History Happened Here

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Opa-locka

Miami-Dade County

Year Founded: 1926

History

Opa-locka is patterned after the fictional Dream City in the stories from Tales of the Arabian Nights. The late Glenn Curtiss, a famous aviator, founded it. The Indian name of this town has reference to a hammock nearby. The word is Seminole, made up of “opilwa,” meaning “swamp,” and “lako,” meaning “big.” That may have been a short form of “opatishawaukalocka,” roughly, “hammock in the big swamp” or “big island covered with many trees in the swamp.” “The Tale of the Talking Bird,” a story of Emperor Kosrousha’s palace and the beautiful garden of Princess Perizade, inspired the design of Opa-locka’s City Hall.

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