Fort Lauderdale The Venice of America

 Previously overshadowed by its neighbor—Miami—during the past few decades Fort Lauderdale has become a stand-alone  destination. It's a major yachting center and resort area that has become a  major port for cruise passengers. Despite the transients, Fort Lauderdale is a  vibrant community that attracts people from all over the world who want to make  this beach jewel their home.  

 Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built during the Second  Seminole War. The forts are named for Major William Lauderdale, the commander  of the soldiers who built the first fort. However, development of the city did  not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned.  

 History and Development

 The area in which Fort Lauderdale would later be founded was inhabited for more  than a thousand years by the Tequesta Indians. Contact with Spanish explorers in the 16th century proved disastrous for the  Tequesta, as the Europeans brought diseases to which the Tequesta had no  resistance. By 1763, there were only a few Tequesta left. Most were evacuated  to Cuba when the Spanish ceded Florida to the British in 1763. Although control  of the area changed between Spain, United Kingdom, the United States, and the  Confederate States of America, it remained largely undeveloped until the 20th  century.  

 Before the 20th century, the Fort Lauderdale area was known as the "New River  Settlement." In the 1830s approximately 70 settlers lived along the New River.  On January 6, 1836, William Cooley, the local Justice of the Peace, who traded  with the Seminole Indians was killed by a band of Seminoles while he was  salvaging a shipwreck The attackers also killed his wife, children and the children's tutor. The other  farms in the settlement were not attacked, but the residents abandoned the  settlement.  

 The first U.S. stockade named Fort Lauderdale was built in 1838, and was a site  of fighting during the Second Seminole War. The fort was abandoned in 1842 and  remained virtually unpopulated until the 1890s. It wasn't until Frank Stranahan  arrived in the area in 1893 to operate the New River ferry; and the Florida  East Coast Railroad's completion of a route through the area in 1896, that any  organized development began. The city was incorporated in 1911, and in 1915 was  designated the county seat of newly formed Broward County.  

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