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Lantana

Palm Beach County

Year Founded: 1921Founded by: The Lyman Family

History

The Town of Lantana is a coastal community in Palm Beach County, which still retains the charm of its origins as an old Florida fishing village. The first settlers came after Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act in 1842 at the end of the Seminole Wars. The Lyman family, one of the first settlers, is considered to be Lantana’s founding family. Circa 1887, Mr. Morris Kennedy Lyman, Sr. built his home and settled in what is now called Lantana.

Morris Benson Lyman, with his wife Mary and their two sons, made this area their permanent home on September 22, 1888 and established a store, including an Indian Trading Post, on Lyman Point. Mr. M.B. Lyman was the first postmaster and was asked to name it. He chose the name Lantana Point, because of the wild Lantana Plant that grew so profusely. Later the “Point” was dropped from the name.

The town was incorporated in 1921 with 22 residents voting in the first election. It is now the 15th largest community of Palm Beach County’s 38 cities, with a population of 10,422, and is noted as one of the oldest communities. Lantana encompasses an area of approximately 3 square miles.

Historical Sites

Name: Evergreen Cemetery
Location: SE Corner of W. Lantana Road and Arnold Avenue
Historical Significance: Evergreen Cemetery was established by the Evergreen Cemetery Company in 1892 as a final resting place for local families. The cemetery’s land was purchased by M.B. Lyman, Lantana’s founder. Lyman, who is buried in the cemetery, served as the town’s first postmaster. He named the town Lantana Point because of the flowering lantana plant that grew in the area. "Point" was later dropped from the town's name. The cemetery’s earliest marked gravestone is dated January 22, 1886. There are 18 marked gravesites in the cemetery where members of the town’s eight pioneer families are buried. Occupying unmarked graves are two crew members from the shipwreck “Inchulva,” which sank in a hurricane off Delray Beach in 1903. Several members of the African-American community were buried here during the early 20th century. The cemetery also contains the mass grave of some victims of the 1928 Hurricane. In 1952, ownership of the cemetery was transferred to the Town of Lantana and was closed to further burials.

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