Despite the improvements to the town's utilities and transportation systems, Titusville suffered two severe economic set-backs during the mid-1890s. The first was the "Great Freeze" of the winter of 1894-1895. Other severe freezes had been recorded in Florida in 1835 and 1886. But the 1894-1895 freezes effectively brought an end to the citrus industry in North Florida. During the last days of December, 1894, a blast of Arctic air entered Florida and pushed temperatures lower than had been previously recorded. In Titusville the temperature dropped as low as 18 degrees and barely rose above freezing during the next twenty-four hours. Although the Indian River region suffered less than points north, growers nonetheless lost virtually all fruit that had not been harvested.
Although much fruit was lost, tree damage was relatively slight during the December freeze. The plight of the railroads and shippers was, however, even graver than the growers. Hundreds of cars and boats would be left idle for a lack of fruit, and thousands of men, those whose jobs it had been to buy, sell, and haul, or to operate the boats and railroads, were out of work. Nevertheless, there was a certain amount of optimism among those dependent on the citrus industry because tree damage was not severe. In fact, following the freeze, a warming trend began and budding was in evidence in many groves.
The worst, however, was yet to come. In February, 1895 communities throughout the state experienced record low temperatures. The second freeze destroyed what little fruit that was left. The orange trees, during the few weeks of unseasonably warm weather between the freezes, were budding, blooming, and full of sap. Trees in North Florida were nearly all killed, and even those in the Indian River region were substantially damaged. The freeze caused severe hardship and forced many individuals involved in the citrus industry to seek new occupations. Although a short term disaster, many growers recovered, and the Indian River became the best known citrus producing region in Florida. With the commercial citrus industry in North Florida decimated, many growers from that region moved to the Indian River. By 1900, Brevard had become one of the leading citrus producing counties in Florida. Much of the production and processing was centered around Titusville.
The "Great Freeze" was not the only calamity which struck Titusville during the mid-1890s. In December, 1895 the major portion of Titusville's central business core was destroyed by fire. The business district was concentrated between Broad and Julia on Washington Avenue. As was true in virtually ever town in Florida the first commercial buildings were nearly always wood frame, constructed of extremely flammable pine. As a result of these early building practices, fires were common, particularly in commercial areas where buildings were sited in closed proximity to each other. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the business districts of a number of Florida cities burned. They included St. Augustine, Fernandina, Palatka, and Arcadia. Perhaps the most spectacular of the fires was the one at Jacksonville which destroyed approximately 150 blocks and more than 2,000 buildings. While a great personal loss to the merchants of Titusville, the fire produced improved materials and construction as the new buildings were built in brick.
The greatest losers in the fire were Mrs. M.E. Titus who owned four buildings which were burned and Captain T.W. Lund who owned the Lund House hotel and several additional buildings