Palm Bay, Florida

P alm Bay is a city in Brevard County, Florida, located at Turkey Creek at the mouth of the Indian River. The first prominent European-American settler in the area was John Tillman who arrived sometime in the 1870s. By the late 1880s, Tillman was operating a profitable orange and banana grove on the north shore of the creek. Tillman’s wharf also attracted settlers, as it was a steamboat stop. By the mid-nineteenth century, there was a lumber operation, more orange groves, and a packing house. In 1925, the 200 residents of Tillman petitioned to change the name of their town to Palm Bay. Its farmers planted citrus groves and shipped winter produce to northern markets via the Florida East Coast Railroad. They also raised cattle and sold timber and land to paper companies. In 1959, the General Development Corporation purchased and platted extensive tracts of land in Palm Bay for a large residential project known as Port Malabar, and the City of Palm Bay incorporated on January 16, 1960. AT A GLANCE PALM BAY, FLORIDA WHAT: A city of 112,000 WHERE: At the mouth of the Indian River in Brevard County WEBSITE: PALM BAY Florida MOVING AHEAD