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The city is a part of the Sebastian–Vero Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was named after the Spanish term for "true spring", because of its reliable freshwater springs that are found along the eastern shore of Indian River Lagoon. The area was first settled by Timucuans and later by Seminoles, who built their village on what is now known as Fisheating Creek (named for alligators in it). In 1838, Fort Vero (or Fort Blount) was built to protect settlers from these tribes during this period when Florida came under threat from war with Spain over control of Florida. The town's name comes from a series of freshwater springs running just beneath the surface at high tide called "Las Salinas" or "the saltworks".