The little village of Lake Worth was “settled” by Samuel and Frannie James, an African American couple who were reported to be ex-slaves. They made a claim under the Homestead Act in 1885 for the land they lived on and in 1887 were granted ownership of 187 acres. Over a period of many years they acquired over 480 additional acres! This entrepreneurial couple opened a dry goods shop which served the lake traffic and Frannie set up the first post office and became the first postmaster! She also started a pineapple farm!
In 1896 Henry Flagler extended his rail line from West Palm Beach to Miami and plans were made to create a townsite between the railroad and the waters of Lake Worth. In 1912 a library, schoolhouse, newspaper, Women’s Club, Chamber of Commerce and church were established for the City’s 308 residents.
Fast forward to today and Lake Worth has 37,000 residents and is 7 square miles. The Atlantic Ocean and the waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon form the city’s east boundary and the beautiful fresh waters of Lake Osborne its west.
This easy-going, artistic, yet dynamic city is multi-cultural with strong social and environmental values. It has a very independent character, acceptance of diverse cultures and lifestyles, over 1000 historic buildings, golf courses, a hip and trendy downtown and 13 distinctive residential neighborhood associations.
The palm-dotted streets of downtown Lake Worth are lined with eclectic boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and many restaurants. Quaint bed-and-breakfasts are on many of the quiet side streets and there’s a historic playhouse that has a highly active cultural calendar. Just across the Lagoon is the renovated Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex that offers a 3,000 sq. ft. venue for special events, a fishing pier, a new ocean front park with beach services, picnic facilities and there are several restaurants available for all types of dining. Sorry, though, no gambling!
This friendly city is fun, funky, and friendly…a great place to visit or live!