Orsino was a small town in Northern Brevard County, Florida, in what is now Cape Canaveral. It was named after it's first postmaster, Orsino Smith. It was also home to the Orsino Telephone Telegraph and Power Company, run by the Howe family, and nearby was one of Florida's oldest orange groves, the Dummitt Grove, located between Orsino and Allenhurst.[7][8]

In 1921, the Orsino "rural school" was closed by the Brevard County school board, due to lack of attendance.[1] In 1934, the Orsino Baptist Church was erected to serve the community.[9] In 1952, land in Orsino formerly owned by Titusville senator J.J. Parrish was felled for lumber, noted as "one of the state's remaining tracts of virgin pine".[2] Later in 1952, in an election for governor, only 49 registered voters were noted for Orsino.[3] In 1954, abandoned land originally filed for homestead was split up and raffled off to veterans.[4] Of note is that the old Orsino schoolhouse was maintained for a while after closure, and was later used as a precinct voting site in 1954.[5] However, by 1956, the voting station had been relocated to a private residence.[6]

1961 would be the beginning of the end for Orsino, and many other small towns in what is now Cape Canaveral. The federal government was shopping for land for what was then known as the "Nova project", or NASA, and Orsino and many other towns lay in the crosshairs of what was to become NASA's home. It was noted that the entire town was to be behind fences and demolished by the time land purchases were finished in 1963.[8] The Orsino Baptist Church began construction of a new church, which still bore the town's name, and was to include a small commemorative plaque detailing the town's history, with the original church to be vacated by no later than August 1963. And in July 1963, the Orsino Chamber of Commerce met for the last time and agreed to disband, with the $255.61 treasury being donated to the Orsino Baptist Church.[10]

Following the destruction of the town proper, the name briefly survived as an early name for what is now the NASA Parkway, initially called the "Orsino Parkway", before that name faded in the early 1970s. Today, Orsino is a total ghost town. The Orsino Baptist Church is it's only remnant, with the original town site demolished and paved over by NASA, and the town site in fact now a restricted area unaccessible to the public.


[1] Orlando Evening Star, August 11, 1940, "SCHOOL TO CLOSE"
[2] Orlando Evening Star, February 14, 1952, "Logging, Lumber Mill Operations Being Pushed Forward In Brevard County"
[3] Orlando Evening Star, May 7, 1952, "BREVARD COUNTY"
[4] Orlando Evening Star, February 1, 1954, "2,000 Vets File For Orsino Lots"
[5] Orlando Sentinel, May 25, 1954, "Brevard County Voting Sites"
[6] Orlando Sentinel, May 8, 1956, "Voting Site Told"
[7] Viera Voice, July 31, 2020, "Small town dreams fade on land now occupied by space center"
[8] Orlando Evening Star, December 27, 1961, "Something's Gotta Give--And It's Going To Be Orsino"
[9] Orlando Evening Star, February 2, 1962, "Little Country Church Must Make Way For Progress"
[10] Orlando Sentinel, July 28, 1963, "Orsino Refuses To Die"