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What is the history of West Palm Beach, Florida, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
The area that was to become West Palm Beach was settled in the late 1870s and 1880s by a few hundred settlers who called the vicinity "Lake Worth Country." These settlers were a diverse community from different parts of the United States and the world. They included founding families such at the Potters and the Lainharts, who would go on to become leading members of the business community in the fledgling city. The first white settlers in Palm Beach County lived around Lake Worth, then an enclosed freshwater lake, named for Colonel William Jenkins Worth, who had fought in the Second Seminole War in Florida in 1842. Most settlers engaged in the growing of tropical fruits and vegetables for shipment the north via Lake Worth and the Indian River. By 1890, the U.S. Census counted over 200 people settled along Lake Worth in the vicinity of what would become West Palm Beach. The area at this time also boasted a hotel, the "Cocoanut House", a church, and a post office. The city was platted by Henry Flagler as a community to house the servants working in the two grand hotels on the neighboring island of Palm Beach, across Lake Worth in 1893, coinciding with the arrival of the Florida East Coast railroad. Flagler paid two area settlers, Captain Porter and Louie Hillhouse, a combined sum of $45,000 for the original townsite, stretching from Clear Lake to Lake Worth.

The original spelling of the city was "Westpalmbeach", but it was feared that the 13-letter word would be an ominous omen for the fledgling community. On November 5, 1894, 78 people met at the "Calaboose" (the first jail and police station located at Clematis St. and Poinsettia, now Dixie Hwy.) and passed the motion to incorporate the Town of West Palm Beach in what was then Dade County (now Miami-Dade County). This made West Palm Beach the first incorporated municipality in Dade County and in South Florida.

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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from West Palm Beach, Florida, USA


West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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West Palm Beach, Fla. Clematis Ave.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Poinsettia Hotel

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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The Holland House

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Seaboard Station

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Lake Park Hotel and Rialto Theatre

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Fire-Proof El Verano Hotel (Always Summer), 1923

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Saltair Hotel and Lake Worth

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Flagler Memorial Bridge, showing West Palm Beach, Florida, in background


West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Hotel Monterey

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Hotel Royal Worth

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Hotel George Washington

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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"Shadow Lawn", 2605 South Olive, West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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"Going Fishing" from Yacht Basin, West Palm Beach, Fla.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Feeding the Ducks and Gulls on Lake Worth, 1946

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Clematis Street, 1947

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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Southlands Motor Lodge, 7001 S. Dixie (U.S. No. 1), West Palm Beach, Florida

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History and News of West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

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  • (West Palm Beach) When Henry Morrison Flagler first came here in 1893, he called the Lake Worth region "a veritable paradise" and decided upon a dual plan for the area.
    He would turn Palm Beach into a resort and he would build a commercial city across the lake for his workers. That "worker city" would become... Read MORE...

  • November 1894 - West Palm Beach incorporated.
    On November 5, 1894, 78 people met at the "Calaboose" (the first jail and police station located at Clematis St. and Poinsettia, now Dixie Hwy.) and... Read MORE...

  • 1906
    West Palmbeach, a banking city and resort of Dade co., Fla., on the Florida East Coast R., adjacent to Palm-beach. Pop. in 1900, 564. Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
  • News  1928 - Hurricane
    Tell of Seeing Storm.

    Mr. and Mrs. John W. Muskoff, Jr., are back in Jacksonville after watching the storm that bore down on West Palm Beach,... Read MORE...

  • The West Palm Beach metropolitan area was the fourth fastest growing area in the United States between 1950 and 1960.
    www.westpalmbeach.com
  • (West Palm Beach) The first TV station WIRK (Channel 21) came to town in 1953.
    www.westpalmbeach.com
  • 1955 - January 1 - WEAT TV channel 12 in West Palm Beach, FL (CBS) begins
    historyorb.com
  • On October 29, 1966, the main terminal at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach was dedicated.
    www.westpalmbeach.com

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 6/15/2019 11:30:19 AM

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