Fort Lauderdale became an incorporated city 108 years ago. Though the official birthday of the city is March 27, the city chose Tuesday to celebrate and mark the occasion with an event called History Makers in honor of some of Fort Lauderdale's pioneers.
City historian Rodney Dillon helps curate artifacts, letters, postcards and photographs for the nonprofit History Fort Lauderdale. He said, even though the city was incorporated in 1911…
"The city's a lot older. The first settlement here on New River dates back to the late 1700s - 1790s," he said.
The first settlers in the area were Bahamian. The region grew out from the New River.
"After the Civil War, you start to get a few other pioneers come down and they established a house of refuge on the beach in the 1870s," he said. "Even before the pioneer settlement that was the roots of the current city, you had settlement going back...and to me that's always fascinating because it's something that most people don't know anything about, and yet the information is here and it's fun to dig into."
The first dairy producer for the city will be honored at the ceremony at the New River Inn - The Forman Family. And current City Commissioner Steve Glassman will also be honored for his work to found the Broward Trust For Historic Preservation.
The city's birthday is also used as a fundraiser for History Fort Lauderdale. But Dillon said that's only part of the reason the nonprofit throws a party for the city.
"The city's birthday - it's a focal point of our past," Dillon said. "It's a way to spread the word and interest people, get them interested and get them involved."