Pompano Beach’s Sands Harbor Hotel, located at 125 North Riverside Drive, traces its origins to 1948, but until 1977 the complex was known as the Sands Yachtel. When conceived in 1948, the Sands was primarily a boating facility, with a 12-unit motel to accommodate visitors docking overnight.
Although Pompano’s first mayor, John R. Mizell (d. 1913), was laid to rest in West Palm Beach, two of his four children are buried at the Pompano Beach City Cemetery: Lena Florence Mizell Hinson (d. 1924) and Lutie Mizell Edenfield (d. 1953).
Although the First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach, commonly known as “the pink church,” was founded in 1954 it did not identify itself as Presbyterian until 1956. Initially it was a “community church” and was not affiliated with any particular denomination.
Blanche Ely began teaching in Pompano in 1923 and was principal of the Pompano Beach high school that carried her name when the Broward County School Board closed it following the 1969 - 70 school year.
Over that period she taught multiple generations of the same families. She often called students who were the children of her former students her grandbabies.
The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited states and the federal government from denying women the right to vote on an equal basis with men. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.
In Florida, the women’s suffrage movement had pushed for equal voting rights for years before the right was secured through the U.S. Constitution. Advocates were successful in getting a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution mandating in the Florida Legislature as early as 1913. That and subsequent bills were unable to get the required three-fifths majorities in the legislature.
On the local level, the town of Fellsmere (west of Vero Beach) was incorporated in 1913 with an equal voting rights provision in its charter. The municipality of Moore Haven, located on the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee, passed a ordinance providing for women’s suffrage in 1917, and soon thereafter Marian Horowitz was elected its mayor.
When Florida was granted statehood in 1845, its first member of the U. S. House of Representatives was Edward C. Cabell, but he served less than four months.
Cabell, a member of the Whig party, took his seat on October 6, 1845. His Democratic opponent, William H. Brockenbrough, was able to successfully contest Cabell’s election, forcing Cabell to step down as Florida’s Congressman on January 24, 1846.
In the subsequent Congressional election, Cabell ran against Brockenbrough and won back his seat. He was elected twice more, but was defeated in the 1852 election.
The 1908-09 growing season was the high point for pineapple cultivation in Florida, most of which was concentrated in the state’s southeastern coastal region.
Whereas Florida’s pineapple farmers averaged about 550,000 crates shipped in the previous three seasons, in 1908-09 they increased production to over 1,100,000 crates.
In subsequent seasons, the pineapple harvest returned to previous levels and then declined to less than 250,000 crates by 1915-16. By the 1920s, pineapples were a niche crop; winter vegetables were the big money-makers for south Florida farmers.
Although Florida was admitted to the union as a state in 1845, the statehood effort began much earlier. In 1838, statehood advocates gathered in the Gulf coast town of St. Joseph to take the first step — drawing up a a constitution.
During the statehood campaign, there were those who wanted to enter the union as two states, East Florida and West Florida, but this proposal did not go far.
According to the 1915 state census, cigars were produced in 19 Florida counties, with Hillsborough (Tampa, 267,792,000 cigars) and Monroe (Key West, 103,486,109 cigars) being the two largest producers. However, Tampa was the only place in Florida that produced cigarettes.
Many of Florida’s early farmers and visitors found the variety of soil types on the peninsula perplexing:
Except from, Winthrop Packard, Florida Trails as seen from Jacksonville to Key West and from November to April Inclusive (Boston: Small, Maynard and Co., 1910), p. 198.
Florida reminds me always of Cape Cod. It seems to be built out of the chips and dust of the making of the near-by continent, dumped irrelevantly. There is no telling why one acre is a desert that one would plough as uselessly as Ulysses ploughed the seashore, and the next acre is fat with fertility, but it is so.
Florida’s 1915 census counted only 129 Indians living in the state, with 74 of them residing in Palm Beach County.
In the early 1960s, efforts were being made to bring harness racing to the Pompano Race Track, but their was substantial opposition throughout Florida to any “extension” of gambling in the state.
At a news conference held on May 3, 1963, Governor Farris Bryant was asked his opinion on this issue. His answer seemed to indicate he wanted as little to do with this issue as possible.
REPORTER: Governor, on this extension of gambling, how about the Broward County Harness Track, that would extend gambling from Key West to Pompano Beach?
GOVERNOR: Well, the position that I have taken - a number of people have brought me gambling bills and said, “what will you do on this, that or the other bill?” and I have taken this position - if it’s an extension of gambling, which will be determined at the time the thing arrives on my desk for consideration if it ever does, I would veto it. If it is not an extension of gambling, in all probability I will just let it go back to them. But I don’t want to get involved in well, is this or is that or the other, I will wait until it is on the desk if ever.
In 1925, when Florida’s population had just surpassed one million residents, the authors of The Book of Florida envisioned big things ahead: “Adding lakes and river fronts to the eleven hundred miles of sea coast, Florida has 9,500 miles of water front, enough to accommodate one million homes and have five million people dwelling comfortably on the margin of our waters.”
As early as 1704, the Spanish began transporting Tequesta Indians from southeastern Florida to Cuba so as to convert them to Catholicism. Although some transplants may have become Christian, it appears most of these Tequesta died soon after arriving in Cuba, and many went through the motions of converting, while retaining their traditional beliefs.
This month’s public program will feature FAU archaeology professor Michele Williams, PhD, who will speak on South Florida’s early inhabitants and their food sources.
The program will take place on Wednesday, January 20th. It will begin at 7:00 PM at the the Dick & Miriam Hood Center (217 NE 4th Avenue, Pompano Beach).
Dr. Williams’ talk is free and open to the public. Following her program, light refreshments will be served.
In 2009, the Pompano Beach Christmas boat parade was held for the 48th consecutive year … or maybe the 52nd year. There are some questions as to its origins.
One version has Pompano Beach resident Russ Clayton getting the tradition started in 1962, when he equipped his boat with lights, a sound system and Santa and cruised the Intracoastal and finger canals wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. The next years others joined him and before long it was a semi-organized annual event.
The other account of its beginning came from Lighthouse Point developer Bob Sullivan, who remembered 16 vessels (including his Italian gondola) participating in a nautical holiday parade in 1958.
In 1968, former Pompano Beach commissioner and mayor Edward Stack was elected Broward County Sheriff. During his ten-year tenure in that office, he instituted many changes to professionalize the Broward Sheriff’s Office, including the hiring of the first female road deputies, the beginning of the 911 emergency call system, the contracting of BSO police services to municipalities and the changeover to the green and white uniforms still worn by BSO officers today.
Before the advent of electric home refrigerators-freezers, Pompano residents acquired their ice from the “ice man”, who delivered blocks of ice house to house.
Since ice was not delivered every day, it was necessary for homeowners to have some method of keeping the ice in its frozen state. Some people had an “ice box” in their house, which was an insulated container (often connected to another insulated “box” that the slowly-melting ice would keep cool).
Poorer residents who had no ice box or other method of preserving their ice would often bury it in a shady place in their yard — the ice would be wrapped with some material such as old newspapers and placed in a burlap bag and then buried in a shallow hole. The ice would last for several days this way.
Ed Ball (1888 - 1981), who ran the Florida East Coast Railway for many years, was not a person who left things to chance, either in his businesses or his personal life.
He had little time for a personal life, but was married once, for a little over ten years. His wife may have had some inclination that he was not a romantic individual, as their detailed prenuptial agreement spelled out, in addition to financial issues, lifestyle expectations, including a definition of “nagging.”