Saturday, February 19, 2011

History of Deerfield Beach, Florida

Deerfield Beach is a city in the Broward County which is situated in the south-eastern part of Florida and a part of the South Florida Metropolitan Area. 

The City’s history begins in 1877, when the first non-native saw the swamps, vines, wild fig trees, cabbage palms, and pine groves along Hillsboro River which empties into the Atlantic.  Deerfield started from a small settlement named Hilsboro which dates back from 1890. This settlement was developed along the Hilsboro River. Soon, in 1898, the population increased which then has a post office. By the early part of the 20th century, the Florida East Coast Railroad constructed ways en route to Miami bisecting Deerfield.  Because most of Deerfield’s early settlers were generally farmers, pineapples, tomatoes, green beans, squash, are very abundant in the place.

old Deerfield

In fact, Deerfield tomatoes were ranked among the finest harvested in the state. The Intercoastal Waterway also enabled residents to fish. In, June 11, 1925, the Town of Deerfield incorporated having George Emory Butler, Jr. elected as the first mayor. 1925 also was the year when the first public library was opened. At that time the town’s population had climbed to 1,300 residents. In 1939, the name of the town was changed to Deerfield and the population numbered about 1,800. The town’s name was derived from the numerous deer that grazed along the Hilsboro River. Deerfield remained an agricultural community until the late 1940’s. But after WWII, tourists began to discover and appreciate the Deerfield’s beautiful beaches. From that time, the tourism industry started to flourish and soon hotels, motels, and resorts were built in its shorelines. In 1947, Lions Club, one of Deerfield’s most influential civic organizations was formed. One of the organization’s first projects was the establishment of the Pioneer Park located along the banks of Hillsboro Canal. The Lions Club members made a fund-raising campaign by selling chicken and rib barbecues. The fund-raising program was to organize and beautify the parks in the city. Since then, the residents of Deerfield celebrate annually the Founder’s Day in remembrance of this wonderful campaign. The untrimmed shrubs were also cleared and the area was made it to become a picnic area and a baseball court. Later on, recreational buildings, boat ramps and lighted tennis courts were also added in the said park. In 1951, the town name was changed to the City of Deerfield Beach. The economy progressively continued to develop away from agriculture toward tourism. Today, the economy of the city is greatly diversified which includes distribution, manufacturing, and office industries and of course, tourism. The sustained year-round population of over 50,000 is a proof of the strength and stability of Deerfield’s economy. Additionally, the City is host to the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association Tour and Superboat Power Race. It also features great recreational programs and green space. The City of Deerfield Beach provides customer-oriented services, which generate a quality of life that encourage residents and employers to enjoy South Florida and prosper in a growing global economy.  

Deerfield Beach

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