For more than forty years, Weona Cleveland wrote about the people, places, events, and even the plants that make Brevard County Florida unique. Weona Cleveland’s articles first appeared in the Melbourne Times in the 1970s, and later in this newspaper. Her reflections on local history as told through the eyes of everyday people earned her a dedicated following of readers. Some of Weona Cleveland’s best newspaper articles from the past three decades are collected in the new bookMosquito Soup, published by the Florida Historical Society Press. Publication of the book was made possible by the Kellsberger Fund of the South Brevard Historical Society.
Like most Floridians, Weona Cleveland came here from somewhere else. Born in 1925, she moved to Melbourne, Florida, from Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961. The following decade she started writing for local newspapers. Her previous books and booklets include Melbourne: A Century of Memories (1980), Crossroad Towns Remembered: A Look Back at Brevard and Indian River Pioneer Communities (1994), and A Historical Tour of Melbourne (1999).
In addition to her numerous articles and other writing projects, Cleveland researched and wrote the text for most of the historical markers located throughout Melbourne and Eau Gallie. She says that her proudest personal accomplishment is the walking tours of old Eau Gallie and Melbourne that she gave for many years.
In 2006, the Brevard County Commissioners named Cleveland the first Honorary Brevard County Historian. In 2009, Cleveland received the Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award from Florida Technical Institute for her research on the local African American community. In 2011, the South Brevard Historical Society recognized her accomplishments with an Honorary Lifetime Membership.