Palm Beach

History Of Palm Beach

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 coconuts bound from Havana to Barcelona. Early settlers lost no time claiming salvage and planting the coconuts, which were not native to South Florida in an effort to launch tropical South Florida on a commercial coconut 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 a Comprehensive Plan, which guide continuing efforts to preserve the quality and beauty of Palm Beach.