Pompano Beach is one of the oldest cities in South Florida and this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its incorporation on July 3, 1908. As part of the South Florida Metropolitan area, it is in the midst of redeveloping its beachfront, which promises to reinvent this city.
People were drawn to the area in the late 1800s by the mild temperatures and rich soil. One of the first cash crops was pineapples and farmers soon discovered tomatoes, beans and peppers flourished here. Legend has it that Pompano’s name came from the tasty little fish that was dinner for an early surveyor, who noted its name on his map. Recognized as the second oldest city in Broward County and the fifth oldest in Florida, it saw the Land Boom bring growth and the development of its small commercial center. Throughout the Depression, agriculture was the economic mainstay of the community and the arrival of the railroad helped to get the crops to market.
The end of World War II saw another population explosion bring changes to Pompano Beach. When more people came to the area, agricultural lands were sold for housing developments and golf courses, but farming remained as an important part of the community. It experienced spectacular growth during the 1960s as tourists came to enjoy its sunny beaches, boating and fishing. New firms like Chris Craft Boat Corporation diversified employment opportunities and there was a growth of light industry. Large shopping malls were built as new residential areas were developed as the city expanded westward.
Today, this area with its balmy weather, sunny beaches, and bright blue skies continues to drawn visitors and tourists. Many are deciding to stay in South Florida and make this community their year round home. There is a substantial seasonal population who come south to avoid the cold winters in the northern parts of the US. Pompano Beach is in the midst of a multimillion dollar building boom and, as it celebrates its Centennial, it is clear that this is a city that is remaking itself while retaining its colorful links to its past.