NAME: Tillman
COUNTY: Brevard
CLIMATE: Mild in Summer
COMMENTS: Former name of Palm Bay.
REMAINS: Former town center near Palm Bay Rd and US 1

Former name of Palm Bay. Remanants of old name is present in naming of canals in the area. Melbourne-Tillman Canal XX Submitted by: Gerald McMillen

Tillman began in the 1880s, with John Tillman's banana and citrus groves on the  shore of Turkey Creek.  Tillman's wharf at the mouth of the creek became a major stopping point on the Indian River for steamboats.   Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) was extended to the area in 1894, boosting the ecomony of the  region.   It brought a rapid entry of tourists and permanent settlers and expanded the  shipping of the area's products to markets to the north.  The winter freezes of  1894 and 1895 devastated Brevard County's citrus industry, but unlike other towns, Tillman did not die out, but diversified its economy to other areas.  In 1922 the Melboure-Tillman Drainage District was formed, implementing canals to drain the marshlands for agricultural use.  The land again returned to citrus groves and agricultural production, and in 1925 Tillman was renamed Palm Bay.  The Florida Land Boom collapse in 1926, the Hurricane of 1928, and a town wildfire put the community economy into a downward spiral.  The Great Depression spelled the end, and in 1928 Palm Bay lost its charter, and the original Tillman community was gone.  Submitted by Jim Pike   

Tillman, house near the Indian River
Courtesy Jim Pike

Melbourne Tillman Canal sign
Courtesy Jim Pike

1890s Culpepper cabin and first Tillman schoolhouse. 
Courtesy of the Florida Archives