The FEC railroad can be seen going diagonally across the lower right corner. There's a reason for that hard right turn. When the railroad was being built to Miami in the 1890s, William and Mary Brickell owned about 800 acres of what is now the downtown area. Two days before the railroad went through Fort Lauderdale, the Brickells filed a plat for the town with the Dade Country Circuit Court, according to the book, "Checkered Sunshine." Henry Flagler had wanted to build the railroad east along the high coastal ridge, the book says, but the Flaglers refused to sell the land for the right-of-way and Flagler was forced to move his railroad westward. In exchange for the new right-of-way, Flagler agreed to build a rail station here and make Fort Lauderdale a stop. The first passenger arrived on Feb. 22, 1896. (Florida State Archives photo)

 

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