Washington Avenue in c. 1910
The area was once inhabited by the Ais Indians, who gathered palmetto, cocoplum and seagrape berries. They also fished the Indian River, called the Rio de Ais by Spanish explorers. By 1760, however, the tribe had disappeared due to slave raids, disease and rum. Florida was acquired from Spain in 1821, but the Seminole Wars would delay settlement.
Originally called "Sand Point," a post office was established in 1859, although it closed a few months later. Confederate Colonel Henry T. Titus arrived in 1867 with the intention to build a town on land owned by his wife, Mary Hopkins Titus, daughter of a prominent planter from Darien, Georgia. He laid out roads and in 1870 erected The Titus House, a large 1-story hotel next to a saloon. He also donated land for 4 churches and a courthouse, the latter an effort to get the town designated as county seat. The community was named "Titusville" in 1873. It would be incorporated as a city in 1887, the year construction began on St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, listed in 1972 on the National Register of Historic Places. At one point, Titusville would be nicknamed "The City of Churches."
Railroad Depot in c. 1905
The Atlantic Coast, St. Johns & Indian River Railroad arrived in 1885 from Enterprise, which was connected by a spur line to the Jacksonville, Tampa & Key West Railroad at Enterprise Junction in present-day DeBary. Henry Flagler would then extend his Florida East Coast Railroad south from Daytona, with the station built in Titusville in 1892. Tourists arrived, and the Indian River area would increasingly become an agricultural and shipping center for pineapple and citrus produce. A wooden bridge was built east to Playalinda Beach in 1922. In the 1950s, the creation of the space center on Merritt Island made the community's economy, population and tourism grow considerably.
Loren J. Shriver, astronaunt
Historic Sites & Museums:
American Police Hall of Fame & Museum
North Brevard Historical Society Museum
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum
Valiant Air Command Warbirds Museum
Windover Archaeological Site
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 40,670 people, 17,200 households, and 11,094 families residing in the city. The population density was 738.6/km² (1,913.4/mi²). There were 19,178 housing units at an average density of 348.3/km² (902.3/mi²).
There were 17,200 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,607, and the median income for a family was $42,453. Males had a median income of $36,076 versus $23,998 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,901. About 9.3% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.