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Historic Records Of Delray Beach In Florida

By Jony Mozen

The early history of Delray Beach dates back to 1870s when the first human activities were recorded within this beautiful coastal land at the southeast of Florida. Other than reports of William Gleason, the then governor of Florida and his wife Sara purchasing some land from this area in 1968, there are no major recorded activities till 1876 when United States Life-Saving Services went on a mission to construct the Orange Grove House of refugees.

Some African-American settlers took up farming as the economic activity at the west of the House of Refugees in 1884 and this was followed up by building of the first school in the area in 1894 in Linton as it was known by then. A Michigan postmaster by the name Linton bought large tract of land which he started to farmers. The success in farming attracted the attention of Henry Flagler who built a rail track and a station for Florida East Coast Railroad in the area in 1896 to support agriculture.

The place became very popular from 1894 when many farmers from far and wide started flocking. They included both Germans and members of Spanish origins both from Florida and all over the world. Majority of them were after the economic activities such as agriculture and fishing while others were just after adventure and the freedom this place had to offer. The distinct character portrayed by the residents here could be noticed from the moment this community started living together from their interest in sports, religion, education, arts and even the deep bond holding them together.

The name Delray was coined from the Spanish word (of the King) in 1898 after the name Linton was dropped following the exit of William Linton. He had been discouraged by extremely cold winter that caused destruction of large fields of crops. The town was officially chartered in 1911 in Florida.

The town was officially chartered in Florida in 1911. The economy took a turn for better in 1920s when tourism and real estate overtook agriculture and fishing as the main economic activities. This witnessed the construction of major hotels and restaurants in addition to the modern infrastructure.

The merger with the beach at east coast of Florida saw the town adopt the name the City of Delray Beach. It was not however complete till 1927 when it expanded further to cover area at the east and west of Canal with the retention of the name Delray Beach City. The city now prides itself with the sparkling resort town of a thriving winter colony.

As revealed by the early history of Delray Beach, this is a town that has grown from such a humble beginning but now pride itself with some of the best beach resorts and restaurant in United States. This, in addition to several historical sites remains attractive to both natives and foreigners.

The city was heavily guarded during the Second World War as the citizens volunteered to watch the beach 24 hours a day with the assistance the patrolling military personnel. After this world war, the vibrancy of the city went a notch higher with prominent figures patronizing restaurants with polo games at the Gulf Stream and Polo Ball in Boca Raton attracting big names.

Navigating through the early history of Delray Beach leaves one with amusement and a burning desire to explore what this heaven on earth has to offer. It goes without saying that joining the wonderful community of Delray is the lifetime gift an individual can give to himself and his family.

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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Saturday, February 22, 2014

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