Snow in Delray Beach?
The white sandy soil that the early settlers from the North encountered here in the 1800s sure looked like snow to them.
We know better, of course—and soon, so did the settlers. It turns out, Delray had a rich soil that was good for agriculture, with lots of warm, sunny weather. And no snow. Bliss!
Today, even though there’s not much agriculture, Delray has something just as valuable as that rich soil was: a climate that warmly welcomes businesses, and draws more and more families to plant their roots in Delray Beach.
Here’s a bit of our history.
In anticipation of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway, U.S. Congressman William S. Linton buys some land in what is now Delray, naming the town for himself.
Linton’s first commissary opens, with Seminoles among the people who came to trade.
Black settlers establish Mt.Tabor, the precursor to the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The U. S. Post Office changes the town’s name to Delray.
The Inn hotel and McRae’s Pharmacy open.
The Ladies Improvement Association builds the Town Hall. Wuepper’s General Store opens near to it two years later.
Delray gets its first doctor, J.R. Cason Jr.
Delray’s population is 904. The town gets its first concrete block building.
The Town of Delray is incorporated. J.S. Sundy is elected mayor.
In October, local leaders form the Boosters Club to oversee the town’s growth. The Bank of Delray opens.
The Boosters Club becomes the Board of Trade, with membership from nearly 100% of businesses.
Florida’s real estate boom gets Delray growing. Population: 1,501 and growing. A number of visitors decide to stay for the winter, and an artists’ colony springs up. Several famous cartoonists, as well as the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, flock to Delray.
The Board of Trade becomes the Delray Chamber of Commerce.
Delray Beach and the Town of Delray merge to become the City of Delray Beach.
Delray Beach enters its golden age of architecture, ranking tenth in the state for number of building permits. Population: 2,333.
African American civil rights activists found the Delray Beach Civic League and the Naciremas Club (“American” spelled backward, with an s added).
A hurricane wipes out most of the farming community. Delray had become known as a major producer of gladiola flowers.
Population reaches 6,312.
The population nearly doubles in a decade, to 12, 230.
“Delray Affair,” the annual arts festival, begins.
Go west! The City looks west to continue its growth.
Delray’s population surpasses 30,000.
Pineapple Grove blossoms into an arts district.
Old School Square is revitalized and now houses the Crest Theatre and the Cornell Museum of Art and History, plus indoor and outdoor event venues.
Delray Beach wins the “All-America City” Award.
The population doubles in 20 years, to 60,000+.
“All America City” is awarded to Delray for the second time.
The Delray Beach Tennis Center hosts the Davis Cup
The U.S. Tennis Association nominates Delray as one of the top 10 tennis towns in the U.S.
USA Today Travel names Delray “America’s Most Fun Small Town.”
In November, the Chamber moves to its present home on NE 1st Street. Like Delray Beach itself, it’s bright, welcoming, forward-thinking and business-friendly.