Lake Worth, FL
Lake Worth is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, which takes its name from the body of water along its eastern border, originally called "Lake Worth", and now generally known as the Lake Worth Lagoon. The lake itself was named for General William J. Worth, who led U.S. forces during the last part of the Second Seminole War. As of 2006, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 36,342. The city is part of the South Florida metropolitan area, which is home to 5,463,857 people.
According to local folklore, the first post office in Lake Worth was founded during the 1880s by an African American couple who were freed slaves. The initial name for the post office was Jewel. The post office was located in a small dry good shop which the couple operated to serve the lake traffic which connected the small pioneer homesteads located along the banks of the Lake Worth Lagoon.
After Henry Flagler extended his rail line south from West Palm Beach to Miami in 1896, a land development scheme was created to plant a townsite between the railroad and the lake. Purchasers of lots within the townsite would also receive a larger plot of land west of town for agricultural use. The initial name proposed for the new town was Lucerne; however, the United States Postal Service refused to accept the name because there already was a Lake Lucerne post office north of Miami in Dade County. Therefore, the city fathers settled on the name Lake Worth, for the lake on which the fledgling town was sited. One of the main streets was named Lucerne Avenue instead. The city was officially incorporated in 1913. Many of the first residents were farmers from other parts of the American south and mid-west, looking to benefit from the growing winter vegetable market of the time. The city benefited with the rest of south Florida during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. A wooden automobile traffic bridge over Lake Worth was completed in 1919. The first casino and municipal beach complex was completed shortly thereafter. The 1920s also saw the completion of the Gulf Stream Hotel, now on the National Register of Historic Places.