Well I thought to myself
I haven't commented on Florida's history. Yes it has one just like Toronto and just as in Toronto most people have no knowledge
of the history of the place they live or the places they visit so it is with Florida. Most people come for the sun with nary
a thought of how did Ft Lauderdale got its name for instances. If Florida's history is given a thought most people seem to
think that Florida's story began with the railroads and hotels of Henry M. Flagler a 100 years ago, or with the Florida land
boom of the 1920's, or even with the Second World War, when, with its many military and naval bases, Florida became a garrison
state (surrounded for at time by German U-boats).
Florida has the longest recorded
history of any of the American states. Its written record goes back to the first European discoverer Juan Ponce De Leon who
searching for the Fountain of Youth landed on its shores. Even before that the first people of Florida the original aboriginals
called Panzacola, Chatot and Apalachicola occupied the area, also Apalachee where
the land makes its great arching sweep south, Timucua in the north half of the peninsula, Calusa in the confederacy of tribes
that inhabited the south, and Matecumbe in the Keys. They are all descended from Eurasians who cross the Bering sea perhaps
some 12,000 years ago. All of these native Indians were slaughter off or died of disease at the hands of Europeans. (The Seminole
Indians than moved down from Oklahoma in the 18th century and they in turn were challenged by new Americans.) Then came the
Spanish conquistadors and hidalgos who vainly hunted Florida for gold and silver, to the time of brave, resourceful men and
woman who created pioneer farms and households in the subtropical wilderness, and to the time of gray-robed friars, whose
missions stretched across Florida like rosary beads two centuries before the better known missions of California. Florida
was the cradle of America and the first name of European origin to be etched upon its maps.
Okay you say but how
did Ft. Lauderdale get its name.
got its name from Major William Lauderdale who built the first fort at the New River mouth in 1838 during the Seminole Indian
wars. Fort Lauderdale was incorporated in 1911 with only 175 residents. Today its population is about 175,000.
As for today I had breakfast and Elizabeth and she put ketchup
nipples on my sunny side up eggs and got us going late in the morning. After that we were bums. We stayed at our pied de terre
and I took pictures of anything I could while laying on a chaise lounge chair.
That evening we travelled north to West Palm beach to visit a friend
of Elizabeth. Her name is Roz and her partner's name is Brian. We had a most pleasant dinner at a lovely restaurant. We travelled
easily back and forth with no trouble on the road. The I-95 between Ft Lauderdale and West Palm beach is four lanes. It is
well marked and has imbedded reflectors in the roadway. At night they light up like a diamond necklace guiding you down the
highway to home. We of course can't have them in Ontario since they would be clipped by the Winter snowplows.