The Amusing History of Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL is sunny city in the southern United States. Located on the southeastern coast of Florida, the city has an interesting and amusing history. The city is a great place to visit and learn about.
Initial European Contact in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Before European colonization took place in North America, the area of Fort Lauderdale was richly populated by a tribe of Native Americans knows as the Tequesta. Beginning in the 1500s, Florida began to be colonized by the Spanish.
Throughout the Americas, as Europeans colonized these lands, the native peoples suffered greatly from the various diseases that the Europeans brought with them, such as smallpox.
The Tequesta in Fort Lauderdale were no exception. Over the following few hundred years, their population was weakened by these diseases and from fighting with the colonists and neighboring tribes.
Impact of the Seven Years’ War
The Seven Years’ War, which ended in 1763, resulted in a treaty called the Treaty of Paris. One of the terms of this treaty was that Spain was to give up Florida to the British. It would later become part of America after American independence. In an amusing light, the area of Fort Lauderdale did not have a real name for a lot of its history. It was referred to as the New River Settlement for many years.
How the City Got Its Name
In an amusing bit of irony, Fort Lauderdale, FL began to see more activity as well as many years of inactivity in the 19th century. In 1838, the United States military founded a site in the area and named it Fort Lauderdale.
It was named after William Lauderdale, who was in charge of the soldiers who built the first fort. It is amusing to note that the area consisted of not one fort, but three different forts spaced apart but all named Fort Lauderdale.
Starting in 1835 with the Second Seminole War, which was part of a series of wars known as the Seminole Wars, the area was a significant site of fighting. After the war ended in 1842, the forts had little to no use and so were left to be. For the next several decades, the area was almost entirely unpopulated.
18th and 19th Century Growth in Fort Lauderdale, FL
As the United States underwent a major railroad boom throughout the 19th century, trains allowed people to reach distant areas of the country in only a few days compared to weeks of travel. This forever changed the country’s history.
One of those areas that could now be accessed easier was the southern tip of Florida, including Fort Lauderdale. The Florida East Coast Railroad finalized transport through the area in 1896 and development started to grow.
During the 1920’s, Florida experienced a land boom. Real estate took off throughout the state. During this time, Fort Lauderdale’s population grew. The city did experience some obstacles to its growth, such as the Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the Great Depression a few years later. The city rose to importance again during the second World War when it was used as base, especially for training purposes.
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