History of West Palm Beach, Florida

History of West Palm Beach, Florida

courthouse in west palm beach

The city of West Palm Beach, Florida as we know it today is pleasant, sunny, and well developed. But we often don’t know how it all came about, and the history of this land is particularly turbulent. Peaks, depressions, war. West Palm Beach has seen it all. Read on to discover its history and understand the legacies.

How Did West Palm Beach Get Its Name?

When the primary pilgrims showed up in what was to become Palm Beach, this territory’s name was Lake Worth. Named after William Jenkins Worth. Pioneers battled to clear land for their homes and to account for their harvests. The first of the lasting pioneers showed up by the end of the nineteenth century.

There are twelve palm trees local to Florida? But the notorious coconut tree isn’t. In 1879, the Spanish travelled on a boat called Providencia from Havana to Spain. They were transporting thousands of coconuts. Neighborhood inhabitants planted all the coconuts. A couple of years later the territory was all loaded up with coconut palm trees.

Who Founded West Palm Beach?

Henry Morrison Flagler first came here in 1893. He called the area a paradise and immediately had a great idea in mind. He developed a two-pronged plan of action. He was going to turn this land into a seaside resort. At the same time, he wanted to start building a commercial town across the lake for his workers. It was this second one that would become the West Palm Beach that we know today.

How did West Palm Beach Develop?

The city of West Palm Beach developed at a very high speed in the 20th century. It saw its population multiply by 4. Many of the infrastructures that we know about the city today were then created:

  • Schools
  • Small and large businesses
  • Hotels
  • Recreation areas and facilities

This meteoric rise was unfortunately followed by a sudden and catastrophic fall. The inhabitants of West Palm Beach threw themselves on their money and ran away with it in a hurry. Then, deadly hurricanes ravaged the city on two occasions. The population was thus reduced by more than half, and real estate lost a lot of value. West Palm Beach recovered from this crisis only after World War II. It got reinforced by military dollars during World War II and a flood of veterans moving south. West Palm Beach then detonated into another time of progress.