White sand, as far as you could see
The author is Imperial Point's first homeowner and wrote this article
in 1994 for that neighborhood's newsletter.
By LIANE WOOD
ON MY FIRST FLORIDA TRIP IN 1946, hunters with hip boots and rifles
left our Miami-bound bus at about where Imperial Point exists today. I asked
them what they were hunting, and they replied: alligators and snakes!
In January 1961 my husband and I came to Pompano and decided to buy a
house as a winter residence. A real estate agent directed us to Imperial
Point, which had just opened its model homes. We had the choice of a lot
from a map. I decided on the "Cavalier" model because I did not
want a large home like my home on Long Island. Bart Haft (Haft-Gaines was
the builder and developer of Imperial Point) was most accommodating and
told me I could have any extra features I wanted as I was the first buyer!
At this time there was only Imperial Point Drive and the model homes,
all beautifully finished, and white sand as far as one could see. Where
62nd Street is today, that entire area was a large pond and I could see
small fish and sea birds in the water.
My house was immediately started and I saw the deep cement foundation
poured and the concrete blocks, with strong steel supports through them,
laid. Building inspectors were very strict and every day they closely supervised
the work. We were told on the first of March that the house was ready. When
we arrived the house was spic and span, as Mr. Haft maintained a crew to
clean each home for the new owner!
Green squares of grass surrounded the property and the rest, as far as
you could see, was white sand. Two days after moving in, my husband went
outside and came rushing back in. "Don't go out -- there is a large
alligator!" My curiosity made me rush out and, lo -- there were TWO
alligators on my cement patio. lt took the police two hours to catch them
and take them back to the Everglades.
One day in 1962, I noticed a crowd on Imperial Point Drive. A large rattlesnake
had coiled itself around a decorative rock in front of a model home. Finally,
one of the workmen killed the snake with his spade and announced he'd take
the remains home to eat!
At first it was a struggle with the sand which blew into the house. But
as more homes were built the neighbors came to visit and warm friendships
grew. I went swimming in the 62nd Street pond until Mr. Haft warned me that
the pond was no longer clean. The streets were drained and crews worked
in shifts to drain 62nd Street.
A Welcome Wagon representative came and brought little gifts and ads
of stores. The developer arranged for barbecues, friendly get-togethers
and bridge parties, and a most friendly atmosphere developed.
In 1968 I started the Imperial Point League, a social club, and many
of my neighbors and friends joined. Last year we had to disband. As the
years passed many of the original members passed away or moved away.
But Imperial Point has survived beautifully.