History Happened Here

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Dania Beach

Broward County

Year Founded: 1904

History

A.C. Frost, considered the founder of Dania, moved to Southeast Florida in the winter of 1898-99 and became resident agent for the Model Land Company and Intracoastal Transportation Company, builder of the Intracoastal Waterway. In 1902, A.C. settled in what is now Dania Beach. A general store building with a post office was constructed and A.C. became postmaster.    Residents of the area at that time were primarily remnants of a group of Danes that had moved from the Chicago area. Modello was the original name chosen for the site (from Model Land Company), but this was changed due to the existence of another settlement south of Miami by the same name. The locals then called the area Dania. L.O. Hansen, Hans Lawson and Charlie Larsen also began the beginnings of Dania’s legendary tomato farms on the East Marsh around 1902. The original tomato farmers shipped their crops via local freight to Jacksonville, then on to markets in New York via ships. Chase and Company and Pres Roper operated the first packinghouses. Later, the East Coast Growers Association was formed and a local chapter was established in Dania.    Dania was incorporated in 1904 with a voting population of 26. A City Council was formed and A.C. Frost, W.S. Sands, W.H. MacFarland and J.H. King became council members. Dania’s first mayor was John Mullikin. Dania was originally considered part of Dade County, but later became part of Broward County. By referendum on November 3, 1998, the residents voted to add “Beach” to the city’s name.

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