Fort Lauderdale Centennial: Born In The Boom Years

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Land Ad from 1910
​This is the lede of a real estate ad in the old Miami Metropolis newspaper published on September 3, 1910. It was placed by William Marshall, a land speculator who would go on to become Fort Lauderdale's first mayor when it was incorporated on March 28, 1911 -- one hundred years ago tomorrow. Here's a link to the Metropolis front page -- with a photo of Marshall -- from that day. 

Inside see the rest of the ad. It's interesting reading -- with talk of the progress in draining the Everglades and the burgeoning land boom that would, of course, end in a devastating bust that involved something called the Great Depression.
The Reason

Fort Lauderdale is located on the New River, which has an average depth of 26 feet from the ocean to the Everglades. 

Twenty thousand farms have been sold in the Everglades lying west of Fort Lauderdale, 12,000 of which will be distributed for settlement by the last of December. 

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​At approximate cost of $200,000 the bar that separates New River from the ocean can be dredged giving a depth of 29 1-2 feet of water. When this is done Fort Lauderdale will have the deepest water between Fernandina and Key West, a stretch of 500 miles. 

At the next legislature the citizens of Fort Lauderdale will ask that body to incorporate the town of Fort Lauderdale. 

At this writing there are fifty new buildings now in construction, ranging in price from $350.00 to $10,000, among which are the new Masonic Temple, concrete building, costing $10,000, the new public school building concrete, costing $7,000 Methodist church, concrete, costing in the neighborhood of $3,500, Fort Lauderdale State Bank, concrete, costing $2,500. 

The Furst-Clark Construction Company, who have the contract for draining the Everglades are spending about $14,000 per month. Sanders & Savage, drainage contractors, have machinery on the ground for reclaiming 10,000 acres of Everglades land. they also have other contracts for work which will begin at an early date, aggregating $75,000. 

Before spring, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, will be connected with an electric interurban railway. 

It is estimated that within two years that 1,500,000 acres of Everglade land will be open for cultivation. This land lies between the South Canal and the Hillsboro Canal, and Fort Lauderdale being the logical shipping point, all of this traffic is bound to come here for distribution, whether by water or rail. 

Within the past year hundreds of new people have come to Fort Lauderdale, and made heavy investments. Town property is changing hands daily, new business sites are being located, in fact the country is on a great boom. We have property in the city of Fort Lauderdale for sale on easy terms ranging in price from $150.00 per lot, to $1,500.00 per lot. In these prices some of the most valuable river front property is included. 

For a short time I am offering six lots on "Andrews Avenue" (paved) at $250 each, $100 down, balance six months. One lot 50 feet by 140 feet deep on River, riparian rights, $700, half cash, balance 6 months. Another 60 foot river front by 125 feet deep, riparaian rights $800, half cash, balance six months.

One two-story residence, river front 50 feet, by 190 feet. Improved $1,800 cash. 

Country Property

I also have some well located and good improved farms as follows: 7 acres river front, much hammock $65 per acre cash. 30 acres improved, with two houses, packing house, muck land, in cultivation nine years, produces heavy crops. A bargain $70 per acre. Also sixty acres, located on North canal, 800 bearing orange trees, hammock, and muck lands $7,000 all cash. Fruit this year will pay good dividend on investment. 

The above bargains are a few of what I have to offer. 

Call or Address 
Wm H. Marshall
Opposite Fort Lauderdale State Bank   Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 
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Hat tip to Cal Deal for sending the ad to the Pulp. 

Follow The Daily Pulp on Twitter: @TheDailyPulp.

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26 comments
parkland man
parkland man

You re trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake and a lawyer. You have a gun with two bullets. What should you do? You shoot the lawyer. Twice.

parkland man
parkland man

The first lawyer questioning a panel of prospective jurors began right off as an intimidating showman. When he came to his question, “Do any of you here today dislike lawyers?” they stiffened and hesitated. Before the pause became too long, the judge announced, “I do.”

parkland man
parkland man

A man walks into a friend and sees that his friend’s car is total loss and covered with leaves, grass, branches, dirt and blood. He asks his friend, “What’s happened to your car?” “Well,” the friend responses, “I ran into a lawyer”. “OK,” says the man, “that explains the blood… But what about the leaves, the grass, the branches and the dirt?” “Well, I had to chase him all through the park.”

parkland man
parkland man

What is black and brown and looks good on a lawyer? A Doberman.

parkland man
parkland man

"75 to 90 percent of American trial lawyers are incompetent, dishonest - or both."ok its not 100 percent but its damm close.

Extra Info
Extra Info

I believe Mr. Marshall became the city's first mayor and the Marshall Point bridge connecting SW 4th Avenue and 7th Avenue near the Performing Arts Center is named after him.

Parkland man
Parkland man

It must have been great to live in broward years ago,there no lawsuits to drive all the prices up,everybody blames the insurance company for high rates and it's because of all the lawsuits it faces everyday,if you get a chance google Walmart wow I can't understand how there still open as many times as they get sued per day,I have friends that tell me that they get into a little fender bender and lawyers come out of the wood work to sue everybody,even if your not hurt at all,they tell you to lie and say your back hurts,send you to a doctor that's in on it with the lawyer and wait for a settlement,there are a PAC of scumbags,plus many years ago in the old west when somebody tried to steal your gold you can just shoot them,it's to bad we can't do that with lawyers today,all the prices would go back down,it's the lawyers driving up all your prices. Should we start a lawyer tax and pay them that way,because they don't make or produce anything but problems.that might be an easier way.

Gator
Gator

If you think there were no lawsuits back in Fort Lauderdale's early days, you are sadly mistaken. Naturally, one would expect less legal action in a town of 500 rather than the highly urbanized city of today, but there were no golden days of y'orr.

Guest
Guest

Just to bring this up to date, unlike the visionaries of the past who wanted to bring Ft. Lauderdale into the future, we have a horrible Governor in Rick(Crook)Scott who turned down The high speed train, that in the long run I feel eventually would have benefited Ft. Lauderdale and all of Florida. Be prepared Crook will do nothing for the middle class in our state.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Dear Glitterrs,

There are better ways to expend your emotional and political energy than remaining frustrated at the results of the gubernatorial election. I too , am disappointed that Scott is in office. However, the reality of the situation is is that he won the majority of the votes, whether we like it or not. Perhaps this may motivate you and others to become more involved with campaigns in the future.

Windsome Lad
Windsome Lad

Goldi is correct. Scott got about 48.9 % of the vote to Sink's 48.7%, yet he is governing as if he had a mandate. There is significant buyers' remorse and while Scott likely will finish his term, there is nothing good in this for the republiucan party.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Wrong. He won, but NOT with a majority.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Goldilockks, get over it. He won.

KernelOfTruth
KernelOfTruth

Napoleon Bonaparte Broward’s County was sliced and diced in the last century. A few of the Land speculators with ties to the ruling faction made this possible. The City of Fort Lauderdale, later made the Seat of Government in the newly formed Broward County, had its connecteds even then. The Stranahans, Olivers, Bryans, Brickells, Marshalls, and a few more would be presented with the prospect of building a proper foundation for the City. Would this foundation be solid or shaky, and would what these Elect helped found be so riddled as to destroy the Land thought of as Paradise? True, this Land was further south than the Fountain of Youth sought by Ponce deLeon, but some, nonetheless, felt the area in the South to be closer to the Mark.

As with the Timucua in the area of Ponce deLeon’s St. Augustine, there were Indigenous Peoples of South Florida, who would be classified as Tequesta, Ais, Calusa, and Jeaga. However, the settlement of these Indigenous Peoples would not be written on the front pages, and the accounts of the transfer of the Land of these Natives very rarely properly documented for publication, if at all. The print publications and land brochures would under report or not report the stories of exclusion when the native population was being undermined in the Land swindles of the day. Ownership of property or any of the rights that were carried by the property were oftentimes selfishly settled with the thought of continuing the Land boom and growth in tourism, no matter the cost to those excluded in the processing.

This would be true of the Land within the municipal boundaries of the City of Fort Lauderdale. The selling of the Land in the City and the taking of the water rights would control the effort to develop the area. In this unstructured hodgepodge of planning, the main source of Life for the Native was forgotten. The New River had always been thought of as a body of water that had given birth to itself. There were natural springs throughout, and in the New River Sound, where pirate ships would gather water and the captains make plans to bury any treasure trove, the natural springs had been their godsend.

The New River today has no springs, and the water is murky. The drainage of the land has bedeviled the entirety. The newer enclaves have made salt-water intrusion of the aquifers the problem that has no real solution, other than the eventual building of plants for the desalinization of the waters. The plan of the Army Corps of Engineers to build berms and dredge the Everglades will not entirely rectify the problem for the provision of potable water.

Fort Lauderdale celebrates its destruction of the natural beauty that had once been this tropical destination. Fort Lauderdale continues by permitting buildings that, once filled, will overpopulate the area, crumble the infrastructure, and destroy the water supply at a quicker pace. The sustainability of the land is long gone, which has placed a mighty burden on the shoulders of the hoi polloi who remain.

Parkland man
Parkland man

I would buy it all I wonder how much parkland cost at the time around 1 hundred lol unreal.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

I wonder what those land values are today... "50 ft X 190ft on the New River" with 2 story house 1800 cash...

Guest
Guest

Ilove reading and seeing old newspapers about the history of Ft. Lauderdale. The pictures of then and now and the people that were instrumental in making it happen. Where and how they lived. Make no mistake there was a lot of corruption then too.

JSkool101
JSkool101

Nothing new here. We should officially change the City's slogan from the misleading "The Venice of America" (land created by dredging mangrove habitat) to the more accurate "It's All About the Money."

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Hot damn! Race to be FIRST.Now, to go back and read the blog ...

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