History of the Town
According to early settler accounts, Palm Beach received its name from a shipwreck named the “Providencia.” The ship washed ashore in January of 1878 with a load of cocoanuts bound from Havana to Barcelona. Early settlers lost no time claiming salvage and planting the cocoanuts which were not native to South Florida in an effort to launch tropical South Florida on a commercial cocoanut industry. Henry M. Flagler, a millionaire industrialist and owner of the Florida East Coast Railway, began buying acres of land on the island of Palm Beach. Many early homesteaders found themselves very wealthy, as orders had been given to buy “at any price.” The town was incorporated on April 17, 1911 and soon began long range plans to develop and protect the island paradise. In 1929, the Garden Club of Palm Beach joined the Town and formally sponsored the preparation of a Town Plan. After over 70 years of graceful evolution, the Town today has a Strategic Plan and and a Comprehensive Plan which guide continuing efforts to preserve the quality and beauty of Palm Beach.
Palm Beach has always been more than lavish parties and ornate buildings; the island’s history is rooted in the people who have called this enchanting place home. They are the industrialists and the socialites, the civic leaders and the cultural elite, people dedicated to keeping alive the notion that Palm Beach is like nowhere else in the world. That notion, like there is nowhere else in the world. That notion, like their vision, has endured.
For everyone from Hollywood stars to heads of state, from literary and artistic icons to Old Money and international business magnates, the allure of this lush island has been irresistible. It is known all over the world as a place synonymous with “The Good Life.”
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