During the 1972 Memorial Day observance, an American flag measuring 45 by 27 feet was displayed on the exterior wall of the Lighthouse Point Bank at 2850 North Federal Highway. It was reported to be largest American flag in Florida.
Taking Kester's Land
In September, 1945, the U. S. government filed a condemnation suit in federal court, seeking to acquire 28 sites in Broward County for use as spoil areas to deposit dredged materials in the on-going construction and maintenance of the Intracoastal Waterway. The total area amounted to about 275 acres. Among the defendents listed, was William L. Kester, of Pompano.
Pompano Beach resident Henry Backus had a lawn service business, cutting grass and taking care of other landscaping tasks. Usually this type of activity doesn’t draw much interest, but in 1956 Mr. Backus was in the news when his lawnmower propelled a three-inch nail into his left eye and lodging in his brain. At first, Mr. Backus was treated at his home, but was then taken to...
Rocking the Big Cypress
Following the huge turnout for the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, promoters across the nation tried to emulate its success. One such promoter was Pompano Beach resident Carl Grimm, who in 1970 had the idea of holding a rock festival in or near the Big Cypress Swamp in southwest Florida (Grimm did not divulge the exact location). Authorities in Hendry County, concerned with the prospects of...
Pompano Pilot Freed From Nazi Prison Camp
Lt. N. R. Schock, reported missing in an air raid over Germany since March 28, has been liberated from a Nazi prison camp, according to information received by his sister, Mrs. Marion Walton pf Pompano, through the Red Cross. Lt. Schock’s wife is now living with her mother in Lyons, Ga. She was formerly a member of the Pine Crest school faculty and also taught in Hollywood. The...
The Hirshman Wedding
Generally considered to be the founder of the Jewish community in Pompano, Abe Hirshman arrived here in 1928 and opened the Bon Ton dry goods store on NE First Street. His January 24, 1932, marriage to Lena Karneol, which took place in Ft. Pierce, was noted in the Palm Beach Post: Miss Lena Karneal [sic] and A. Hirshman, both of Pompano, were united in marriage here Sunday afternoon, the...
Floridians and Immigrants
The 1860 U.S. census showed 28 people living at the Fort Dallas settlement (today’s Miami). Of those residents, eight were born in Florida and 15 were born outside the United States.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea
In order to comply with increasing concerns about (and regulation of) sewage disposal, an ocean “outfall” was constructed by Pompano Beach in 1963. The outfall pumped treated sewage a mile out into the Atlantic Ocean, discharging the effluent 90 feet below the surface. The use of outfalls was based on a study that suggested discharging sewage into the Gulf Stream would prevent the...
Pompano Farmers Seek State Road
An idea that has cropped up from time-to-time is to provide a more direct route between Pompano and Lake Okeechobee. Often, as in the proposal outlined int he article below, this entailed extending Hammondville Road west to today’s State Road 27. Despite the local enthusiasm for such a connection, for various reasons the road was never constructed. Farmers of the Pompano district are...
Everyone Goes There
The annual Bean and Pepper Jamboree, held at the Pompano Beach State farmers Market, was billed as a community-wide event. As one indication of its popularity, in 1951, when Pompano Beach’s had around 6,000 residents, 5,000 barbecue dinners were prepared and served at the Jamboree
In response to complaints by local residents, in January, 1945, the Pompano City Council wrote letters to the local air bases requesting that military pilots not fly so low over residential areas. One woman reported that a low-flying plane had brushed the top of a tree in her yard.
Coleman Elementary School (originally named the Pompano Colored School) was constructed in the late 1920s for a cost of around $30,000. It was a two-story, masonry structure that sat on five acres of land at 718 NW 6th Street.
Less than a Buck
When the Sunshine State Parkway (Florida’s Turnpike) opened in 1957, the toll for a trip from Pompano Beach to either Miami or West Palm Beach was 70 cents.
A census of Dade County, taken in October 1906, showed just 73 people living in Pompano. According to the census, Miami had a population of 6,228. Among the other towns surveyed were Fort Lauderdale (210 people), Dania (193) and Deerfield (78).
The First Drive
Until early 1906, there was no continuous paved road running from West Palm Beach to Miami, although portions of the road between the two towns were paved earlier. On January 14, 1906, when the paving was nearly completed, Fred Stern, manager of the Royal Poinciana hotel in Palm Beach, drove the distance of the “new” road — reportedly the first person to do so.
A Pioneer Wedding
One of the earliest marrages to take place in Pompano was that of Thomas H. Chapman and Anna Belle McNabb on July 10, 1904 (almost 4 years before the town was incorporated). Mr. and Mrs. Chapman were married for over fifty years, with both Thomas and Anna Belle passing away in 1957.
South Florida's First Railroad
Although we celebrate the Florida East Coast Railway as the railroad that opened South Florida to the rest of the country, it was not the area’s first railroad. In 1888 a railroad was built from Jupiter south to the town of June at the uppermost end of Lake Worth. The rail line was dubbed the Celestial Railroad as, in addition to its terminuses in Jupiter and Juno, it had scheduled stops...
Not the Original Location
The movie The Barefoot Mailman, a loose interpretation of the Theodore Pratt book with the same name about the mailmen who walked the beach between Lake Worth and Miami in the late 19th century, was shot not along the Atlantic shore, but in Naples and Silver Springs, Florida.
Push Them and They Will Move
The 1960 television documentary, “Harvest of Shame,” focused the nation’s attention on the plight of migrant workers, many of whom worked in South Florida. Several years later, the New York Times surveyed what progress had been made: In Pompano Beach, a progressive community on the Atlantic, “the officials won’t move by themselves but they’ll move if you push...
Although some people might believe that opposition of American military actions is a relatively recent phenomenon, the article below, published in the December 28, 1899 edition of the West Palm Beach Tropical Sun shows that questioning the wisdom of foreign wars has been a continuing feature of American political life. At last President McKinley has achieved a notable victory in the Fillippine...
Around 1899, Henry M. Flagler changed his official residence to Florida and there was immediate speculation that he would become a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat then held by Stephen R. Mallory, Jr. Flagler would have been over 70 years old when Mallory’s term expired in 1903, but more important than his age was his political affiliation — Flagler was a Republican. At that time,...