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The northern part of the island is mostly undeveloped, with few residents. Merritt Island was named after Joseph H. Merritt, a former captain in the Confederate States Army and Florida state representative who helped establish Brevard County. The first inhabitants of Merritt Island were American Indians who hunted and fished along the Indian River Lagoon (also known as Mosquito Lagoon). These tribes belonged to what archaeologists call "the St. Johns culture", which had settlements throughout central and eastern Florida between 500 BCE-500 CE.