Hallandale Beach and The Hemispheres Timeline

(Important local dates in bold face)

Jump to: 1900 - 1940 - 1970 - 2000

-Hallandale - Hemispheres

Prehistory - Paleo-indian nomads pursuing big game entered ‘Florida’ around 12,000 and southern Florida 14,000 years ago. Timucuans, a general label incorporating over 35 tribes, were the earliest native Americans in Florida, dating back over 500 years before the arrival of Europeans. the indigenous population of the Florida peninsula has been estimated at 200,000 in 1500. the Tequestas and other tribes, lived in southeastern Florida including the area now known as Hallandale and south into the Keys for at least 2000 years until their disappearance in the late 1500s. Biscayne Bay on a 1630 and 1793 map is identified as Tegasta Bay.

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A Spanish Slave ship makes first European contact with indigenous peoples. As elsewhere in the New World, it proves disastrous for them.
Ponce de Leon ‘discovers’ Florida.

Ponce de Leon ‘discovers’ Key West. It is permanently settled by the Spanish in the early 1800s.
1539 Hernando DeSoto, probably landing near Sarasota, Florida, explores the South and Southeast North America Continent, including west coast and central Florida.

Spaniards establish St. Augustine as the first permanent European city in North America.

Timucans population is down to 11, including 5 children.
1731 The ‘War of Jenkin’s Ear’ fought ... Six cannons on display at Hallandale City Hall are relics of this brief skirmish.

Alachua, earliest recorded Seminole town, is established in north central Florida. https://www.floridamemory.com/onlineclassroom/seminoles/timeline/

Spanish cede Florida to the British, ending the Seven Years War. Most of the remaining Tequesta Indians are evacuated from the area and relocated in Cuba.

Hurricane landfalls in Miami area. Documentation of early hurricanes in south and south-central of Florida were largely dependent on reports of ship wrecks, except for Key West and the Miami area which were inhabited by Europeans.

Creek Indians under pressure from Europeans migrate from Georgia and Alabama to Northern Florida, joining the Yuchis, Yamasees and a few aboriginal natives. The Miccosukee are first of the Creek tribes to settle in this area. The native population is also increased by runaway slaves who find refuge among them. Collectively, they become known as the Seminoles, “wild people” or “runaways”.

Second Spanish Occupation.

First mention of a settlement in the area and a plantation owned by a Charles Lewis family on the south banks of the New River, which runs from Lake Worth to Biscayne Bay.
1817 Andrew Jackson invades Spanish Florida pushing Seminoles to Southern Florida triggering the first of three wars with the natives. The Seminoles successfully repel the ‘invasion.”
1821 Florida is occupied by the United States and named a territory  in 1822 when James Monroe names Andrew Jackson the first Military Commissioner of Florida.

1822 William Pope Duval named First Governor of the Incorporated Territory of Florida. Many free Blacks, fugitive slaves and Seminoles flee to Cuba and the Bahamas.


Commodore David Porter of the US Navy Anti-Pirate Squadron governs Key West under martial law.

The US government attempts to move all the Seminoles to Oklahoma. 2nd War results. Key West is the richest city per capita in the United States.
1832 Treaty of Payne’s Landing with several Seminole chiefs who agree to move to lands west of the Mississippi.


Seminoles ambush Federal troops in Dades Massacre, killing 110 soldiers and Seminole War reaches New River where the Cooley family is killed, as other white settlers flee area.

When the Seminole leader Osceola (1804-1838) is captured, an uneasy truce begins.

Major William Lauderdale builds first of three forts on the New River. Osceola dies in prison.

Florida becomes a Slave State. Population: between 65,000 and 90,000 including free blacks, approximately 46% are slaves. In the so-called ‘Black Belt’ of northern Florida, slaves outnumbered their White owners and other white residents. As elsewhere in the south, the principal crop was cotton. The only southern notable settlement is Key West.

Third Seminole War officially ends. 3000 Seminoles are ‘relocated’ west of the Mississippi, leaving a few hundred Seminoles living, largely hidden, in the Everglades.

Florida secedes from the Union and joins the Confederate States of America. The United States blockades the state, occupies several major ports including Jacksonville, Key West and Pensacola, but is relatively untouched by battles.

Florida readmitted to the Union.
Farming begins in South Florida, principally tomatoes, pineapple, and citrus. East coast Stage Coach service is in operation as far south as Miami.

First Railroad in Florida from Jacksonville to St. Augustine.

Henry Flagler purchases Jacksonville RR.

Flagler begins building Florida East Coast Railroad which reaches Palm Beach in 1894 where he also builds the famous seaside Breakers Hotel.

Luther Halland and Swedish immigrant Olaf Zetterlund found the settlement of Halland where Luther opens a small trading post. To encourage settlement they tout the climate and “cheap land”. The FEC-RR reaches Ft. Lauderdale area early in March 1896 and Biscayne Bay in April, 1896, though Halland is not an official stop.

Severe freezes hit central Florida. Flagler turns his attention to the warmer climes in the Miami area. “Mother of Miami” Julia Tuttle and William Bickel deed Flagler huge areas of Miami if he will bring his railroad to Biscayne Bay.

The Hallandale Land Company advertises the community in Sweden, “cheap prices on easy terms.” - Halland works with Clyde Steamship Company to arrange tours - Ad claims climate is the “very best, especially for fruit growers and vegetable farmers: 80 to 95 degrees in the summer and 50 to 78 degrees in the winter.” Flagler opens the Royal Palm Resort Hotel in Miami.

Hallandale Railroad Depot and the First Post Office open, and the first land plots are filed and subdivided. First buyer is a New York widow Matilda Gieges who takes over a rooming house on what is now Hallandale Beach Blvd.

12 families call Hallandale home, 7 Swedish, 3 English, 2 African American. Literally called a one-horse town because according to early diaries, the families shared the same horse and a shotgun attached to a plow to ward off rattlesnakes, alligators, crocodiles and the like.

First Church in Hallandale, the Black Baptist Church, opens.

First one-room school opens in Hallandale with 10 students (destroyed in 1910 Hurricane), rebuilt in 1915 as two rooms. 

Dania, formerly Modello and the first city in Broward, incorporates, so named because most of its 35 of its residents were Danish. It was known as the ‘Tomato Capital of the World.’

Florida Governor Napolean Bonapart McGoun begins draining the swamps and dredging between the North and South New Rivers causing environmental problems for farmers.

Lutheran Church is founded for Swedish farmers. First recorded hurricane.

540 acres are set aside for the first Seminole reservation in Dania, Florida, first in Florida.
First telephone in Hallandale. Northern Dade County declares itself “Dry”. Shell rock road built to Dania.

Fort Lauderdale is incorporated.


First Automobile arrives in Hallandale (second one in 1914). ‘Guide to Florida’ notes Hallandale railroad station, but no community.

Road to Dania is steamrolled and gravel paved. Thomas B. Hamilton begins an East-West Canal in Dania.

Broward County forms (previously part of Dade County). Only Whites are permitted on any beach. Olof Zetterlund moves permanently to Hallandale where he eventually owns all of the land east of the Intercostal from what is today Golden Beach to Hollywood’s South Central Beach

First Black two room School House in Hallandale opens.

Bridge from Halland Avenue to Beaches is built. Hamilton donates the beachfront park and begins to sell home sites on the beach. Bus service between Miami and Palm Beach begins on Dixie Highway over ‘dustless oiled roads.’

Hallandale, mostly known for its farming with14 fruit and vegetable packing houses, is bypassed by the early building boom. Joseph Young purchases a square mile of land to begin planing Hollywood By The Sea, joined by developers of Sunny Isles, Miami Shores, and North Miami Beach.

Hallandale Women’s Club successfully lobbies for electric street lights, power provided by Young’s generating plant. Local growth lumber essentially exhausted.

Hollywood claims a population of 30,000. Young opens the Hollywood Beach Hotel (later Resort).

Zetterlund builds one of the early beach houses. Florida Power & Light consolidates electric service.

Resident petition merges Hallandale with Hollywood. September Hurricane (worst until Andrew) devastates Hollywood, bankrupting Young and others. Hallandale and Dania de-annex from Hollywood. Hurricane destroys 4725 homes in Miami area.

National Numbered Highway System established, US1 is mapped out through Florida. Dixie Highway is the largest segment.

A1A, as a 2 lane scenic highway along the Ocean is ‘built’ from various local highways. When it began, it was the first paved road on Florida’s east coast. Florida Land Bust becomes an early indicator of the coming Depression.

Hallandale incorporates with a population of 1500, ratified by a vote of 229-21. Companion bill declares that it had never been a part of Hollywood. Town charter legalizes separate districts whites and "negroes."

Tamiami Trail is completed, bringing more tourism to south Florida. Dredging begins on the creation of the Intercostal Waterway.

A number of infamous, many Mob run, illegal gambling casinos open in Hallandale and Hollywood, the most famous being The Colonial Inn with was connected with Meyer and Jake Lansky, Jimmy Blue Eyes Alo and Frank Costello, and later with Jack Ruby. Hallandale population ~1,000.

Hollywood’s Greyhound Track (now Mardi Gras Casino & Racing) in Hallandale opens on a rare near freezing day to a crowd of 12,000. Joseph Young works on plans to develop Three Islands, then a part of Hallandale.

Casinos become legal, then slot machines are outlawed in 1938, then casinos become illegal again in 1939.

Jack Horning’s Gulfstream Park opens with an attendance of 18,000, but closes after four days.

Hallandale population 1,827.

New City Hall built.

Gulfstream Park reopens taken over by Jimmy Donn Sr.

Hallandale City now hosts several Tourist Courts, 3 gas stations, 2 grocery stores, Barnett’s Hardware Store. Over the next 30 years, it adds many trailer parks and eventually motels, notably the Flamingo Motel and The Hollywood Beach on A1A in the 1950s. Meyer Lansky opens his casino. Late 1940s - Tomato farming boom ends due to salt water intrusion.

Hallandale becomes the City of Hallandale extending to the Atlantic Ocean annexing only the shore south of (Hallandale) Beach Blvd, but incorporating Gulf Stream Park. Volunteer Fire Department forms, gradually becomes all paid in 1971. Major hurricane hits the Fort Lauderdale area. "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, a highly ranking capo of the Genovese family, meets Meyer Lansky and opens his own casino.


Resort motels and restaurants proliferate. The African-themed Dakar on “the romantic Atlantic Ocean”, and Sea Banks at 2000 Ocean Drive date to this era, catering to ‘carefully selected clientele’ meaning no Jews ... and, without saying, ‘coloreds’. The Palms Club, Bill’s Club in the Palms, Old Heidelberg, Driftwood Lounge, ’world famous hofbrau house’ (all lower case), LUM’S (now the Flashback Diner) and the first of many Manero’s Steak House all open shop. Mob based Casinos from before the war return including “Potatoes” Kaufman’s Old Plantation and Meyer Lansky’s Colonial Inn which opened in 1945, closed in 1948.

Hallandale population 3,886 - Mobster Meyer Lansky returns and lives in Hallandale into the 1960s.

Iconic Hallandale Beach water tower at Bluestone Park is erected. It is demolished in 2013.

First Florida Derby at Gulfstream.

First beach for ‘Coloreds’ opens in Dania, but county refuses to build a road to it. Dania takes on the title of ‘Antique Capital of the South’ with over 100 antique shops.

The ‘Million Dollar' Palms of Hallandale opens, part of the ‘Chitterling Circuit’, prominent Black Club, featuring performers like James Brown, Bobby Blue Bland, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, The impressions, ‘Guitar Slim,’ Little Richie, Etta James, David Ruffin, and Marvin Gaye. Many celebs such as Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Muhammad Ali, visited the Palms.

Seminoles receive federal recognition.

Temporary span across the now Intercostal Waterway completed and replaced by the new bridge in 1959.

Diplomat Resort in nearby Hollywood opens as an early high rise. Shuttered in 1991 and demolished in 1998, it reopens in 2003.

Hallandale population: 10,453, almost all Christians.

Judge Ted Cabot orders Broward County beaches desegregated.

Park Layne Towers, the nation’s first federally insured condo opens on Golden Isles Lake.

Development of more of the Golden Isles begins and is annexed to Hallandale City in 1978.

First integrated school in Hallandale, making it one of the first cities to integrate its public and parochial schools following the Civil Rights Act.

Hurricane Cleo makes landfall near Miami and sweeps up coast.

Babington ties world record at Gulfstream on turf mile and a 1/16th. First Jewish Center is founded with 10 families.

The Hemispheres designed by architect Robert C. West, planned and financed by Bernard Cornfield  as head of International Overseas Services (IOS), sells controlling interest to a group of foreign investors and begins public pre-construction sales. Iconic Balloon Beach Water Tower is built - Immediate neighbor Golden Bay Lodge (2 stories) completed. South Ocean Drive is now home to an estimated 10,000 residents.

Parker Tower (24 stories) and Parker Estates (31 stories) completed.

The Hemispheres Bay North (21 stories) opens as a residence/hotel. Hallandale population 23,849. Construction on 1000 unit Olympus Complex Condo (8-19 stories) on Three Islands begins. Cornfield, under investigation by the SEC, loses battle for control of IOS, and The Hemispheres to Robert C. Vesco, himself under investigation. Cornfield was jailed in Switzerland. The Palms Club is demolished culminating its decline. 

The Hemispheres (23 stories) 3 other towers are completed. Vesco embezzles $220 million from IOS and makes large secret contributions to Nixon’s re-election campaign in unsuccessful effort to get Attorney General Mitchell to thwart the SEC investigation.

Hallandale High School opens in the formerly all black Lanier Junior High School. Previously, students attended South Broward High School in Hollywood. The new building was completed in 1975. Vesco flees to Costa Rica. IOS collapses.

La Mer (23 stories) and Prince George (19 stories) and Avant Garde Condos (15 stories) completed.

Development of Three Islands begins. Jewish population is estimated as high as 28,000 the following year. Malaga Towers (22 stories) completed. I-95 segment from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami completed.

The Hemispheres becomes a major focus of the House Committee investigating Condominiums, looking into the minority “control of offshore owners,” its connections with Robert Vesco, and the grossly excessive management fees paid to the company that also managed La Mer.

The Hemispheres seeks to become a special taxing district, vote scheduled, cancelled because it might open public access.

Hallandale population 36,517.

Bruce Gibson sets record in solo kayak from Bahamas to Hallandale Beach.

Tequesta Indian artifacts and remains are discovered during construction of the Joe Robbie Stadium just over the Hallandale City Line. The Dolphins delay construction so archeologists can recover and remove bones and artifacts. The Dolphins lose that year to San Francisco in the Super Bowl, superstition makes it their last appearance a Super Bowl, reportedly plagued forever by ‘Curse of the Tequesta.’
1986 Voters approve establishment of the Florida Lottery.
1990 Olympus 2500 and Anchor Bay Marina (both 22 stories) completed.
1988 Florida Lottery begins sales. 10th jackpot of $55.6 million sets world record. Trivia: Through 2009 only nine residents of Hallandale have won the jackpot while 27 jackpots went unclaimed!
1990 Jim Weinberg wins design for repainting of iconic balloon water tower at the beach - Hallandale population 30,996.
1997 Current City Hall and Police Station open - winter population is estimated at 12,000 seasonal residents.

Hallandale renamed Hallandale Beach.

Hallandale Beach population: 34,282, median income over $37,000.

Larry Beard catches 454-pound swordfish at sea off Hallandale Beach.

The Hemispheres opposes and then reaches agreement with neighboring proposed Beach Club development preserving sight lines with 43-50 story building south of Bay North. The condo also opposes high rise at 2000 A1A next to Bay South.

Slot machines allowed again in casinos, but only ones that include racing or Jai Lai and are in Dade or Broward Counties. Seminole Hard Rock Casino opens. Shahab Karmely (KAR developers) buys property adjacent to The Hemispheres Ocean South.

Hurricane Katrina. Landfall North Miami Beach to Hallandale Beach. A 79 year old woman hung on the Hallandale drawbridge for over 2 minutes when it opened, suffering only minor injuries.

Duo Towers (25 stories) is completed - Hallandale native and 2-time Pro Bowl Joseph Davin is picked in round 1 in NFL Draft as an offensive guard, played until 2016. 

Beach Club (43-50 stories) is completed. Over 100 Haitian refugees land in wooden sailboat on beach.

Immediate neighbor Ocean Marine Yacht Club (27 stories) is completed.

First phase of the Village at Gulfstream Park is completed - Hallandale Beach population 37,113, median income: $36,072. 7 out of 10 people moving into Broward and Palm Beach County are foreign born.

Kerry's By the Sea at The Hemispheres opens.

The Hemispheres earns Beautification Award from the city and accepts plan for 39 story building next to Ocean North in consideration of compensation. Florida Derby becomes an official ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby.’ As of 2019, 20 winners of the Florida Derby have gone on to win at least one of the three Triple Crown races.

Beach Walk Resort (33 stories) is completed. Junipers on the Water opens at The Hemispheres. Bruce Gipson and Lee McGregor, now in their 60s, set Kayak record, paddling from Bimini to Hallandale Beach record breaking Gibson’s solo 1984 record by 3 hours and 39 minutes. As part of Broward 100, artist Eduardo Mendieta is chosen to design and create Hallandale's mural, ‘Beneath the Surface,’ on the Hallandale Boulevard Bridge.

Pegasus and Dragon sculpture finished. Hyde Beach Club (41 stories) and Hyde Beach House (40 stories) under construction, completed in 2019. Artist Douglas Hoekzema and one assistant painting the mural on the Hyde Beach Club are injured, and another killed when scaffolding breaks loose.
Work on 1.5 miles of A1A in Hollywood ties up traffic in a major redesign that takes longer than expected.

Then Florida’s Oldest person, long time Hemispheres resident Mazie Ford dies, just seven weeks before her 113th birthday. After her 100th birthday, she began knitting over 5000 baby caps for children in local hospitals. Her family bought an apartment before the Condo was built in 1967, so she was a summer resident from the opening and later a full time resident. Florida bans Dog Races - tracks must close by 2021. Construction of 2000 Ocean Condominiums begins.

Hemispheres begins a major reconstruction of the Ocean South Parking garage, and addresses the need for other structural work, including the roofs, air conditioning, porte cocheres, elevators, and the marina. Owners are given up to eight years pay it off. Good picture of the Bay North on the intracoastal in Wall Street Journal story: ‘This Once-Scruffy Beach Town Is South Florida’s New Real Estate Hot Spot’. Year-round population of the city is estimated at 39,471 and winter population at 49,000. December storm dumps record 12” of rain, race horses rescued from flooding and many vehicles stranded at Gulfstream and in other low lying areas. Dog racing ends in Hallandale. Hard Rock Guitar Hotel (36 stories) opens in Hollywood sharing domination of the western skyline with Hard Rock Stadium and Pegasus. Days earlier, the New Orleans Guitar Hotel partially collapses during construction.

Immediate Neighbor 2000 S. Ocean Drive (39 stories) scheduled for completion.

 To share or correct, please contact Leonard Davenport at LSDArt@me.com


    This history is drawn from multiple sites on the web and the most comprehensive history Bill McGoun’s Hallandale, (Hallandale Historical Society 1976) and Seth H. Bramson’s Hallandale Beach, Florida, (History Press. 2010). Various records from the City Clerk were also helpful. We intend to provide multiple links to some of the sites in the near future.

    You are invited to offer additional insights, continuing local history, particularly to the history of our complex. Unfortunately, before I became a johnny-come-lately resident, and discovered that the Hemispheres’ records and many photographs and artifacts prior to 2013 were shredded or thrown out.