Named for Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909, Broward County was created by the State Legislature in 1915. The geography of the county was formed as Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land. In the century to follow Broward County would become a top destination for national and international travelers, while attracting a diversity of residents that would shape the vibrant arts and culture reputation that makes the County unique to this day.
Broward’s original residents were from several Native American tribes, such as the Tequesta and the Seminole. But it was only until the Florida East Coast Railroad was brought through in 1896 and Everglades drainage began a decade later, that areas other than high ground became habitable for a larger population.
Since its founding, new cities came into being as old ones grew. In 1945 the county still had only the seven active municipalities. Hillsboro Beach was chartered in 1939 but was not active until 1947. Hacienda Village was added in 1946 and Wilton Manors in 1947. The County saw an explosion of municipal growth, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea started it off in 1951, followed by Plantation and Lazy Lake in 1953; Margate and Miramar, 1955; Lighthouse Point, 1956; Pembroke Park, 1957; Lauderhill, Cooper City, Sea Ranch Lakes, and Pembroke Pines, 1959; Sunrise, Davie, and Lauderdale Lakes, 1961; North Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Parkland, and Tamarac, 1963; and Coconut Creek, 1967.
In the early and mid-1900s, Broward County became a leader in agriculture and transportation for the state. Port Everglades opened in the 1920s, to provide dependable anchorage for large ships and by the 1960s, Broward County was considered a leader in agriculture products and services. But that notoriety would not last. A massive buildup of the South Florida region beginning in the mid 1970s transformed the region, evidenced by the closure in 2003 of the last major agriculture center within the County.
Since then, the County has flourished as a destination for not only a bourgeoning tourism industry but also for top national companies and small businesses that continue to expand with the healthy growth and reputation of Broward County.
Broward County Historical Commission History of the County
What are Broward Moments?
Broward Moments are significant moments in Broward County’s 100 year history that have contributed to the rich culture, creative vitality and economic growth of the community. Broward Moments are created, developed with the Broward Cultural Division in partnership with the Broward Historical Commission, and the BB&T Center.
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