Filed Under Agriculture

Nevins Fruit Company Packing Plant

The heritage of largescale citrus growing in North Brevard

This imposing structure once served as the Titusville area’s largest citrus processing and packing plant, and is evidence of the industrial scale that grove production reached during the twentieth century. The packing floor covered 31,474 square feet, with a 14,621 square foot mezzanine. A detached office building stood nearby. In the 1890s this area developed into a largescale citrus center when New York Fire Chief Thomas F. Nevins began to buy and develop groves. His “Nevins Fruit Company” became a major shipper of citrus to northern markets. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Jesse J. Parrish, who is credited with being a pioneer of citrus in the Indian River area helped transform the Nevins Fruit Company into a regional shipping association of local citrus growers and later founded the Florida Citrus Production Credit Association. Parrish also served for more than two decades in the Florida legislature, defending the interests of the citrus industry. The huge packing plant structure that he and later generations of his family managed serves as a symbol of the scale that the North Brevard citrus industry attained.

Audio

Ander Hutcheson on the operations of the citrus packing houses Excerpts from an oral history interview for the Brevard County Historical Commission by Roz Foster, 2008 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv_XWD1APOE

Images

The Nevins Co. packing plant today Source: Photo: Coherit Associates
The scale of North Brevard County citrus cultivation grew dramatically in the early 20th century Source: North Brevard Historical Society and Museum
Industrial techniques were developed for sorting harvested oranges Source: North Brevard Historical Society and Museum
Meeting the enormous national demand for citrus required factory-type organization Source: North Brevard Historical Society and Museum
Traveling through the Orange Groves. Special railroad cars, packed crates of individually wrapped citrus fruit, were the main method of shipping the crops of the Titusville area groves northward. Creator: From the collection of Jeanne and Jim Kenaston.

Location

2900 Parrish Rd., Titusville, FL 32796 | Privately Owned

Metadata

“Nevins Fruit Company Packing Plant,” Explore Historic Titusville FL, accessed December 3, 2022, http://history.titusville.com/items/show/66.