Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday “F” is for Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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!

The Railroad

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.
Because Of this movie, I fantasized about going there and was so jealous when my oldest sister married and moved there with her new husband to live on one of the canals.

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


Pondside said...

Like you, I yearned to visit Fort Lauderdale after seeing Where the Boys Are. When I finally got there, an old married woman of 25, I loved it. Oddly, though, I remember it every time I buy a pair of shoes, mainly because I broke my toe there!

Jo said...

I am really enjoying this exploration of Florida through your ABC's! Florida is on my bucket list!

Karen S. said...

I just love this place! My sister in law used to live there, and it was fun to visit! I learned about the interesting tale of the Barefoot mailman from years ago that delivered the mail by foot and boat ....!

Deb said...

I'm loving your Florida posts. Keep them coming.

Sue said...

I remember that movie very well, and I loved the song, too.

And I always wondered what the "orange blossom special" was!


Viki said...

I've been to Fort Lauderdale, loved it.

Sandy said...

Before moving to Clearwater I lived (for a few years) just two blocks from the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. I really miss taking my coffee to watch the sun come up over the Atlantic! Great Post with lots of info..

VBR said...

A FABU FLORIDIAN post for letter F.

Theresa said...

From a Floridian - Nice PosT!

Judie said...

OMG!! Fabulous post, Ames!! Rod and I have bought a house in Brunswick, Georgia and hope to be coming your way in around 3 months!!!

mrs. c said...

You told me many things about Ft.Lauderdale and your photos were great! I was a big fan on Where the Boys Are too! I went to Fl. for spring break in college and had a blast. I have not gone to Ft. Lauderdale but I think it would be fun to ride the water taxi on the intercostal hwy. Thanks for the great post.

anitamombanita said...

I'll take your tours of FL any day over the real thing if it means I can stay the old photo of the bathing beauties and the railroad postcard!

Jenny said...

Ft. Lauderdale looks fabulously fun!

I love that train picture!

Have a fantastic Fourth Miss GRITS!

I never realized your blog named spelled that out until right now!

You go, girl!

Thanks for linking.


Annesphamily said...

Good gravy girl, you do your homework! I love these mini tours of your state!