Scenic USA - Florida
Titusville Historic District
|Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website
Car Show, Pritchard House by Larry Metler
Red Fish by Nathaniel Patrick
Titusville, one of the oldest cities on Central Florida's Space Coast, is best known for its close association with Kennedy Space Center. Here along the broad Indian River, Titusville has been a great viewpoint for rocket launches over the last 50 years. Even though the number of space center workers has declined since the bustling days of the Apollo Program, Titusville's population is still growing and continues to expand beyond its borders.
Titusville was founded in 1867 when Confederate Col. Henry Theodore Titus arrived at Sand Point on the banks of the Indian River. With the idea of building a town on property owned by his wife Mary, Titus built the area's first hotel called the Titus House. Titus was also instrumental in connecting the Indian River with the inland waterway, the St Johns River, with mule-drawn wagons. Another Confederate officer, Captain James Pritchard arrived in Titusville in 1886. Pritchard organized the first bank in Titusville and built the first electrical power plant in 1890. While the Titus name endures in the city's name, Pritchard's legacy is a Queen Anne style home in the historic district. With a wraparound porch, steep gables and plenty of decorative details, the four bedroom house looks just like it did when built in 1891.
Becoming the birthplace for shipments of the famous Indian River Citrus during the late 1800s, Titusville survived the following decades of the Great Depression and grew dramatically with the arrival of major companies associated with the Space Program. After the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Titusville faces new economical challenges. A fresh makeover of the city's historic district hopes to attract more tourists. Although Indian River citrus is still a part of the economy, more modern businesses extend their ties to tourism. With the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Canaveral National Seashore nearby, and some of the world's best fishing in Mosquito Lagoon, the area has been ranked eleventh in the world's eco-tourism industry.
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