office for the community.


1930s: The Gifford School opened for students to attend classes up to the seventh grade.


1938: The first time high school aged students in Gifford attended high school in their own town. The Gifford School was extended to include the older students. Before the change, students either went to a school in Fort Pierce or Brevard County to continue their education or their schooling ended.


1952: A new building for the Gifford High School was built on 45th Street and 28th Court, now location of Gifford Middle School.


1962: Dallas Yates is hired as an Indian River County deputy sheriff and becomes the first black law enforcement officer in the county.


1964: Thomas Jackson becomes the first black person to serve in an elected office in Indian River County, when he was elected to the school board.


1968 and 1969: School desegregation occurs in the county allowing for black students to attend Vero Beach High School. The following year, Gifford High School has its last graduating class.


1978:  The efforts of the Progressive Civic League leads to Gifford getting clean water.


1980: Gifford native Tyrone McGriff is selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL draft.


1988. J. Ralph Lundy started Our Father’s Table Soup Kitchen to provide meals to the county’s needy.


1997: Gifford native Kenny Holmes becomes the area’s first NFL first-round drift pick when he was selected by the then-Tennessee Oilers.


1998: Gifford Youth Activity Center opens.


xxx:  Angelia Perry, Home Grown Gifford Woman becomes Executive Director

XXX - gifford Swimming Pool opens

xxx - Larry Staley, Home Grown Gifford man becomes Park and Pool Manager

XXX - Larry Staley holds class for Gifford children to become life guards - 15 graduate.


2011: After years of neglect, the 57-year old Gifford Gardens apartment complex at 4730 40th Ave., is demolished.

2011:  First female life guard reports for duty at the Gifford Pool




(1) History and Genealogy Section of the Indian River County Main Library

(2)  Makin' It Plain - Gifford community Newsletter

(3)  Gifford Residents reporting the facts

Contact Us

The Gifford Florida Youth Orchestra
8 Vista Gardens Trl #102
Vero Beach, FL 32962


 Mailing Address:P O Box 691166

Vero Beach, FL 32969-1166
Phone: +1 772 / 778-5118



Upcoming Dates

November 5, 2016

"The Magic of 13 Years"


The Gifford Community Center 

            4855 43rd Avenue

  Corner 43rd Ave. & 49th St.   



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Opens the meeting for

The Indian River County

School Board meeting



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