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#DIG Beach girls & Amazing Galloping Horses
Early years[ edit ] The earliest known human inhabitants of what is now Delray Beach were the Jaega people. Few other recorded details of these local indigenous settlements have survived. The house derived its name from the grove of mature sour orange and other tropical fruit trees found at the site chosen for the house of refuge, but no record or evidence of who planted the trees was discovered. The Colony Hotel, built in , was designed by architect Martin L. By the Black community was large enough to establish the first school in the area. Linton , a Republican U. Congressman for Saginaw, Michigan , bought a tract of land just west of the Orange Grove House of Refuge, and began selling plots in what he hoped would become a farming community. Initially, this community was named after Linton. A hard freeze in was a setback, and many of the settlers left, including William Linton. The census shows Delray as a town of citizens. Although still a small town, Delray had a remarkably diverse citizenry. In the same year, pineapple and tomato canning plants were built. Pineapples became the primary crop of the area. This is reflected in the name of the present day Pineapple Grove neighborhood near downtown Delray Beach. That year, Palm Beach County was carved out of the northern portion of the region. In , Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create what is now Broward County between the two, leaving Delray situated within the southeastern portion of Palm Beach County. In the s, drainage of the Everglades west of Delray lowered the water table, making it harder to grow pineapples, while the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway to Key West resulted in competition from Cuban pineapples for the markets of the northern United States. Tourism and real estate speculation became important parts of the local economy. Delray issued bonds to raise money to install water and sewer lines, paved streets, and sidewalks. Several hotels were built. The collapse of the land boom in left Delray saddled with high bond debts, and greatly reduced income from property taxes. In the area between the canal and the ocean was incorporated as Delray Beach. Beginning in the mids, a seasonal Artists and Writers Colony  was established in Delray Beach and the adjacent town of Gulf Stream. At the time, the city of Palm Beach did not welcome Hollywood personalities or all types of artists, so the Delray winter colony drew a more eclectic and bohemian populace. Throughout the s and '40s, Delray became a popular winter enclave for artists and authors, especially famous cartoonists. Two nationally syndicated cartoonists — H. Webster creator of "Caspar Milquetoast" and Fontaine Fox of "Toonerville Trolley" fame — had offices upstairs in the Arcade Building over the Arcade Tap Room; a gathering place where the artists and writers might be joined by aristocrats, politicians, entertainers, and sports figures. Other well-known artists and writers of the era who had homes in Delray Beach include: These seasonal visitors helped soften the effect of the real estate downturn and The Great Depression on the city. Marina Historic District , listed in the U. National Register of Historic Places , For the four years of World War II , citizens of Delray Beach volunteered to watch the beach and ocean 24 hours a day from the faux bell tower atop the seaside Seacrest Hotel. Military personnel patrolled the beach on horseback. Shipping attacks could be seen from the coast. Some of the veterans who had trained at the airfield returned to settle in Delray Beach after the war. Steady growth of the city continued through the s and s. Atlantic Avenue was the biggest seller of surfboards in Florida at the time. The ship was dismantled three years later, yet local surfers have retained an association with the area. This pattern continued and accelerated through the s, as downtown and many of the older neighborhoods fell into a period of economic decline. Route 1 and the Intracoastal Waterway in an effort to preserve some of the distinctive local architecture. Spady was renovated and turned into the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. The Spady Museum houses black archives. Spencer Pompey, a pioneer black educator. The Delray Beach Tennis Center has brought business to the area.
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