Looking back at the history of Delray Beach Florida, it is easy to see how it came to be such an amazing city. From the very beginning this was a multi-cultural place with a history of sports, architecture and artists.
The Mysterious Sour Orange Grove is the site where the U.S. Life Saving Service built the Orange Grove House of Refuge. There was also the remains of a rock wall, which leads us to believe that perhaps the Spanish were here at one point, but that is the only sign of them. The history of Delray Beach shows that Orange Grove House had only 2 keepers in it’s time of action from 1876 to 1885. There is a military map from 1841-2 that shows a Seminole camp near what is now Lake Ida, but this was just a temporary camp for the Seminole groups.
African Americans Were The First in the Town of Linton Settlement in 1884 and by 1894 they petitioned the Dade County School Board for a school. They had settled west of the canal (Now the Intracoastal Waterway) and made their living by working farms and fishing.
William S. Linton arrives and from 1894 to until 1898 the history of Delray Beach is about how he works to turn the area into a farming community to produce winter crops with the plan to send them north on the Florida East Coast Railway (the railway was completed in 1896). Land-clearing was brutally hard work, with heat, insects, and deep palmetto roots. 1898 brought a severe cold snap that ruined the crops, and Linton’s finances. It wasn’t all bad news, 1896 saw the first church and a general store as well as the railway.
Name Change To Town Of Delray happened in 1898, since Linton was foreclosed on and left. All in all a very exciting time in the city’s history and by the end of the century there were two churches, a school, and a Masonic lodge all thanks to the African American community.
The Japanese Farmers from a settlement just to the south started coming to Delray for the town’s activities in 1905. The history of Delray Beach is truly a multi-cultural one.
Rapid Growth starting in 1920, real estate boomed. The best part of this was the number of artists, authors, politicians, entertainers and sports figures who came to the area and becoming known as a resort town with seasonal visitors. When the depression arrived in 1926, because of all the boom years, the town was safer than most, even with the two banks having failed! In 1927 the city combined with the beach to become the City of Delray Beach.
From here on out, the area grew slowly and steadily, and continues to this day to be an amazing multicultural and artistic city. From polo matches to architecture, art festivals to concerts, the beautiful beaches to great shopping and restaurants, museums to gardens, the history of this town has made it what it is today.