A Look Back in History
The history of the City of Pompano Beach is quite fascinating, as it played an important role in the development of South Florida. Located exactly mid-way between Palm Beach and Miami, the city was at one point the southernmost railroad station of the famous Florida East Coast Railway built by Henry Flagler. In fact, one of the railroad’s employees, Frank Sheene, gave the city its name when writing down the name of the fish he had for dinner one evening during his survey of the shoreline. The fish “Pompano” runs abundantly in the warm waters of the Atlantic off our sandy beaches.
Long before Flagler and his railroad came to town, southern Florida was home to the Tequesta Indians. They survived on the subtropical land by living in villages near the ocean, feasting on the abundant sea life. The arrival of the Europeans in the mid-Eighteenth century led to the destruction of the Tequesta way of life, and the noble Indians soon succumbed to disease and warfare.
The Seminole Indian Tribe soon settled in the area after being pushed further and further south by the ever-growing population of American settlers. Florida became an American territory in 1821, and the U.S. military built forts to protect its settlers, including Fort Jupiter and Fort Lauderdale. These were the years of the Seminole Wars and the Civil War. Surviving in this isolated region in the subtropics was difficult.
It was not until the railway was built that South Florida was finally linked to the rest of the nation. The first train arrived in the small settlement of Pompano on February 22, 1896, a little over one hundred years ago. The town consisted mainly of farmers and a handful of railway employees and professionals. First families of Pompano included the Butlers, the Mizells, the McNabs, the Samples, the Blounts, the Hardys and the Smoaks, many of whom are still prominent in the area today.
On June 6, 1908, thirty-one voters, who gathered at the Florida East Coast Railway freight depot to create their new municipality, incorporated the city of Pompano. Once under the jurisdiction of Palm Beach County, the city was officially part of Dade County at the time of incorporation. The city grew quickly with the western parts comprised mainly of farmland while the eastern portion consisted of a peaceful beach town. In 1947, the city of Pompano merged with the beach area to become the City of Pompano Beach.
Present Day Pompano Beach
Centrally located in Florida’s famous Gold Coast, today, Pompano Beach covers over 25 square miles in northern Broward County. The City has over 101,400 residents which raises to over 150,000 during the season, when our part-time residents return to enjoy our number one resource-the sun. Pompano Beach is located on the southeast coast of Florida, midway between Miami and Palm Beach, (approximately 33 miles to both cities). Pompano Beach is in the heart of everything! Minutes from Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach is the third largest of Broward County’s 29 municipalities. Conveniently located close to major shopping and attractions, Pompano Beach is only 12 miles from the Ft. Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. Pompano Beach provides the lifestyle of a quiet seaside community with the benefits of a major metropolitan area.
Our economy is based on tourism, light manufacturing, retail, and high technology with 3,000 acres set aside for industrial and commercial development. Located near two international airports, several international seaports, railways and highways, Pompano Beach provides access to the global marketplace. Being part of Broward County gives us the added advantage of being close to over 2 million people and 50,000 businesses.
We are also a crucial part of the Internet Coast, a recently identified corridor of high technology businesses that include two tier-one Network Access Points (NAPS) in South Florida, which provide Latin American countries with Internet service. Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties form the Internet Coast and Pompano Beach is the heart.
Our tax structure is very attractive. An estimated one-half of general revenue in the state is derived from our 6% sales tax, much of which is paid for by our popularity as a tourist/vacation destination. There is no state income tax, no state property tax, no inventory tax and no corporate franchise tax on capital stock. And Pompano Beach enjoys one of the smallest tax rates in the county.
For the vacationer there are approximately 2,000 tourist accommodations and 200 plus restaurants featuring a wide variety of taste tempting menus. Pompano Beach offers great golf courses to challenge the skills of the visiting golfer. If you enjoy fishing or diving, Pompano is the ideal location for you. With numerous marinas offering fishing and diving excursions as well as small boat rentals, you will be astonished at the beauty of the only coral reef system in the continental United States. If all you want to do is sit back and relax, you will love our 3.5 miles of sandy white beach where you can take a stroll or sit and enjoy the cool breezes and gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
We love welcoming newcomers and visitors to our fine city, almost as much as we enjoy being with our long-time friends. Please enjoy your time in Pompano Beach and if we can assist you in any way, let us know and we’ll make every effort to make your stay satisfying and unforgettable. Remember, in the heart of everything, we have everything!