The Timucia people attracted to the mouth of Turkey Creek at the Indian River by freshwater springs, fish, oysters and wildlife were thought to be the first inhabitants in the Palm Bay Area.
Palm Bay’s recent history began in the 1850s when the first European settlers built homes along Turkey Creek. Originally referred to as Tillman, the settlement was described as a “small strip of hammock…on each side of Turkey Creek…mostly pine and palmetto, miserable sandy barren oak scrub, some ponds and interspersed with sawgrass and gallberry.
Between 1910 and 1914, Tillman became the center for a land company known as the Indian River Catholic Colony. Attempting to grow two crops a season, farmers quickly depleted the soil, and the colony failed. Those remaining built St. Joseph’s Church on Miller Street, the oldest building still standing.
In the 1920s, the city was renamed Palm Bay.
On April 23, 1987, William Cruse shot 16 people, killing six, including two college students and two police officers, at a local shopping center. He wounded a number of others. The story was national news.
The city made the finals for “All American City” for three years (2003–2005)
Forbes magazine ranked the city the 11th most innovative in the nation in 2010.
Hurricane Matthew Info: For more emergency information, visit www.pbfl.org/prepare and sign up for automated alerts via text message, email, and phone calls. All residents are urged to take the necessary precautions to secure and protect their homes and persons during the storm. Please adhere to advisories after the storm and avoid roadways.
City Employees can call the employee Hotline at 321-726-5684 for further information.
Palm Bay Citizens can call 321-726-5683 for further information.