Originally one of three forts built by Major William Lauderdale in 1838 during the Second Seminole War on the banks of the New River. The fort was abandoned in 1842. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that Henry Morrison Flagler* brought Florida East Coast Railway down to this area and growth in the South took off. Rumor has it that after the big Florida freeze in 1895, someone sent Flagler some orange blossoms as proof things could thrive in south Florida.
*Here’s a little something about Henry Flagler that I found fascinating:
My husband and I toured the Ponce De Leon Hotel/Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. A beautiful structure built of coquina walls two foot thick. That is another post all by itself.Anyway….the tour guide told us a story about Flagler’s second wife, the former Ida Alice Shourds. She was obsessed with the spirit world so he had her institutionalized for mental illness in 1895. Apparently Flagler had a mistress while his wife was away in the loony bin. At that time in history it was illegal to divorce a spouse if they were institutionalized for mental illness. So Flagler used his political influence to change the law. In 1901, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that made incurable insanity grounds for divorce, opening the way for Flagler to remarry. Judge Minor S. Jones of Florida's 7th Judicial Circuit presided over the divorce. On August 24 of that year, Flagler married his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan. He then lobbied to have the law changed back.
Now that is what I call exercising political influence for personal gain!
In addition to Flagler’s Railway, a second line came down to Fort Lauderdale. The Seaboard Air Line Railroad operating a deluxe passenger train called the Orange Blossom Special. They offered service primarily between New York City and Miami. During the maiden run of the new streamlined train at the Jacksonville Seaboard Railroad Station, Ervin T. Rouse and Robert Russell "Chubby" Wise saw this train. Rouse and Wise wrote the "Orange Blossom Special" song as a fiddle tune.
I know you’ve heard it before!
Run Daisy Mae Ruuuunnn!
Moving along to the present day……
Located 23 miles from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting city and is nicknamed the Venice of America because of its canals. The boating industry is responsible for many jobs in the area; it is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. The area is so populated now that one town runs into the next. So if you aren’t familiar with the different areas you could end up lost.
When I was a young girl I dreamed of going to Fort Lauderdale. After all, Connie Francis sang about it….in “Where the boys are!”
The main focus of the movie, Where the Boys Are, is the "coming of age" of four collegiate girls during spring vacation in Fort Lauderdale. College students have been making the trip since the 1800’s.
For about $20.00 you can take a water taxi along the intracoastal waterway and New River passing expensive yachts and multimillion dollar homes.
There is plenty to see in the surrounding areas of Fort Lauderdale. I have provided a link for your enjoyment:
To return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday click here: off on my tangent
Thanks for visiting!~Ames