Treasure Coasts

Treasure CoastNot until the 1880s would the peninsula to the south begin to reveal its tremendous treasures. At this time, two millionaires with dreams as grand as Ponce de Leon’s made accessible the sea-surrounded paradise and set in motion a land development that, though it has had some tough moments of hesitation, has steamrolled through the 20th century.

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Steady Growth

In 1845, Florida became a state with a plantation-type economy and a population centered mostly in its northern regions.

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Statehood

In the early days of its existence, the fledgling United States government carried out a policy of displacement and extermination against the American Indians in the eastern US, systematically removing them from the path of “white” settlement.

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Resettlement

Seminole Woman by James CatlinAround 1700 the lands vacated by the original inhabitants attracted native indian people from Georgia and Alabama. They came to Florida to avoid the European intrusion into their homelands.Many were Maskókî speakers,

 

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Modern Times

In less than a century, a land “unfit for human habitation” has been turned in to the permanent home of over a million people and the winter residence of tens of thousands more.

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Indian Conflicts

Andrew JacksonNorth Florida was a land of big plantations that needed growing space. General Jackson tried to get it by ousting the Seminoles, the Native Americans who had settled in the state in the 1700s.

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The Europeans

Florida and particularly South Florida was difficult to colonize. One soldier during the Seminole Indian conflicts wrote home that, “If the Devil owned both Hell and Florida, he would rent out Florida and live in Hell!”

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The Dreamers

It wouldn’t have been too surprising if Miami had been renamed “Flagler” at the incorporation meeting back in 1896, since it was in that year that the Florida East Coast Railway, owned by Henry Morrison Flagler, reached Miami.

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Boom and Bust

By 1920, Miami’s population had grown to 29,571, an increase of 440% during the previous decade. That development was but a prelude to the great Florida Land Boom of the mid-1920s. People from all over the country flocked to South Florida in hopes of getting rich buying and selling real estate.

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Early Inhabitants

Paleoindians2At the last “Ice Age” around 12,000 years ago the first inhabitants wandered into the Florida pensulea. However, little remains of these early wanderers because much of early Florida is now under water.These Paleoindians lived in a Florida twice the size it is today and a sea level of 60-100 meters lower.

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