Pete Godke’s parents moved their family to Cocoa Beach in 1938 looking for a calmer, quieter area to raise their children after they had operated a small hotel along U.S. 1 in Sebastian.About 50 people called Cocoa Beach home back then, according to a 1940 census.“At that time, the only thing in Cocoa Beach was the Ocean Lodge and a dozen or so stucco homes,” said Godke, 84. (The Ocean Lodge was where Coconuts on the Beach is today.)
But it didn’t stay quiet for long. With the start of the space program and a growing military presence, the population began to grow rapidly in the 1950s.

Source: Life in Cocoa Beach revolved around the space program
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