Titusville is a city in and the county seat of Brevard County, Florida, United States. The city's population was 43,761 as of the 2010 United States Census. Titusville is on the Indian River, west of Merritt Island and the Kennedy Space Center, and south-southwest of the Canaveral National Seashore. It is a principal city of the Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
|City of Titusville|
Historic Brevard County Courthouse in 2006
|Nickname(s): "Miracle City"|
|Motto(s): "Gateway To Nature And Space"|
Location in Brevard County and the U.S. state of Florida
|Country||United States of America|
|Founded by||Henry T. Titus|
|• Mayor||Walt Johnson|
|• City Manager||Scott Larese|
|• Vice Mayor||Matt Barringer|
|• Total||34.19 sq mi (88.56 km2)|
|• Land||29.10 sq mi (75.37 km2)|
|• Water||5.09 sq mi (13.19 km2)|
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||46,019|
|• Density||1,581.30/sq mi (610.54/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||32780, 32781, 32782, 32783, 32796|
|GNIS feature ID||0292319|
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. The United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821, and the Seminole Wars delayed settlement.
The community was originally called Sand Point, and a post office was established in 1859, although it closed a few months later. Henry T. Titus arrived in 1867, intending 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, one-story hotel next to a saloon. He also donated land for four churches and a courthouse, the latter an effort to get the town designated as county seat.
Titusville could have been called Riceville, but Titus challenged Capt. Clark Rice to a game of dominoes to decide the name. Titus won the game, and Sand Point became Titusville in 1873. The city was incorporated in 1887, the year construction began on St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, as listed in the 1972 National Register of Historic Places. At one point, Titusville was nicknamed "The City of Churches".
The Atlantic Coast, St. Johns & Indian River Railroad arrived in 1885 from Enterprise, Florida, which was connected by a spur line to the Jacksonville, Tampa & Key West Railroad at Enterprise Junction in present-day DeBary, Florida. Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad south from Daytona, with the station built in Titusville in 1892. Tourists arrived, and the Indian River area increasingly became an agricultural and shipping center for pineapple and citrus produce. A wooden bridge was built east to Playalinda Beach in 1922.
Beginning in the late 1950s, the growth of Cape Canaveral, and later the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, made the community's economy, population and tourism grow considerably. The association with the space program led to the city's two nicknames in the 1960s: Space City USA and Miracle City.
Searstown Mall opened in 1966. Miracle City Mall opened in 1968, built on 32 acres (13 ha). There was 275,000 square feet (25,500 m2) of covered floor space.
Computer Shopper was founded in Titusville in 1979 by Glenn Patch, first as a tabloid, but later grew to become a magazine of over 800 pages. It was published in Titusville until September 1989, when operations were moved to New York City in a joint venture between Patch Communications of Titusville and Ziff Davis.
The A. Max Brewer Bridge, a 65 feet (20 m) fixed high-level span on SR-406 connecting Titusville to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, opened on February 5, 2011 to replace the former swing bridge built in 1949.
In May 2012, the Brevard County School Board closed Riverview Elementary School for budgetary reasons. It closed South Lake Elementary School May 25, 2013.
In January 2013, Miracle City Mall closed, a victim of a declining local economy after the termination of the Space Shuttle program in 2012, the shift of the county's population center to the south, and changing shopping habits. Demolition of Miracle City Mall occurred February 2015 for the construction of a mixed-use outdoor shopping complex called Titus Landing.
- Titusville Star-Advocate – began publication in 1920 when the East Coast Advocate and Indian River Chronicle merged with the Indian River Star; bought by Henry Hudson in 1925; became Brevard's first daily newspaper in 1965; the Star-Advocate was sold by Henry Hudson and his son Bob Hudson to Gannett Company in 1965. As part of the deal, publication of the Star-Advocate would be retained as long as editor Bob Hudson wished. Daily publication (Monday to Friday) ceased after January 31, 1975 when the Star-Advocate was changed to a weekly local insert for Titusville residents in Gannett's Florida Today starting Wednesday, February 5, 1975. The format was changed from a newspaper to a small tabloid in the early 2000s. In July 2013, publication of the Star-Advocate was ceased.
- The North Brevard Beacon – biweekly newspaper based in Titusville that served the communities of North Brevard; publication started November 5, 2003; ceased publication after March 4, 2010.
- The News Observer of North Brevard – semiweekly newspaper based in Titusville; ceased publication September 4, 2003 after 15 years.
Titusville is located at  in the northern half of Brevard County. According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.2 square miles (88.7 km2). 29.4 square miles (76.1 km2) of it is land, and 4.9 square miles (12.7 km2) of it (14.26 percent) is water. Titusville is located on the Indian River Lagoon, part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.(28.591210, -80.819911)
The city is the only place in the world where the endangered Dicerandra thinicola, or "Titusville mint" grows. The fields are located along a 13 miles (21 km) strip between the Titusville wellfield and Mims.
Titusville has as the rest of central Florida a very warm humid subtropical climate with significant influence from the tropics, although the cooler winter lows than farther south separates it from the classification.
|Climate data for Titusville, Florida|
|Record high °F (°C)||88
|Average high °F (°C)||70
|Average low °F (°C)||50
|Record low °F (°C)||19
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.48
|Source: "Titusville, FL Monthly Weather". July 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 40,670 people, 17,200 households, and 11,094 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,913.4 inhabitants per square mile (738.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.80 percent White, 12.64 percent African American, 0.39 percent Native American, 0.94 percent Asian, 0.04 percent Pacific Islander, 0.73 percent from other races, and 1.46 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.52 percent of the population.
There were 17,200 households out of which 26.7 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9 percent were married couples living together, 12.6 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5 percent were non-families. 29.9 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9 percent 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 percent under the age of 18, 6.9 percent from 18 to 24, 26.2 percent from 25 to 44, 23.2 percent from 45 to 64, and 20.8 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. In 2010, this had risen to 43.4. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
In 2010, for residents 25 and older, 89.3% had completed high school, 22.6% had at least a bachelor's degree.
Titusville is run by a council-manager government. The elected city council serves as the city's legislative branch, while the appointed city manager carries out policies defined by the council. The city is governed according to its Charter, adopted on June 3, 1963.
The city has 1.8 police officers per thousand residents. This is 52% below average statewide for cities of its size.
A 2011 study rated the pension fund for city employees as mediocre or poor.
Titusville's five city council members (one of whom is the mayor) are elected at-large to four-year, staggered terms. As the city's legislative body, the council determines all municipal policies not explicitly covered by the city charter or state legislation. It also adopts ordinances and resolutions, cote appropriations, approve budgets, determine the tax rate, and appoint citizens to serve on advisory boards and commissions.
The mayor presides over all city council meetings and votes as a council member. The mayor is the recognized head of city government for ceremonial and military law purposes, but has no regular administrative duties. The vice mayor is chosen from among the council members at their annual organizational meeting and takes the mayor's place during absence or disability.
- Mayor: Walt Johnson (term expires 2020)
- Vice mayor: Matt Barringer (term expires 2018)
- Council members: JoLynn Nelson (term expires 2018), Daniel Diesel (term expires 2018), Sarah Stoeckel (term expires 2020)
The city manager is chosen by the city council on the basis of training, experience and ability, and serves at the pleasure of the council for an indefinite period of time. The city manager is tasked with enforcing all laws and ordinances, appointing and removing department heads and employees, supervising all departments, keeping the council advised on the city's financial situation, keeping the council and public informed of the city government's operations.
- City manager: Scott Larese
In 2010, private business was 24.7 percent "other"; 21.5 percent trade, transportation and utilities, 18.1 percent professional and business services; 13.7 percent educational and health services; 12 percent construction; and 10 percent leisure and hospitality. The economy shrunk after lay-offs involving the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, since many employees live in Titusville. Titusville has a high[clarification needed] unemployment rate.
In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $35,607, and the median income for a family was $42,453. This had risen to $44,925 median per household in 2010; $24,374 per capita income. 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 percent of families and 12.4 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6 percent of those under age 18 and 6.8 percent of those age 65 or over.
Many of Titusville's major employers are aerospace companies. Knight's Armament Company in Titusville is believed to be the state's largest manufacturer of small arms. Parrish Medical Center, located in Titusville, is the city's largest employer. In October 2013, Barn Light Electric Company opened a new manufacturing plant, providing work for at least 60 former NASA workers and men who had completed drug rehabilitation.
The city's main interest is transient travelers. Their secondary market is the beach, Space Center, and nature.
The unemployment rate was 3.6% in 2000 and 2005. In 2007, the average size of Titusville's labor force was 20,716. Of that group, 19,879 were employed and 837 were unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 4 percent. In December 2010, the city had the highest unemployment in the county, 13.8 percent.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,178 housing units at an average density of 902.3 per square mile (348.3/km²). In 2008, 55 building permits for 64 units were issued. This was down from 195 permits for 657 units in 2007. The city issued 292 permits for 360 units in 2006.
In 2001 149 permits were issued for $18.6 million worth of property; 453 in 2005 for $65.7 million; 45 in 2010 for $9.5 million.
Shopping centers include Walmart Supercenter and Target. They are located in the city's shopping district at the southern end of the city, near the intersection of State Road 405 (Florida) and State Road 50 (Florida).
The Titusville Public Library was one of the first of five public libraries in Brevard County, Florida, and was initially called the North Brevard Library. The library was started in 1900.}} As of 2017, The Titusville Public Library is one of the few libraries in the county that is open seven days a week.
The library provides adult and children's programs. There is a genealogy section with over 2200 books, over l00 periodicals, microfiche and film. Volunteers are in the library on Thursdays to help with research. The Library also has a microfilm machine to aid in research.
In 2015, a former patron left the Titusville Public Library a donation of about $860,000. This has been the largest donation made to the Brevard County Library System to date. Renovations started in 2017 and are expected to be finished by 2018.
The city owned water utility primarily gets its water supply from the Florida’s surficial aquifer, a shallow, unconfined aquifer that overlays the larger Floridan aquifer. In 2005, about 3.8 million gallons per day of raw water were drawn from the city’s two wellfields. The water department had 22,000 customers in 2010.
- Space Coast Regional Airport (commercial aviation), located just south of the city
- Arthur Dunn Air Park (general aviation)
Historic sites and museumsEdit
- Judge George Robbins House
- North Brevard Historical Museum
- Pritchard House
- St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church
- Spell House
- Titusville Commercial District
- American Police Hall of Fame & Museum
- United States Astronaut Hall of Fame
- US Space Walk of Fame and Museum
- Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum
- Wager House
Parrish Medical Center, originally established as North Brevard Hospital in 1958, is the hospital that serves Titusville. A new 371,000-sq.ft., $80 million hospital was completed in 2002. It was the first medical center in the Southeast region designed and constructed using the 7 Principles of Evidence-Based Design to create a healing environment. It was also among the first participants of The Pebble Project, a national research initiative to demonstrate that healing environments improve overall quality of care and create life-enhancing environments for patients, families and employees.
Primary and secondary public schools are run by the Brevard County School Board:
- Apollo Elementary School
- Coquina Elementary School
- Imperial Estates Elementary School
- Oak Park Elementary School
- Pinewood Elementary School
- Jackson Middle School
- Madison Middle School
- Park Avenue Christian Academy
- Sculptor Charter School
- St. Teresa Catholic School
- Temple Christian School
In 2010, a New York Times reporter, in Titusville to cover a space shuttle launch, commented that Titusville was
...a small, sleepy and, some might say, seedy town with a handful of not too luxurious motels and hotels that jack up their prices whenever there is a scheduled shuttle lift-off.
A Titusville spokesman replied that it was common everywhere to increase room rates for major events.
- Cris Collinsworth, former NFL football player; born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up in Titusville.
- Daniel Tosh, stand-up comedian (creator/star of Tosh.0); born in Boppard, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany and grew up in Titusville.
- Bill DeMott professional wrestler/trainer is from Titusville
- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, professional wrestler; previously lived in Titusville, and for a time owned a gym on Cheney Hwy called "Hacksaw Duggan's Muscle and Fitness" which opened in 1995.
- Jeff Fulchino, Major League baseball player, born in Titusville
- Larry Laoretti, former Senior PGA Tour golfer.
- Hiram Mann, U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel and pilot, member of the Tuskegee Airmen 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.
- Wilber Marshall, former NFL football player, College Football Hall of Fame; attended Astronaut High School
- Mike Polchlopek, professional wrestler, born in Titusville.
- Aaron Walker, NFL football player
- Johnny Weissmuller, actor known for playing Tarzan; helped develop the now abandoned theme park Tropical Wonderland
- Latavius Murray, NFL Running Back, born in Titusville
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